After November, The Woods will no longer fill the space at Shoreland Country Club. Instead, the St. Peter golf club will operate its own restaurant in the space.
The name will be Lakeside at Shoreland.
“We’re definitely looking forward to the opportunity to run our own facility,” said Shoreland General Manager Jason Harrell.
The Woods owner Rick Prososki, who was leasing the Shoreland space to operate the restaurant, requested to be released from the lease one year early. The Shoreland Recreational Cooperative Board granted his request and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to offer an in-house food and beverage operation.
“We are excited in the future of the clubhouse operation and look forward to bringing a wonderful experience to all who visit Shoreland for years to come,” stated a letter from the board to shareholders.
There is some disagreement as to when the space actually coverts from The Woods to Shoreland, as the letter to shareholders stated Nov. 1 as the transition date, but Prososki said the lease runs through November.
Regardless, Prososki is proud of what The Woods has accomplished over the last several years.
“We’ve been in this community doing this business for seven years now, and we have a great reputation, and people love coming out here,” he said. “We’ve provided an unbelievable service to the golf course. Prior to us taking over, it was only open during the golf season.”
He said the reason for ending early comes down to strictly financials.
“It’s all about the math,” he said. “The numbers don’t lie, and we’re not able to be as successful as we hoped.”
Harrell will oversee the new restaurant at Shoreland, in addition to the grounds, which he already runs. He noted that leaders are “still working” on what the restaurant will look like, but he said, “We look forward to serving our members.”
The board has already brought in a new face to run the restaurant at the ground floor. Jason Keuhl, a native of the St. Peter area, will be the new executive chef and clubhouse manager. He previously worked at Patrick’s On Third, Mankato Golf Club and was executive chef at Resurrection Roadhouse in Seward, Alaska.
“He has an extensive culinary background,” Harrell said of Keuhl. “I know he’s excited to get going.”
The Woods first signed on to the lease at Shoreland six years ago and has been operating in the space since. Rather than finishing out the lease at the end of the next golf season, Prososki opted to move out this fall. Before The Woods, the space was leased by the owner of Kokomo’s Bar and Grill, and before that, it was the owner of Whiskey River.
Shoreland finished up a full-scale clubhouse renovation six years ago, which was funded largely by donors, just before The Woods started. Prososki noted that The Woods paid $100,000 out of their own pockets to renovate the kitchen space.
Now that the restaurant is set to be available again, golf club leadership decided it was time to operate in house and take advantage of that revamped clubhouse. The Woods name and menu belongs to Prososki, so Lakeside at Shoreland will definitely be bringing something new to the table.
“It’s going to be a complete rebrand,” Harrell said. “The menu will be new. It’s still a restaurant in a golf club, but we will be changing things up.”
Shoreland leadership sees a lot of opportunity with newfound control over the restaurant space — an opportunity to complement the golf course and potentially attract new members and visitors.
“We have an amazing facility, and that’s where the atmosphere comes in,” Harrell said. “Just like the golf course, this will be inviting to everyone in the area. That will be the environment we are going to create — that feeling of being welcome.”
More specific and detailed plans for Lakeside at Shoreland are expected to come out in October.
For Prososki, it’s tough to leave the restaurant behind, but he looks forward to potentially working a 40-hour per week job. He doesn’t know specifically what’s next, but he’ll continue working in food service.
“I’m going to continue my working career, for sure,” he said. “I’ve been in food for many years. I worked at Gustavus, managed restaurants, managed meat departments. Done it all my life.”
For the next few months, as The Woods ends its run, he hopes to see many more patrons, familiar and new, at his restaurant.
“Come on out,” he said. “The Labor Day tournament is the biggest weekend of the year, and we’d like to see people join in on the great outdoor barbecues on Saturday and Sunday.”