MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When Jonathan Campion decided to open a higher-end restaurant near his hometown, it was a bit of a surprise.
“One of the greatest reactions we get when people walk in the door is: What is this doing here?” Campion said.
Even Campion’s wife thought it was a bad idea.
“It was a huge risk,” Magdalena Campion said.
The design feels like it’s a city restaurant, with high-end beer and $12 craft-cocktails and ingredients sourced from local farmers. When the doors opened in 2017, would a town made up of pizza joints and the corner bar show up?
“The truth is, we didn’t know exactly what was going to happen,” Jonathon Campion said. “We knew we could adapt to the market and maintain a successful business. What we really wanted is what we achieved, and that wouldn’t have happened without this community.”
After living in Krakow, Poland, for more than a decade, running four bars and two restaurants; Jonathan and his wife decided to move home. Main Street Farmer Eatery wasn’t her idea.
“I wasn’t prepared for opening another restaurant,” Magdalena said. “When we were living in Poland, my husband promised me no more restaurants in my life. So here we are.”
But it turned out that this Wright County town was desperate for another choice. Beautiful scallops. Creamy risotto with local vegetables. Local chicken from a Pequot Lakes farm wrapped in prosciutto and stuffed with garlic and sage cheese.
“People don’t want to have to drive to Minneapolis, to Wayzata, to St. Paul, to Maple Grove. They don’t have to and they don’t need to now,” Campion said.
Main Street Farmer worked so well, Campion took over the rest of the building. BK Tap Haus has 24 beers on tap, mostly local, and a culinary influence that came from Magda. Custom made kielbasa and polish sausages, a section on pierogis.
“A couple months when my parents were here we had a pierogi workshop in my house!” Magda said.
They serve zapiekanka, a popular Polish open-faced sandwich served on a baguette. The Campions are proving that hard work, great food, and friendly hospitality can succeed almost anywhere.
“The people are so appreciative,” Jonathan Campion said. “Thank you for taking the risk, thank you for coming to St. Michael.”
Main Street Farmer Eatery
21 Main Street South, St. Michael. Tuesday-Sunday 4:30 p.m. -10 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday Brunch 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
BK Tap Haus
21 Main Street South, St. Michael
Wednesday/Thursday 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday/Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday Noon – 8 p.m.