Neighborhood traditionThere was a time not long ago, Kodi Brunner and his fiancee, Casey Ostman, were considering packing their bags and leaving town in search of work.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
There was a time not long ago, Kodi Brunner and his fiancee, Casey Ostman, were considering packing their bags and leaving town in search of work.
Two years later, the Superior couple is working seven days a week to keep alive a tradition in Billings Park after breathing new life into the neighborhood café
The Billings Park Café is bustling again, drawing residents to the heart of the neighborhood business district for breakfast, lunch, dinners and desserts.
The café had been closed for a couple of years when their families brought the shuttered eatery to their attention.
“We’ve been cooking our whole lives and my mom’s always known I wanted my own place,” Brunner said.
So he and Ostman took a look, learned a little bit about its history and decided to give it a shot.
“When the two of them first took over the café in October 2011, they had a long road ahead of them,” said Cheryl Miller, Kodi’s mother.
After all, Miller remembers going to the Billings Park Café as a child when she visited her grandparents.
The building needed to be brought back to code — although most of the damage from a 2002 fire had been repaired by then, Brunner said. The interior needed some remodeling and the couple had to get the kitchen equipment up to code.
For the next six months, the couple rolled up their sleeves and got to work.
“With a lot of elbow grease and some youthful determination, the café opened its doors in March 2012,” Miller said.
“It’s been here a long time and we just wanted to keep a landmark here in Billings Park, Brunner said.
That’s why Brunner retained the name Billings Park Café for the eatery that long served the neighborhood — first as Nelson’s Hardware Store, he said.
“It’s fun,” Brunner said of running the small restaurant. “You get to do your things and see what people think of your own creations. Everybody seems to like it so far.”
It also allows the couple a chance to get to know their customers and give back to the community by holding fundraisers and donating to various causes.
Brunner said he and Ostman developed the menu, starting with multiple recipes.
“These kids work very hard to provide a clean, family-friendly environment,” Miller said. “They are both great cooks and can put out some great food with huge quantities at a great price.”
And if someone wants smaller portions, Brunner said they can accommodate that too.
“Sit down, enjoy yourself,” Brunner said. “It’s homemade food.”
The café is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. A fish fry is served Fridays and prime rib is on the menu Saturdays.
Call 715-392-3222, stop by at 1802 Iowa Ave., or visit them on Facebook.