Food and favorite dining spots have a way of elevating a night out with friends, new and old. And a good cut of a prime rib can conjure memories of a classic blast-from-the-past supper club—something Brookside Bar & Grill in Marine on St. Croix knows a little bit about.
“Everybody had been asking for it back,” co-owner, front-of-house manager and bartender Rosetta “Rosie” Peters says of the Brookside prime rib—a feature that headlined the menu of Brookside’s “New Year, New Beginnings” celebration this past New Year’s Eve. “I viewed our reopening celebration as the way to bring that back, to show to our long-time customers that we’re listening to the things they love about ‘The Brook.’ Plus, he’s known for his prime rib,” Peters says, pointing to Brookside co-owner, kitchen manager and lead cook Grayson Taylor.
“When it’s done right, people will always remember it,” Taylor says. Taylor has been working in the kitchen at Brookside for 10 years and dreamed about owning a restaurant, though it happened sooner than he envisioned.
Brookside is a St. Croix Valley staple and has seen many iterations since its founding as a creamery in 1930. In early 2022, Taylor’s relative stepped in as owner, and a loose agreement was put in place for Peters and Taylor to take over Brookside five years down the road. But in late 2022, plans were expedited. The pair reached out to “newer” locals, Jeremy Chacich and Ross Higgins, who were enthusiastic about becoming co-owners, and by December 21, the change in ownership was complete.
All four co-owners bring their own skills to the table. “Not one of us is that unicorn,” Chacich says. “It really is about all of us.” Chacich and Higgins made the move out to Marine on St. Croix from Minneapolis during the pandemic and dove headlong into becoming a part of the tight-knit community. “We moved in and committed to each other and to Marine that we were going to be part of this community. We started making Brookside part of our routine, along with volunteering in the neighborhood, meeting and learning from local business owners. When this opportunity to partner with Rosie and Grayson came about it was an easy decision.”
Higgins brings business development and operations skills to the mix. “We’re in a position where we can experiment a little, make small tweaks and measure the outcome,” Higgins says. “People are so loving and loyal to our business. They’ve been coming here for decades. Everyone knows everyone, and new guests are welcomed like family.”
Though prime rib only comes out for special occasions, there’s so much to enjoy at Brookside. Summer is about the patio. With live music every weekend, bingo and a seasonal menu, the new owners say their business is, and always will be, about bringing people together. You’ll see proof on their Drink Board, a spot to “leave a drink for someone.” In case you missed your neighbor, you can prepay for their drink and write their name on the wall, so it’s the first thing they see when they settle in at Brookside.