Champlin couple realizes dream of owning restaurant, hotel
by megan hopps
SUN PRESS Newspapers
Mary and Tom Svendsen of Champlin own a boutique hotel and barbecue restaurant in St. Peter, Minn. Their dream of serving others through personable service and savory flavors was inspired by Tom’s travels to Texas.
“We had a barbecue pit business in Texas for about 4 years, but we always knew we wanted our own,” Mary said.
The couple owns property on the river and began searching for places within the state and western parts of Wisconsin where they could find a place to begin building their dream. They knew that, not only would the location have to be just right, but also the atmosphere of the town. Mary describes it as the perfect location because visitors from the Twin Cities area still get the feel that they are getting away for a relaxing vacation without adding a lengthy commute and higher travel expenses.
“We knew we wanted to own property and not rent,” Mary said. “We came to St. Peter looking for a spot to begin our barbecue restaurant and the property also had a hotel.”
The Konsbruck Hotel, as it was named previous to their ownership, was a quaint little bed and breakfast offering a peaceful getaway to all its visitors. The hotel has five suites with queen beds, television, fireplace and on-suite bathrooms.
“One thing I think the hotel offers is the peacefulness of being able to relax in a warm bubble bath and knowing you’ll get to enjoy one-of-a-kind savory, smoked barbecue brisket for dinner,” Mary said.
Mary and Tom still own their home in Champlin, and Mary says it now feels like they’re “going up north” when they return home. The couple normally stays in one of the suites at the hotel while they run the barbecue restaurant in St. Peter.
“I think so many people work their whole life and have dreams of what they want to do afterwards, and this was our dream,” Mary said. “We really wanted to have a unique restaurant. Tom and I both love to cook, and we both like to eat good food.”
Mary adds that the fact that their restaurant has a hotel that came along with it was an added bonus.
“One of our biggest joys is meeting the people that stay here,” she said.