‘Gramma’s’ will be new downtown restaurant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 5, 2002

The words &uot;Gramma’s Kitchen&uot; evoke thoughts of old-fashioned comfort and homemade dishes &045; exactly what Elizabeth Westlake aims to provide her diners.

Westlake is the new owner of the 128-year-old Rexall Drug building on the corner of Broadway and Clark streets in Albert Lea. Since mid-April she has been working with contractors to transform the building into a working restaurant.

Gramma’s Kitchen has undergone extensive work already, with the addition of a kitchen and handicapped-accessible restrooms, and Westlake hopes to open the doors on July 1.

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The restaurant will mainly serve soups, salads and a daily lunch special, all homemade. Westlake also plans to offer pastries and cakes as a dessert or an accompaniment to afternoon coffee. Her proposed hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

She’s planning an antique theme for the decorations, with details like historic kitchen utensils on the walls and a spinning wheel for the dining floor.

Westlake stressed that the restaurant would be very affordable and also available for rental by private parties.

She also feels downtown Albert Lea is in need of a new restaurant and plans to contribute to revitalization efforts by contacting charter tour groups.

&uot;I’ve always worked in food service and it was a long-term dream to own a restaurant,&uot; Westlake said.