Whiskey Road Pub and Grub to open in Isanti

A new restaurant will be opening in the Rum River Mall in Isanti.

During the Isanti City Council meeting Feb. 7, the council approved a conditional use permit request from Brad Slawson for the operation of a restaurant at 404 Whiskey Road NW within the Rum River Mall.

The restaurant, Whiskey Road Pub and Grub, is owned by SHK 88 LLC that includes Slawson, Dale Heille and Brian Keller. The owners are 1988 graduates of Blaine High School and all reside in Ham Lake.

Slawson is the owner of the Route 65 Pub and Grub and Route 65 Discount Liquor Store, both in East Bethel. Heille is the owner of the Chanticlear Franchise System, Pine Insurance Agency in Ham Lake and is a partner in Chanticlear Pizza Grill in Coon Rapids. Keller has been the chief operating officer for the Chanticlear Franchise System since 2003.

Whiskey Road Pub and Grub will occupy two units within the mall, for a total of 2,400 square feet. The restaurant will offer seating for up to 96 patrons inside, with seating for up to 30 in the outdoor patio space to be constructed in front of the restaurant. The outdoor patio will be fully enclosed with a 3- to 4-foot-high wrought-iron fence.

The restaurant plans to offer burgers, broasted chicken, pizzas, sandwiches and daily lunch and dinner specials.

“We will have a full functioning kitchen with the capacity to make a wide array of food options from scratch,” according to a memo provided by the owners. “It is our hope to appeal to the immediate community and be a local secret for the citizens of Isanti. Our target market is the families of our community and those seeking a quality meal while enjoying a cocktail or craft beer.”

DK Gold Cup Regional Race
The last weekend in February will be a busy weekend in Isanti.

The council approved a special event application for the Rum River BMX Association to hold the Race for Life and Gold Cup Qualifier Event Feb. 25-26 at the Isanti Indoor Arena, 101 Isanti Parkway NW.

The Race for Life will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 25 and the qualifier event will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 26. Around 800 people are estimated to be in attendance each day.

“We are once again the No. 1 track in the nation; that’s two years in a row now. That is based on the number of riders and their participation,” said Andy Strom, president of Rum River BMX Association. “So that’s a great thing.”

Isanti Mayor George Wimmer is proud of the facility, the association and all the volunteers involved with the association.

“The neat thing about the ranking for the track, obviously we are probably the smallest community in the top 10, 20, 30 tracks that are ranked in the nation, and a lot of them are in the southwest and around large metropolitan areas,” Wimmer said. “It’s really a testament to the great facility.”

Strom agreed and noted the partnership between the city and the association.

“It’s a testament to the facility and the relationship we have between the association and the city, and how we are able to accomplish such great things here,” Strom said.

Strom explained the events on Feb. 25 and 26 will attract people from all over the area, including people from five or six different states.

He explained the Race for Life is a charity race to support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He added USA BMX and Race for Life brings in about approximately $250,000 per year to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Summer street dances
The council approved a special event request to hold three downtown street dances as requested by city staff.

All three street dances will be held from 7-11 p.m. at the intersection of First Avenue and Main Street.

The estimated number of people in attendance is between 500 and 1,000. A beer wagon, food vendors and non-food vendors will be present at each dance. Alcohol sales will be monitored through the use of wristbands and law enforcement presence. All the street dances are free and open to the public.

The first dance will be held June 24 and feature Boogie Wonderland. The second dance will be held July 15 and feature Jonah and the Whales. The third dance will be Aug. 12 and feature Hitchville.

Should the weather not cooperate for an event, the event will be canceled. Any cancellations will be posted on the city’s website and the Isanti Events and Community Center Facebook pages as early as possible.