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Down-home cookin’ & family dining

The Hut Inn under new ownership

June 25, 2008
The Daily Mining Gazette
KEARSARGE — Local restaurateur John Gervais is excited about the plans he’s got in store for The Hut Inn.

“What we’re trying to do is bring back that good old-fashioned southern-style dining experience,” said Gervais, the new owner of the landmark eatery located off U.S. Highway 41 in Kearsarge.

He relates his ideas to “The Cracker Barrel” restaurants, famous for their mercantile fronts, down-home cooking and front porch rocking chairs.

“We would eventually like to do something like that. Right now we’re working on getting our menu to focus more on home-style, meat and potato kinds of meals,” he added.

Roast beef dinners, chicken fried steak and mashed potatoes are some of the items diners will find on the new menu, as well as some of The Hut’s classics like “The Hut Burger, the Danwich and fresh Lasagna.”

Gervais, who is the former owner of the Goal Post in Lake Linden and the present owner of The Waterfront Restaurant and Upper Deck Lounge in Hancock, said he will also be taking some items from those menus as well.

“We’re going to take a little bit from all three,” he said.

Daily specials are featured at The Hut including a Friday fish fry. Icelandic Cod, Fresh Lake Superior Trout and Whitefish and Canadian Walleye are available. Sunday features the Roast Beef dinner. Large and small portions are available. Homemade sandwiches and hamburgers made from scratch are additional favorites.

“All of our hamburger is fresh. We hand form our patties. Nothing is frozen,” Gervais said.

Also available to customers will be the “Free Meal” on your birthday promotion. That is where on the day of your birthday you go to The Hut, present your picture ID and receive a free meal….ANY Entrée on the menu (excluding the 5 pound Team Burger). “This deal is so big that we did not want to limit it to The Waterfront, people just love it!”

The Hut is also home to Pasty Central. Meat and vegetable pasties are on the menu and available for take-out. Delicious desserts such as milk shakes, malts, Banana Splits and ice cream sundaes as well as Hut classics such as Grasshopper and Mud Pie make the perfect finish to any meal.

Having owned restaurants in the area for over 20 years, Gervais, originally of Lake Linden, has become most noted for his large portions at affordable prices.

“My goal is to make people lose their appetite,” he said. “Everything is large. I can guarantee you won’t leave hungry.”

Diners to The Hut will find a highly skilled and friendly wait staff. Small banquets and parties are also welcome.

Assisting Gervais in running the restaurant is General Manager Katie Koljonen. The Mohawk native was the manager of the Upper Deck and has waitressing experience as a former employee of The Hut.

The Hut Inn was established in 1952 by local resident Paul Hendrickson, who laid the groundwork for what is still today, a favorite family dining spot 1 mile north of Calumet. Famous for its soothing ambiance, the restaurant features trickling waterfalls, an outdoor pond and a large stone fireplace in an air conditioned dining area.

There’s a history of the Copper Country diners will enjoy through the old black and white photographs that decorate the walls. Customers can also make a wish by tossing a penny in the waterfall in the “Wishing Room.”

When Gervais took over the restaurant, he said he cleared out two bus tubs full of pennies.

“We are preparing to make a donation the Make a Wish Foundation,” he said.

The history of the restaurant is a big draw for diners, Gervais said, as is the food.

“A few weeks ago I had a couple come in and say this is where they met 30 years ago. We get a lot of that,” he said. “The people just love it here.”

Since Gervais took over The Hut June 1, he said he’s been doing some interior remodeling and hopes to open a mercantile front in the entryway of the restaurant in the near future.

“We want to sell the old-fashioned candy and fun things like that,” he said. “Not only do we want to draw the tourists, but we want to keep the locals coming back.”

The Hut Inn is located 1 mile north of Calumet off U.S. Highway 41 in Kearsarge. Restaurant hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Large groups of 10 or more are encouraged to make reservations in advance. Call 337-1133.

Editor’s note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by The Hut Inn of Kearsarge. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.

Article Photos

The Hut Inn is shown off U.S. Highway 41 in Kearsarge. The restaurant is now under new ownership.



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