Takeout Tuesday: Maple Grove’s Rock Elm Tavern
In a world of fast-food restaurants and national chains, sometimes, nothing beats a locally-owned restaurant offering upscale American bar food.
“We pick the beef, we pick the buns, we pick the ingredients that are going in, and really came up with some creative stuff,” said Troy Reding, owner of Rock Elm Tavern, which opened a location in Maple Grove in 2018.
Prior to the pandemic, the restaurant was just beginning to build its customer base.
“This store was really starting to catch up to our Plymouth location, which has been there for five years,” Reding said. “So business was really starting to improve and we were really starting to get some good traction.”
Then COVID-19 hit, and like many restaurants, things changed quickly. Reding says they’re at about 30 to 40 percent of their pre-COVID sales.
“So we had to do things like parking lot parties, and we did grill outs, we put together grill packs — take home food items that you could make on your own,” Reding said. “So it really took some creative approach to try and generate revenue, try and generate traffic.”
In addition, the restaurant also has specific takeout specials Monday through Thursday, which are overseen by their executive chef, Bill Kaufmann.
“We offer specials that are quality ingredients. Consistent. Everything is made in house,” Kaufmann said.
Chain restaurants certainly have their place in society, and in some cases, they can offer discounts that independent restaurants cannot.
But as businesses continue to deal with the setbacks brought upon by the pandemic, Reding encourages people to think and shop local.
“We offer better quality product, without a doubt,” Reding said. “We offer better service and more of a story and more of a caring for our community than a chain can offer.”
If you’re not in the mood for takeout, seating on site is, in fact, available. While it may be a little bit chillier out, the outdoor patio at Rock Elm Tavern is also still open. Right now, they’re in the process of thinking about whether to bring in a tent or heat lamps to extend the patio season as the temperature drops.