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Burnside's ready to sizzle

LARA and Aaron Burnside are holding the long awaited grand opening of Burnside's Charhouse & Bar May 16-21.

An old Detroit Lakes restaurant is getting a facelift, a new name, and some new owners to match that new name.

Aaron and Lara Burnside are turning the old DDahl's (which for a couple of years was the Detroit Club) into "Burnside's Charhouse and Bar."

"We've actually been running the restaurant since last July, and have owned it since January," Lara Burnside said.

But they're just now literally turning the "Detroit Club" sign over to reveal "Burnside's," and are also just now having their grand opening.

"We've slowly been making some changes, but now we're ready to put the sign out," said Aaron Burnside.

The husband and wife team have never owned a restaurant before, but both have experience in the food industry.

In addition to his time in the mortgage industry, Aaron worked at the Shooting Star Casino in the food and beverage department and most recently sold food for a food service company to restaurants and bars around the area.

Lara also worked at the Shooting Star Casino doing blackjack, was a realtor, and was most recently a server at the Fireside.

"We're going to keep a lot of the comfort foods ... the steaks, the pastas, the seafood, the whole charhouse steakhouse theme, and we're also featuring ribs now that we're really proud of," said Aaron Burnside.

"And our pastas are fettuccines, we've got a new recipe for those that people really like."

The Burnsides say they think of their charhouse and bar as a "working person's establishment" where they fully intend to provide good service at fair prices.

"Our bar clientele are regulars, we're not on Highway 10," explains Aaron Burnside. "We depend on the locals and locals support us; you really get to be friends with your customers."

That's a down-home business model that will likely come natural to the Burnsides, as Aaron is a life-long resident of Detroit Lakes and Lara, a Waubun native, has lived in DL for 10 years.

But this family business includes more than just Aaron and Lara.

They also have two sons, Hunter, who is 8 and Tyler, who is 10.

"They do help out. When they're both here and get a little antsy, I give them a plastic bag and some rubber gloves and they clean up the parking lot," laughs the Burnsides, adding, "There are things they can do to earn a little money."

He is the youngest of 10 kids, Aaron said, so a lot of people already know the Burnsides around town.

"So we felt pretty comfortable going with that for a name," he said.

The Burnsides were able to buy the restaurant as a turnkey business, and they give much of the credit for that to their friends and previous owners, Randy and Liz Anderson.

"They put new windows and resided in the building and all that, so all we had to do was put our own touches in the dining room and that's about it," said Aaron Burnside.

The couple did hire a few new servers and a new chef since taking over the restaurant, "But other than that you'll still see a lot of the same faces in here," Burnside pointed out.

The long-awaited grand opening will go all next week from May 16 - 21.

"We're going to have daily lunch and drink specials and hundreds of dollars in gift certificates; plus an open house on the 21st with free coke and hot dogs and free rib samples.

"So everyone can come in here and meet the people here and meet us if they haven't already."

Burnside's Charhouse and Bar is located downtown towards the beach on Washington Avenue.