14351 Nicollet Court, Burnsville, MN 952-435-2867
Ernie's Pub & Grille was founded on simple principles. In order to have a better understanding of those principles, it's important to know "the rest of the story", which, in this case is the story about how we arrived at the name.
So, grab a glass of wine, beer or a soda and sit back and enjoy this. . .
My name is John. Along with Bryan, we own Ernie's. We've both been in the business for a long time--over 50 year of combined experience. Bryan always wanted his own bar and I always wanted to have my own restaurant. In the Spring of 2010, we had a conversation that inclued the typical "we're not getting any younger" conclusion and we started bantering back and forth about actually doing something about it. We started developing a menu, began to develop a business plan, made calls, researched the legal aspects and all of the other things that go into creating a new business.
Then came the question, "Where we gonna put it?".
Flash back to the Winter of 2009/2010. Remember that one? Yep, the worst Winter in decades! Bryan has roots in Florida and we've both been to Arizona and California, so having been completely fed up with Winter in general, we looked at properties in. . . well, let's just say we looked in warmer climates! Then, we happened to notice that our current location was vacant. That was around April of 2011.
We contacted the real estate agent and scheduled a showing of the property. While it's off the beaten path, which we knew could be problematic, we liked the space and felt it had a lot of potential for the kind of place we both wanted. By that point, the menu was essentially finalized, the business plan was complete, so we started the ball rolling on lease negotiations.
Flash forward a month. We still were in negotiations, knew what we wanted in terms of the "feel" of the place, but still hadn't decided on a name. We liked the word "Grille" because of the nostalgia associated with that spelling of the word. We liked the word "Pub" because at it's basic root, it's English slang for a "Public House" where neighbors and friends would feel comfortable and want to gather.
So, it's May of 2011 and area Garden Shops are open. I'm looking for some plants for my window boxes and I see a lady with a fairly disgruntled look on her face as she reads the label on a flower. Having learned a bit about gardening from my Father, I offered my two cents to the lady and suggested an alternative plant that would likely perform better in our climate. She at first looked a bit dumbfounded that I simply walked up to here and started a conversation, but she soon felt comfortable with my suggestion and put that plant down and picked up the one that I suggested. Feeling modestly cocky at that point, I began to walk away. Barely 5 steps into my departure, I felt hot, flushed, and felt like I was going to pass out. I literally said to myself, "Oh no! I'm becoming my Father!" It's going to sound cliche, but it's true---a few seconds later, a calm serenity came over me like I've rarely experienced. Just about to the point of tears, I continued my conversation with myself and simply said, "I'm OK with that!".
I told Bryan about that experience and he said something to the effect of, "Then it's gotta be Ernie's".
Flattered and again almost in tears, I agreed. If we had created a list of what we really wanted the business to be--in both personal and professional traits, it would include some of the following: Honesty, Integrity, being a good friend, being able to strike up a conversation with anyone, welcoming, interactive, hard-working, enthusiastic, creative, friendly--and many more traits that embody my Father. Traits that I'm now proud of him for having and am thrilled that he's instilled those traits in me! That's the kind of business we wanted to have. Bottom line, we wanted ourselves and our employees to be like my Father. If we could be successful in those areas, the rest would come and our guests would feel the difference.
We announced the name to my Father and Mother along with many friends right after we signed the lease in late August of 2012. Many tears were shed!
We're proud that our employees--including many that have been with us since "day one" are continuing to make us a success by embracing those traits and offering our guests an environment and food that they enjoy--and often tell friends.
On behalf of Bryan and Myself, thanks for allowing us to be part of your community and for your friendships that we have made along the way and those friendships that are yet to begin. We truly are grateful that you allow us to do something that we both enjoy and feel so passionately about continuing.
With the warmest of regards. . .. Thanks!