BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN When Jon and Sheri Steinmetz were looking at selling Linnie’s Ice Cream in downtown Delano, Dave and Lynn Eidahl looked at it as an opportunity to bring a coffee shop back to the community.
“There hasn’t been a coffee shop in Delano for two years,” Dave said. “That contributed to the decision to start one.”
“We love the idea of contributing to the community we’ve called home for the past 20 years,” Lynn added.
The Eidahls purchased the building located at 100 Bridge Avenue, and began converting Linnie’s Ice Cream into Bridge House Coffee & Café, which has an entrance on River Street.
“The build out took longer than we would’ve liked, but that was out of our control,” Dave said.
Bridge House opened its doors May 14, and has been well-received.
“We just posted on Facebook when we opened Saturday, and we’ve been busy since then,” Dave said Wednesday. “There have been a lot of positive comments so far.”
Beverages on the menu include a wide variety of hot and cold coffee drinks, smoothies, shakes, and malts. Ice cream, baked goods, and quiche make up the rest of the menu, for now.
“We will have a lunch menu of simple sandwiches, salads, and soups,” Dave said. “When we opened, we decided to focus on coffee and ice cream to get everyone up to speed. We’ll add food as we get going.”
Bridge House’s coffee beans come from Roastery 7 in Brooklyn Center.
“They ensure we get the best beans each time of the year from the countries growing the best beans at that time,” Lynn said.
Baked goods come from Honey & Rye Bakehouse in Spring Lake Park.
Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream will also be on the menu.
“Sebastian Joe’s is a staple in the Twin Cities, and has been since the early ‘80s,” Lynn said.
Summer hours are 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The Eidahls first moved to Delano in 1996.
Dave has been working in the food service industry for 25 years.
“I’ve been managing restaurants, often associated with golf courses,” Dave said. “We always wanted to start our own business, and this gave us the opportunity to do so.”
Lynn is a pediatric nurse who worked most recently as a health care executive.
The two are playing to their strengths at Bridge House.
“Dave is very good at training people,” Lynn said. “I’m kind of behind-the-scenes doing books and things like that. Dave’s been here full-time. When I come in, everyone says everything is going well.”
“We have good staff,” Dave added. “They’re smart, they have a lot of energy, and they like what they’re doing, so that helps.”
The couple has two sons. Their oldest son is a junior at Iowa State University, while their youngest son is a junior at Delano High School who plans to work at Bridge House when track season concludes.