NEW RICHMOND -- With over 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, David Suddath — owner of the soon to open Mallards — said he and his family are excited to spread the Mallards brand from eastern Minnesota to western Wisconsin.
“My dad started as a dishwasher at Perkins and then 15-20 years later he is a divisional vice president for Buca di Beppo when that was on the rise. He has all that experience working his way up from a dishwasher,” said son and manager of the New Richmond location, Zachery Suddath. “This is a labor of love for our dad and our family, including my mother, Gail, and sister, Olivia. Between me and my sister, you have another 20-plus years of working in this kind of business. When dad was a divisional VP, he had to fly to all these different places and that is why he is so super culturally diverse with all these different types of food.”
That led the Suddaths to create a unique menu for their restaurants that includes regional favorites from across the United States.
“We think we have a very interesting brand right now. You go to a BBQ joint and they are known for BBQ. You go to a Cajun joint and they are known for Cajun food … You have all of these niche flavors, but we do them all as good or better than somewhere that just focuses on their one signature item or type of food,” Suddath said.
Mallards officially marks its opening Oct. 4, at 230 South Knowles Ave.
“We have been trying to figure out what the next step is to grow our brand. One thing led to another that kind of just led us to this building. When we walked in the building, we loved it. We were drawn to the open kitchen and bar, plus this is a cool town. This town doesn’t have a ton of food, just bars and burgers,” Suddath said.
Mallards has locations in Bayport and Forest Lake. The family is also looking at one or two more projects with the Mallards name in the future.
“We have a huge passion for making people happy. I think nine times out of 10 the food coming out of my kitchen is better than the stuff you are eating on the East Coast or West Coast. We get in great ingredients. We are making our own dressings. We are making our own deserts,” Suddath said. “Most everything coming out of the kitchen will be made to order and made fresh. That kind of stuff really makes a big difference as opposed to buying frozen french fries or hamburger patties and cooking them at home.”
Another way Mallards looks to make its customers happy is by bringing a different spin on hospitality and service.
“We are originally from Kansas City … so we do southern hospitality, which is a BBQ in your backyard, make-yourself-at-home type of situation. That is kind of the difference that we are trying to bring to the area,” Suddath said. “Whatever we can do to accommodate people and make them feel at home.”
According to Suddath, Mallards works to give customers an upscale food experience with a casual feel that won’t break the bank.
One of the major changes Mallards will make to the New Richmond restaurant's interior is removing the brewery equipment that was located in rear and replacing it with a garage with pinball machines and games.
“We want to be part of the community. That is something we are really going to be pressing for. We want to be part of anything we can be to help out with the community,” Suddath said.
For more information on Mallards, visit www.mallardsmn.com.