New restaurant opens in downtown Albert Lea

Published 5:43 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

By Rachel Campbell, for the Tribune

Albert Lea has welcomed several new small businesses this year, including Harbor Freight, Jersey Mike’s, Scooter’s and now Bader’s Cafe. 

This new restaurant is in the middle of town on 115 E. Clark St., in the former location of Grandma’s Kitchen. 

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Bader’s Cafe is run by Mark Bader, who has a love for cooking, along with his fiancee, Joy Johnson. Both Bader and Johnson were born in Minnesota, moving to Albert Lea together in 2007. 

Johnson, who he has been engaged to for almost 18 years, takes care of the front of the restaurant and the guests. She takes care of the tables while giving people a welcoming smile. 

Bader stands behind the stove, in his happy place, cooking all the food for each customer. 

Bader said he has run restaurants before and finds his happiness in the kitchen. Unfortunately when COVID-19 hit, the couple said they lost their happiness along with so many others in our community. Wanting to find it again, they opened Bader’s Cafe to begin anew. 

Bader said if his business continues to do well, he will be able to hire more staff and expand his equipment. 

His restaurant’s employees are currently family members, who wish to help and support his endeavor. When he’s ready to hire new employees, he hopes to find hard workers that will help him become successful. 

One day he also hopes to pass down the cafe to his grandchildren. 

Bader’s Cafe offers a breakfast and lunch menu from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. They also have a kids menu, serving small french toast, chicken strips, one slice of cake and more. Bader’s Cafe has a lot of options on the menu for eggs — eggs with link, patties, ham and steak,and fried country steak, among others. The farmer’s skillet is the most popular.