Last year, one of the most interesting restaurant openings was Mr. Roberts in Pengilly, Minnesota, "up north" in Itasca county.
Chef Sarah Masters (formerly of Barbette) grew up on the bucolic shores of northern Minnesota lake country, and she had a dream to spend her summers serving the guests who frequented this beloved resort spot. But this wouldn't be any old cabin chow. Instead, she'd serve the sort of scratch-made, locally sourced cuisine and cocktails we've come to know and love in the Cities, all from the resort's shore, waves lapping at her kitchen door.
But Minnesota winters are harsh (don't we know it?) and while the summer was flush, the winter took no prisoners. Bad weather kept would-be campers and diners away.
So, Mr. Roberts is in trouble. Masters and her partner Dan Beckwith are four months behind on the mortgage, and if they can't come up with the dough, the little gourmet resort will be no more. They've got until the end of the month.
And yes, they've tried everything else, including tapping out their own lines of credit. They're about $6,000 into a $25,000 goal on a Go Fund Me campaign, and the pair say that they are "also not opposed to alternative ideas, such as private party loans or equity investment opportunities." So by all means, if you have deep pockets and want to save a little piece of Minnesota cabin country, reach out to them.
We'd hate to see them go away right in the middle of prime lake season.
Mr. Roberts Restaurant and Resort
28179 East Shore Drive, Pengilly