Serving The City: People Make the Industry Says Restaurant GM
SAUK RAPIDS -- If you've gone out to eat in Sauk Rapids anytime in the last nearly 20 years you've probably been served by Mitchell Eickhoff.
He says he got his first job in the restaurant industry when he was 14 years old working as a dishwasher at Pirate's Cove (he had to ride his bike to get there), from there he also worked for the Pizza Hut Corporation. Eickhoff spent the last 17 years behind the bar at Jimmy's Pour House before moving over to Old Capital Tavern this summer as their new general manager.
He says what he loves about the industry the most is the people.
It's an industry where mostly it's a treat for people, especially in a restaurant like Old Capital Tavern, or even Jimmy's Pour House, it's not necessarily a place that you're going to drive by and think you should grab something quick. A lot of times you plan to go there and you want to enjoy yourself.
Eickhoff says the shutdown of in-door dining has forced them to become more creative with their take out and delivery offerings. He's put together a virtual beer dinner that's coming up in early January.
Bars and restaurants are also doing their best during this latest shutdown supporting each other. He says people that work in the industry are close-knit.
We're not going to be as great as we can be without Jimmy's, without White Horse, without Pickled Loon, without Shooter's, without any of them. I don't want to leave anybody out but I could sit here and rattle off names forever.
Eickhoff says running a restaurant with limited hours and for just take out and delivery has been very challenging, especially when it comes to things like knowing how much food to have on hand. However, it's his staff that he's more concerned about.
The difficulties that I feel I'm having, I don't even think about that when I think about 75 percent of my staff sitting at home on unemployment, and that's what hurts me more.
Eickhoff says the turnout of people ordering food and supporting Old Capital Tavern has been amazing.
If you know someone who has made a career out of working in the bar and restaurant industry that you think we should feature in our "Serving the City" series let us know.