By Tim Krohn
The Free Press
ST PETER — Mary and Tom Svendsen are bringing their Texas-style barbecue expertise to their new restaurant in St. Peter.
Lone Star BBQ & Grill will open in January in the former Richard’s Restaurant and Cedars Grille building.
From Champlin, the couple is living in one of the four hotel rooms that make up the Konsbruck Hotel on the upper floor of the building — which they will also operate — until they can find a home.
While this is their first restaurant, they have a history in barbecuing.
“We had a company in Texas where we built barbecue pits,” Mary said. They soon began competing at barbecue events across Texas. “We did well and we learned a lot about Texas barbecue.”
Texas barbecue, she said, has a bit more focus on brisket and the sauces are mostly tomato based rather than vinegar based. “And the meat isn’t as heavily sauced.”
They owned a real estate company and Tom is a licensed broker. They’ve been looking for a spot to open a restaurant for the past couple of years.
“When we looked at places, one of the things we always considered is, how would we like living here?” Mary said. “We just love St. Peter. We’re excited to be here.”
Lone Star BBQ & Grill will be the third restaurant in the building in recent years.
The Cedars Grille closed earlier this year, a year after opening.
Prior to that Richard’s Restaurant, which had opened in 2008 after extensive renovations of the building, had operated in the building.
The city of St. Peter lost money when the first owner defaulted on a $275,000 city loan. The city accepted a $20,000 payment and walked away from the rest.
There is no public financing involved in the new BBQ venture.