SPRING PARK, Minn. (WCCO) — Lake Minnetonka is many things to many people: It’s a beautiful escape, a boaters’ paradise, and a place to party.
The lake’s most successful restaurant is also many things to many people.
Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge provides a party outside on the wharf, elegant finer dining upstairs, and something in between in the middle.
“Which makes this place really, really unique,” said co-owner Peter Peyerl, who along with Tom Emer has owned and run Lord Fletcher’s for more than a decade.
“It was intimidating at first,” Peyerl said. “I don’t think any of us realized at the time what the capabilities of this place were from a volume standpoint.”
And they do volume, almost all in the summer. The owners say they do 80 percent of their business in the five summer months.
“For employees, we go from 80 to 280,” Emer said.
The outdoor wharf alone can handle 100 boats docked, and up to 900 people at a time when the sun is out and the lake is popping.
“Two-thousand-five-hundred to 3,500 on a busy Saturday, and that’s meals served,” said executive chef Tom Pivec, who cooks up the beautiful steaks and fish in the upstairs restaurant.
“I get to come up here and cook unique food,” he said. “I partner with Honolulu Fish, shipped over 24 hours.”
But if he wants to crank it, he can join his 10 cooks in a tiny downstairs kitchen, flipping burger after burger.
“It’s not fast food, but they’re quick down there,” Emer said.
The goal outside is consistent, fast execution. But if you only know that casual, bar food, you’ll be surprised what Pivec can do inside.
“We are the third largest seller of walleye in the country,” Pivec said.
No, the walleye isn’t from the lake, it’s from Canada. But you can see why it’s popular.
Flord Fletcher’s does special events, too. A recent scotch dinner featured elk smoked in a whiskey barrel.
“This restaurant does it all,” Pivec said. “We try to make every visit a memorable experience.”
The gorgeous sunsets on the stunning lake are certainly part of it, but the efforts of the culinary and service team inside the restaurant are what have fueled Lord Fletcher’s growth for nearly 50 years.
“It’s the epitome of Minnesota lake life,” Peyerl said. “It’s gotta be fun, sun’s out, we’re having fun.”
3746 Sunset Drive, Spring Park, MN 55384