The building that was The Forest Laker, the downtown Forest Lake bar restaurant and bar, is about to get a facelift and a new name. Matthew Anderson and Natalie Harrer, who operate Glazing Memories in Forest Lake, along with Matthew’s parents, bought the historic bar this summer, the team has been working on plans to revitalize a cornerstone of the downtown area.

“The Laker,” as locals often called it has had a tenuous history, but Matthew Anderson hopes to change all that come this winter with a new layout, a fresh new downtown look, and a new name: Fireside Getaway.

“We want to make that downtown area look better and cleaner. A bunch of vacant buildings does nothing for downtown,” Matthew said.

The building was originally a hotel and bar, and it was last owned and operated as The Forest Laker from 1997 to 2013 by local Pete Paidar. Since then, the property across from Lakeside Memorial Park has largely remained unoccupied, but it has a prime location near Lakeside Memorial Park that Matthew is first really excited about.

“Personally, we think that part of town is a great place, right off the lake. You can come right off the lake in the boats. It’s a good location,” Matthew said. The Andersons and Harrer hope that prime lakeside location will become a beacon to park visitors and boaters by creating a warm dining atmosphere, one reflected in the name Fireside Getaway.

“The goal is to have nice fireplaces inside to sit around and eat, so it’s a warm comfortable welcoming environment,” Matthew said. “Nothing is more relaxing to us than sitting by a bonfire, or a fire inside your house, so we gravitate toward that.”

While official floor plans are still being finalized, Matthew said the amount of interior restructuring is pretty minimal.

“A lot of it is just outdated and cosmetic work,” Matthew said, noting that the building itself is decent condition. However, renovation doesn’t scare off the Anderson family, as they all have experience in renovating homes and other businesses.

The food will reflect the comfortable atmosphere with reasonably-priced American dishes like steaks and hamburgers.

“We’re all working together [on the menu],” Anderson said. “We’re all coming up with food we like, goals we want to achieve with the food, appetizers and everything. With that, we’re going to be working with food vendors and obviously a head chef to create the menu.”

If all goes well, the Andersons and Harrer hope to open up Fireside Getaway as early as late this fall or early winter. They are excited to be playing a part in revitalizing Forest Lake’s downtown area and further their investment with the community.

“When you drive downtown [U.S Highway] 61, you don’t want to see run down buildings. You want to see a nice clean downtown strip to drive down of businesses and people enjoying them and a place where a community can get together,” Matthew said.

More information will be published online next week and in the upcoming issue of The Times.

The building that was The Forest Laker, the downtown Forest Lake bar restaurant and bar, is about to get a facelift and a new name. Matthew Anderson and Natalie Harrer, who operate Glazing Memories in Forest Lake, along with Matthew’s parents, bought the historic bar this summer, the team has been working on plans to revitalize a cornerstone of the downtown area. “The Laker,” as locals often called it has had a tenuous history, but Matthew Anderson hopes to change all that come this winter with a new layout, a fresh new downtown look, and a new name: Fireside Getaway. “We want to make that downtown area look better and cleaner. A bunch of vacant buildings does nothing for downtown,” Matthew said. The building was originally a hotel and bar, and it was last owned and operated as The Forest Laker from 1997 to 2013 by local Pete Paidar. Since then, the property across from Lakeside Memorial Park has largely remained unoccupied, but it has a prime location near Lakeside Memorial Park that Matthew is first really excited about. “Personally, we think that part of town is a great place, right off the lake. You can come right off the lake in the boats. It’s a good location,” Matthew said. The Andersons and Harrer hope that prime lakeside location will become a beacon to park visitors and boaters by creating a warm dining atmosphere, one reflected in the name Fireside Getaway. “The goal is to have nice fireplaces inside to sit around and eat, so it’s a warm comfortable welcoming environment,” Matthew said. “Nothing is more relaxing to us than sitting by a bonfire, or a fire inside your house, so we gravitate toward that.” While official floor plans are still being finalized, Matthew said the amount of interior restructuring is pretty minimal.“A lot of it is just outdated and cosmetic work,” Matthew said, noting that the building itself is decent condition. However, renovation doesn’t scare off the Anderson family, as they all have experience in renovating homes and other businesses. The food will reflect the comfortable atmosphere with reasonably-priced American dishes like steaks and hamburgers.“We’re all working together [on the menu],” Anderson said. “We’re all coming up with food we like, goals we want to achieve with the food, appetizers and everything. With that, we’re going to be working with food vendors and obviously a head chef to create the menu.” If all goes well, the Andersons and Harrer hope to open up Fireside Getaway as early as late this fall or early winter. They are excited to be playing a part in revitalizing Forest Lake’s downtown area and further their investment with the community. “When you drive downtown [U.S Highway] 61, you don’t want to see run down buildings. You want to see a nice clean downtown strip to drive down of businesses and people enjoying them and a place where a community can get together,” Matthew said.

Hannah Davis is the Area Editor at the Forest Lake Times. You can contact her at hannah.davis@ecm-inc.com or (763)233-0709

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