Sean Cogger, 30, knows how to make a burger. He's worked in a few kitchens over the years, including local favorites like Shorewood Pub, the 59'er Truck Stop Cafe and Pit 611. He left the restaurant biz to start his own business restoring cars, his true calling.
But last fall, a unique opportunity presented itself. He and his dad, Rick Cogger, opened Richwood Grill in August as an investment with the available space on County Highway 21. It is the sole restaurant in Richwood Township, Minnesota and the Coggers feel confident about the business move. "Over the past winter we've won over a lot of the locals," Sean Cogger said.
Though they don't have any seating right now aside from a couple picnic tables outside, they are working on an addition that will be able to seat around 25 people. When it's finished, Cogger said they will utilize their liquor license and offer alcoholic beverages, and there is no pairing quite like burgers and beer.
"We make really good food at a decent price," he added. A sizable meal like a burger with fries is around $10 at Richwood Grill. "Our hamburgers are fresh from Lakes Processing (meat processing out of Detroit Lakes)."
Locally sourced ingredients set Richwood Grill apart from other burger joints. The owners hear the majority of compliments from customers praising their "thick, juicy patties" and "tasty buns."
Once the dine-in addition is finished, they should be all set to really take off as a staple in the lakes area restaurant scene. Cogger expects construction to be finished by late August at the very latest, just in time for the colder seasons.
The Cogger family is doing all the work, so they have to run the restaurant while making time to work on the addition.
The family restaurant consists of co-owners Sean and Rick Cogger, as well as Sean's two siblings and cousin that help out.
Sean Cogger wants to go back to building cars eventually. He attended M State in Detroit Lakes for auto body, where he received his associate's degree and interned at Neal Glawe during his time as a student.
Once he graduated, he was offered a full time job there. "I was very fortunate to work on some amazing projects and learn a lot of trade secrets you only gain from years of experience," he said.
He later opened Cogger Customs and Restorations out of his home where he will continue to work on occasional projects. He now lives just outside of Detroit Lakes with his four kids and wife, Jessica.
Richwood Grill is open six days a week every day but Tuesday, providing a day off for the staff and owners. They are open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.