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Looking Back: The Copper Lantern Restaurant

Photos courtesy of Copper Lantern

The Copper Lantern’s been a fixture on Highway 10 in St. Cloud for some 30 years. But even before that, the place was a restaurant, serving up great meals to travelers and locals alike.

Robert Waseka and his family opened the 14th Country Kitchen in the Minnesota-Wisconsin franchise on the Highway 10 location in St. Cloud back in 1966. The restaurant featured the “Country Boy Burger” which sold for 80 cents.  With fries and cole slaw — $1.40.  A club steak dinner sold for $3.25, fried chicken dinner for $1.95 and their signature fresh strawberry pie went for a whopping 60 cents.

The family dropped the Country Kitchen franchise in the early 80’s, enlarged the restaurant, went private and the Copper Lantern was born.  It featured home cooked meals, soups from scratch and breakfast served all day.

Robert’s children now run the place. John Waseka owns the Copper Lantern and his sister, Robbin May works for him.

Take a listen to some of the history of this long-time St. Cloud eatery as told by this restaurant family.

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The All-American Breakfast at the Copper Lantern in St. Cloud (Photo: Tim Lyon)

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