The Cottage Grove, Minn., property is being revamped under the city’s administration. The city will spend $60,000 to renovate the dining, banquet and bar areas at Eagles at River Oaks, which it plans to shape into a “destination restaurant.”
The city of Cottage Grove, Minn., will pursue a supper club model for the newly branded restaurant Eagles at River Oaks, the St. Paul, Minn., Pioneer Press reported.
With this model, the restaurant at River Oaks Golf Course will be open 4 to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends, Press reported.
“It’s the one we’re most comfortable with,” City Administrator Charlene Stevens said.
Currently under the administration of the city council with council member Steve Dennis acting as General Manager, River Oaks is being revamped before being put under the direction of the Parks and Recreation Department. The city hopes to open Eagles at River Oaks this fall, Press reported.
“April to October it’s going to look the same,” parks director Zac Dockter said. “November to March is where the change is going to come in.”
Current projections detail spending about $60,000 in the first year to renovate the dining, banquet and bar areas. They also plan to have two full-time management positions each with $60,000 salaries and several part-time staffers projected to cost $169,000 in wages the first year, Press reported.
“Labor is always your No. 1 controllable expense,” council member Justin Olsen said. “Clearly that has to be front and center of this dialogue.”
The council hopes Eagles at River Oaks will capture the market that opened when other restaurants such as American Motorsports Bar and Grill closed, Press reported.
“We’ve been given an opportunity to capture that and keep it in our zip code,” Dennis said.
There is some concern with the competition that will soon be coming to town, so the council and parks department are working to make it something special. “It’s gotta be a destination restaurant,” Dockter said. “We could start setting up special events for people to get familiar with.”
Mayor Myron Bailey said the location and view at River Oaks will help. “If I have the opportunity to sit at the patio and look over the Mississippi, I’d go,” he said.
After Eagles at River Oaks opens, the business plan may change, but for now the council is working on getting the restaurant open, Press reported.
“We’re going into unknown territory,” Dennis said. “We don’t know what the viability of the place is. But we need to give it a try. We need to try to put something together that the residents of our community can be proud of.”