Valeri Diller, owner of Valeri Ann’s Family Foods, recently expanded her businesses in the Merrifield area. She took over the former Merrifield Diner next door and reopened May 23 as The Olde Uptown Diner.
Valeri Ann’s Family Foods and the diner are on the north side of Merrifield on County Road 3. Diller said many people think they are located in the little downtown area of Merrifield.
“I say, ‘No, not downtown, you have to go a little bit uptown,’” she said.
The diner focuses on classic breakfasts and home cooking. The Olde Uptown Diner has five employees and is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays.
Diller opened Valeri Ann’s Family Foods in October 2011. The business sells individually packed home-cooked meals, which include meat, potato and vegetable, and are available fresh on cooking days or frozen, as well as pizza.
Also, Tony Carter, a former owner of Rachel’s Bakery in downtown Nisswa, makes doughnuts from scratch at Valeri Ann’s Family Foods and sells them under the name Tony’s Donuts. They’re available Tuesdays through Sundays.
New owners Bob Komischke and Mike Cosert recently opened the Northwoods Inne in Ossipee. That restaurant most recently was Bobber’s Restaurant, and before that was the Northwoods Inn, which was known for its prime rib dinners.
Komischke and Cosert have been in the restaurant business all their lives. Most recently, Komischke was the general manager at Manhattan Beach Lodge from 1998-2008, and Cosert was the chef at Norway Ridge Supper Club from 2002-12.
They purchased the business in April and opened May 28.
Komischke said the Northwoods Inn was always a popular place for him to go with his family, and now he and Cosert are trying to bring the restaurant back to its roots.
Prime rib is one of the main features of their menu, which focuses on classic comfort food made from scratch.
“We are trying to create that feel of a place you can go and get a good dinner that’s made by someone for you, not just something that’s reheated,” Komischke said.
They are working with another local business, the Jack Pine Brewery in Brainerd, and using its Duck Pond Nut Brown Ale in their beer cheese soup and in beer batter for onion rings, walleye and shrimp.
The Northwoods Inne opens at 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. The restaurant has a staff of 13 and plans are to be open year-round.