MARSHALL - A landmark building in Marshall that has been home to the Landmark Bistro for seven years is changing hands and will be officially under new ownership at the grand opening on Thursday, Aug. 16.
Kurt Struwe, a culinology professor at Southwest Minnesota State University, has arranged to buy the restaurant from the Schwan Food Co. Struwe will take a year's leave of absence from SMSU to ensure a smooth transition.
"This is a great thing for the community and the university, helping to revitalize downtown," Struwe said. "We're already working with other businesses."
The transfer of ownership has flown under the radar until recently. Struwe and Schwan representative Jeff Thompson, senior director of real estate and facility management, would only confirm that talks have been going on for "a long time."
According to Thompson, the Schwan Food Co. acquired the building, which was originally the historic New Atlantic Hotel and completed in 1926, on the corner of Main Street and College Drive, renovated the building and opened the restaurant in April 2005. The restaurant has seating for about 120 people and has a staff of about 30.
Struwe's previous ventures into the restaurant business in Marshall include opening the student-run one-night-a-week restaurant Trattoria Caldo in the culinology department at SMSU. The restaurant was only open in the spring and filled a need for an Italian restaurant in Marshall.
"They really liked Trattoria Caldo," Struwe said. "So many people were talking about it and asking why we didn't have it in town, and now we do."
But, Struwe said, it won't be just Italian. There'll be a selection of American food - steak dinners, salads, sandwiches, and a kids meal. The current plan is for the restaurant to be open from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. seven days a week for lunch with the same menu plus some lunch specials. Dinner hours will be from 5-10 p.m. with a late night menu and happy hour, and Struwe said he wants to stay open later on weekends.
The restaurant will offer internships to SMSU students in the culinology and hospitality programs.
"And all students in the community are welcome to apply," Struwe said. "We're planning for a fun atmosphere."