CURRIE - Seven years ago, Matt Schreier was a server at T-Tommy's restaurant in Currie.
"That was my first server job ever, I've always enjoyed it," Schreier said.
Now he owns the building that once housed his former place of employment and has been remodeling it into a new restaurant, Lakeside Hideaway.
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Matt Schreier stands in front of the bar at his new restaurant, Lakeside Hideaway. He is doing most of the interior work himself and plans to be up and running by mid-May.
Schreier intends to have the establishment open by May 17.
He brings several years of restaurant experience to his new venture. Besides working at T-Tommy's, Schreier worked at Buffalo Wild Wings in Fargo, N.D., while he went to college at North Dakota State University. After graduation, he was a bartender and server at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Sioux Falls, S.D.
"I was looking for an opportunity to move home, and I didn't know what it would be," Schreier said.
He soon found that opportunity.
T-Tommy's had been closed since January, and Schreier bought the building from Currie State Bank.
Schreier, a Tracy Area High School graduate, said he felt T-Tommy's was too open, so he's developing some spots that have a little more privacy. He's putting in 11 booths.
"I'm switching it up quite a bit," Schreier said.
To save a little money, Schreier said he's been doing most of the remodeling work himself with the help of his father's construction company and others. He's put in walls, the sheetrock, is refinishing the floors, and is giving the restaurant a fresh coat of paint.
"I helped do all the plastering," Schreier said. "It should be worth it, I think."
Schreier is also setting up an area for six four-person tables.
"That should accommodate bigger groups," Schreier said. He's also putting in a waiting area.
Schreier said Lakeside Hideaway will have a lake-themed atmosphere, including two aquariums of fish.
"There's going to be scenic pictures of lakes, the local lake, Shetek," Schreier said.
When the restaurant opens, Schreier said he's going to serve as a front-house manager.
"Floating around, making sure everybody's happy," Schreier said.
That was something he took from his days of working at T-Tommy's and Buffalo Wild Wings.
"I feel like I learned what people expect when they go out, how people like to be served on busy nights, being there when they need you," Schreier said.
Schreier said his menu will have five different sections, including pasta, steaks, burgers, salads and ribs and the prices will be reasonable.
"I want to keep 75 percent of my menu under $10," Schreier said.
Schreier recently hired a head chef and has also started interviewing for the rest of his staff.
"I'm giving him (the chef) more flexibility with his recipes," Schreier said. "He has his own signature dishes he's going to bring."
Schreier also would like to have different food and drink specials on certain nights of the week.
"People (can) know what to expect - their favorite things on the menu," Schreier said.