Churchill St. aims to bring good food, community to Shoreview

·2 min read

Sep. 17—Carly Gatzlaff has lived in Shoreview for more than 10 years and loves the community — but has just one beef.

"From the day I moved here, I complained that there weren't any good restaurants," she said.

Gatzlaff, a former home ec teacher and fashion designer with no formal experience owning a restaurant, is putting her money where her mouth is and opening a restaurant, Churchill St., in the former C & E Hardware building off of Minnesota 96 and Lexington Avenue, at the end of October.

Gatzlaff isn't going it alone, though. She's hired Northland Consulting, which consists of former Bachelor Farmer pros — chef Johnathan Gans and manager Josh Hoyt. The vision is an employee-friendly, environment-friendly eatery with "real, good food."

The team has hired chef Aaron Marthaler, who grew up in Eau Claire, Wis., before going to culinary school in San Francisco. His résumé includes working under award-winning chef Dan Hunter in Australia and stints at The French Laundry and other restaurants in Napa Valley.

The eventual goal is for Churchill St. to be the first B-Corporation restaurant in Minnesota. The definition of a B-Corporation is a "business that balances purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment," according to the group's website. Gatzlaff said a business has to operate for 12 months before it can gain the certification, but she's planning to include sustainability, a healthy work environment — which means health care for those who work more than 25 hours a week and humane hours — from the outset.

To that end, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but will close by 9 p.m. each night to offer earlier bedtimes and more family time for employees.

As for the menu, Gatzlaff said she's been describing it as "food you'd get at Alma, but in a more casual environment." Alma is James Beard-award-winning chef Alex Roberts' restaurant in Minneapolis. Churchill St. will employ a counter-service model, but there will be a full bar with "amazing cocktails, beer and wine." There will be a to-go counter for quick pickups, a full coffee program and even a little market where the restaurant can sell not only its goods but also high-end charcuterie and other products that are hard to find in the Shoreview area.

There will be about 100 seats inside the restaurant and an additional 40 outside, in a covered area that was once used as a lumber yard.

"In general, I'm trying to build a great place for the community," Gatzlaff said. "It's going to be very community-focused but also a great place for employees to work."

Churchill St: 4606 Churchill St., Shoreview; churchillst.com

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