Transporting customers SomeWhere Else

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, February 23, 2019

CONGER — A lot can happen in a year. SomeWhere Else Bar and Grill in Conger is no exception.

Machelle Steinke bought the bar in December 2017 and has been broadening horizons through the place ever since.

The previous owners sold burgers at the bar, but Steinke said the menu has been added to since she took over.

Email newsletter signup

“We’ve expanded quite a bit,” she said.

The bar opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at 10 a.m. Sunday. Closing time depends on how busy the bar is at night. In addition to burgers, SomeWhere Else is known for its pizzas and flatbreads, as well as different menu items such as gyros, Steinke said, and has an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday for $7.95. Different specials are offered each weeknight: burgers on Monday, barbecue ribs Tuesday, wings Wednesday, tacos Thursday and shrimp and fish on Friday. Wednesdays are steak nights as well during the summer, and once a month during the winter. Different specials are also offered each week for noon lunches. There are specials for Minnesota Vikings game days, as well as bingo and meat bingo days.

Mandy Fure helps run SomeWhere Else Bar and Grill in Conger, which is owned by her mother, Machelle Steinke. Colleen Harrison/Albert Lea Tribune

A previous owner of Berma’s in Kiester and ShellDan’s in Scarville, Iowa, Steinke said the Conger bar came up for sale after she sold Berma’s.

Steinke and her partner, Dan Meyers, split their time between Kiester and Florida. They’ve been in Florida more recently for Meyers to undergo cancer treatment. In the meantime, Steinke’s daughter, Mandy Fure, has managed SomeWhere Else, as she has been working with her mother in their restaurant and bar endeavors for about nine years.

“Mandy’s taken over for me, thank goodness,” Steinke said.

How has it been in Conger the past year?

“I love it there,” Steinke said. “The people are great; it’s a great little place.

“Everyone has been incredible. I’m down here (in Florida) and I miss them.”

“I love the people around here,” Fure said.

The transition went over well for the business, and Steinke said it didn’t have to close at all during the change in ownership.

In addition to an expanded menu, being open on Sundays and offering catering, SomeWhere Else has a different look since Steinke bought the place. The inside is now decorated with a tropical beach theme — the walls are painted with “friendly and happy colors” such as teal and baby blue, with different beach decorations adorning the walls. The floors were redone, and Steinke said they plan to add a patio this year, along with other surprises they have up their sleeves.

The reason for the tropical decor? To give people somewhere to escape to, even if just for an hour at lunch.

“It’s somewhere else,” Steinke said.

By the Numbers

9 – Years Mandy Fure has worked with her mother in the restaurant and bar business

40+ – Hours Fure works each week at SomeWhere Else Bar and Grill

7 – Days a week the bar and grill is open


About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

email author More by Colleen