Restaurant goers excited about opening of Green Mill

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 10, 2003

Albert Lea restaurant patrons will have a wider variety of eats come Monday.

The beginning of next week will mark the grand opening of the new Green Mill Restaurant on East Main Street. The restaurant will be the second national eatery to open in Albert Lea in the last two years, and from the sights and sounds outside of their free pizza giveaway Tuesday, it will bring in customers.

The new restaurant, a Twin Cities-based chain, has 33 locations throughout the Midwest, but according to one of the store managers, Russ Holthaus, the new Albert Lea store will be only the second in the chain with its own brewery.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;We’ll have six store-made microbrews and an extensive menu,&uot; he said. In addition to pizza, the restaurant will also deliver its full menu, which includes other restaurant fare like appetizers, sandwiches and pasta.

For Mike Woitas, the general manager of the Country Inn and Suites, next to the Green Mill, the restaurant is a welcome addition.

&uot;It’s good for all the local hotels,&uot; he said. &uot;It gives us one more place to send our customers, and for us, it’s a place that’s just outside of our door.&uot;

Tuesday afternoon, a Green Mill trailer was parked in the lot in front of Woitas’ hotel. Workers handed out slices of pizza and cans of soda free to anyone who walked up.

&uot;Green Mill pizza is great,&uot; Andy Hansen, 16, of Austin, said. Hansen eats in Albert Lea occasionally, and said that the new restaurant will likely bring him here more.

Around 4:30 p.m a van full of children pulled into the lot, parked, and nine youngsters and a woman jumped out the doors and went to get their free slice.

&uot;It’ll be nice to have another restaurant in town,&uot; the driver of the van, Rosanne Holcomb of Albert Lea, said. The mother of five children said having a family-style pizza place will make for more variety.

When asked if she thought the new restaurant might hurt other local restaurants, Holcomb replied, &uot;If anything, it should help them. The more restaurants, the more variety. More variety will mean that people will want to eat out more, and won’t get sick of eating at the same restaurants all the time.&uot;