Stub & Herbs reopens under new ownership

The space underwent large-scale renovations, including flat-screen TVs and a new menu.

Kelly Gulbrandson

After a two-and-a-half-week renovation under new ownership, Stub & Herbs Drinking and Dining Emporium in Stadium Village celebrated its grand reopening over the weekend.

Justin Zavadil, one of the new owners, said he and co-owners Josh Zavadil and Ryan Oberlander began renovating the restaurant after they bought it in August.

“We have completely cleaned up the place,” he said.

The renovations included overhauling the kitchen, adding flat-screen TVs, redoing floors, repainting walls and adding a new menu, Zavadil said.

“We think the food is drastically better,” he said.

The restaurant’s beer selection has also changed. The tap selection includes only domestic, local beers but other bottled beers are still offered.

Sue Jeffers, the previous owner of Stub & Herbs for more than 30 years, said she sold it because she didn’t have the energy to invest in the renovations the restaurant would need when the new football stadium opened.

She said she had hundreds of offers from potential buyers.

“I never even listed the restaurant with a broker,” she said. “It was all word of mouth.”

The restaurant industry is “ever-changing,” Jeffers said.

“It takes a unique person to run an independent restaurant,” she added.

The difference between owning an independent restaurant and owning a chain restaurant franchise is the amount of risk involved, Jeffers explained.

She said an independent restaurant owner takes all the risk with new drinks and menus, while chain restaurants have “deep pockets,” so they can afford to take risks with new things.

Jim Rosvold, past president and spokesman for the Stadium Village Commercial Association, said he likes the restaurant’s new renovations.

“They have a long-standing tradition in the area.”

Profits have increased 60 percent this September compared to last September,

Zavadil said, which could be attributed to the cleanup of the restaurant.

“I think everybody’s kind of commenting about how it doesn’t smell anymore,” Zavadil said.

English sophomore Nik Houg said he went to Stub & Herbs one time last year, but it was dirty.

He said he prefers the Dinkytowner Cafe because of the low-key atmosphere and the drink specials. However, he said the change in Stub & Herbs beer selection is a good thing.

Second-year aerospace engineering graduate student Todd Novak said he goes to Stub & Herbs three times a week to meet with friends or study, because it’s close to where he works.

The place “needed a facelift,” Novak said. He said he knows a lot of the employees and has noticed an increased number of customers since it reopened.

In the future, Zavadil said he and his partners plan to raffle off Gopher hockey tickets and hold special events when the new football stadium is completed.

“We hope to have a big parking lot to have a tailgating party,” he said.