A new restaurant, a doughnut shop and a cake business are all opening in Brainerd this summer at the same address.
The businesses, going into the former Movie Gallery on Northwest Fourth and Washington streets in west Brainerd, will have the visibility of being at one of the busiest intersections in the city. Remodeling work on the building began last week by Nor-Son.
Three businesses will be opening in the former Movie Gallery on the corner of Northwest Fourth and Washington streets in Brainerd. By early June, Erbert & Gerbert's Subs and Clubs, Daylight Donuts and Cakes of the Lakes should be ready for business. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
By early June, Erbert & Gerbert's Subs and Clubs, Daylight Donuts and Cakes of the Lake, should be ready for business. The concept creates a comfortable dining area for the sub shop and a dining area shared by the desserts. Dining areas are designed to have a distinct feel, but allow an open flow between businesses. Customers may dine in or take out. The restaurant will offer delivery to about 80 percent of Brainerd and Baxter.
Glen "Pat" Smith and Alice Smith with Tom and Beth Perttula are behind the new businesses. The Smiths own the building and others may recognize Pat Smith from the Brainerd Insurance Agency. The Perttulas own and operate Northwest Pizza and Boardwalk Bread and Bagel on Washington Street in Brainerd.
A rendering provides a look at what Erbert & Gerbert's Subs and Clubs, Daylight Donuts and Cakes of the Lakes will look like when the remodeling project is completed. Nor-Son Inc. is behind the construction work. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
Pat Smith said they researched what may work in the open building, which has been vacant about a year, and came up with the mix. They tried out the Erbert & Gerbert's restaurants in Bemidji, St. Cloud and the Twin Cities and believed the chain offered a good product.
Erbert & Gerbert's and Daylight Donuts are franchises. Smith said they expect to hire 25-30 workers for the sub shop and 10 to 15 for the doughnuts and one to two people for the cake business.
Jackie Tyrrell, who has a following for wedding cakes, will be running Cakes of the Lakes. The plan is to offer everything from wedding cakes to special occasion cakes to cupcakes. They've already booked 30 weddings this year.
Erbert & Gerbert's offers sandwiches, soups, chili, side dishes (deli pickles, chips) and dessert (cookie, brownies, crispy bars). The menu, which puts an emphasis on character and interesting sandwich names like "The Comet Candy" described as "two thinly sliced portions of roast beef and ham delight with cheese, Dijon mustard, lettuce, red ripe tomato and mayo." Menu items include those designed for children.
Brad Klein is going to be the manager at the new Daylight Donuts and Erbert & Gerbert's Subs and Clubs restaurant. Brainerd Dispatch/Kelly Humphrey » Purchase reprints of this photo.
An extensive soup and chili list, there are 19 varieties, runs the gamut - tomato basil, New England clam chowder, chicken and dumplings, beef sirloin with pasta. Sub sandwiches have smoked ham, prime roast beef, tuna, turkey breast, seafood and bacon. There are vegetarian sandwiches and soups.
Tom Perttula said the building design will allow customers to easily move from one business to the next so someone who stops in for a sub sandwich and soup may pick up cupcakes on the spur of the moment for an office treat. The restaurant will offer seating for 40 people - with a design of comfortable seats, tile and wood work that invites customers to take their time with their meal.
An emphasis is on quick service.
"If you walk into our store, you'll have your sandwich in three minutes," Perttula said.
Perttula said after researching Erbert and Gerbert's he was impressed with the overall operation. And decor and fast service aside, it still boils down to the quality of the food. Bread is replaced every four hours and they expect to offer between four to six soups each day.
Daylight Donuts offers doughnuts, coffee and breakfast pastries. The Tulsa, Okla.-based company started in 1954 with Tommy and Lucille Day and, according to the company Web site, it now includes 900 independently owned retail outlets.
The sub chain started 20 years ago in Eau Claire, Wis. The company expanded to include franchises in 1992 and, according to the company Web site, it now has 47 stores across the Midwest and West. The restaurant features sandwich platters, box lunches and party subs along with half-gallon soup or chili orders. Even deli pickles are available by the half dozen.
The Perttulas are in their 10th year with Northwest Pizza and Boardwalk Bread and Bagel. Tom Perttula said they've wanted to get into offering doughnuts at Northwest Pizza but weren't set up for it. And he said the sub and soup restaurant will complement his existing business and capture a sub sandwich market they didn't have before. He said they've lost catering orders at Northwest Pizza and Boardwalk Bread and Bagel because they didn't have sub bread. And Perttula said he believes they are providing items not readily available now.
"That sub market is huge, it's just amazing," he said. "Erbert & Gerbert's is a neat concept."
Catering is a big part of the Erbert & Gerbert's franchise. A meeting room will be built into the new restaurant here and allow people to have a meeting over lunch. The room will also be used for tastings for wedding parties.
As for the task of running two restaurants at once, Perttula laughed and said: "There is no point in stopping now. You might as well keep moving."
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