Beermann’s to reopen March as … Beermann’s

New owners decide against operating a franchise
By: Carol Feineman News Messenger Editor
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The Lincoln father/mother/son team bringing a new restaurant to 645 5th St., the site of the former Beermann’s restaurant, has decided against opening a Cool Hand Luke’s. Instead, Mike and Kelly Drust, and their son, John Drust, will open a steak house, which will also be called Beermann’s, by mid March. The Drusts decided against the Cool Hand Luke’s franchise two months ago because “as a non-franchise, we can change our menu to what the public and our guests want,” Mike Drust said this week. “I hired some very good cooks who have been in the full-restaurant business,” Mike Drust said. “They have helped me develop a very good menu.” The new Beermann’s menu will include steak, fish, chicken, country-fried steak and gravy, pork chops and salads, served daily for lunch and dinner, according to the Drusts. Plus there will be wine, beer and spirits. But steak will be the main event. “When I want a steak, I have to leave Lincoln,” Mike Drust said. “I love going to Mimi’s. Casa Ramos is very good. But to have a steak, I have to go to Rocklin, Roseville or cook it at home.” Formerly the Round Table manager in Auburn for 23 years, Mike Drust “started considering opening a restaurant in Lincoln” two years ago. He has hired three cooks so far and plans on “a lot of hiring,” which will include a total of about 50 cooks, waitresses, bartenders, bus crew and dishwashers by March. Beermann’s Restaurant will be a family affair. While Mike Drurst will be in charge of the restaurant, his son will be in charge of live music and entertainment on Beermann’s second and third floor, Thursdays and Fridays for starters. And Kelly Drust will be the bookkeeper and a hostess. The Drusts plan on hosting parties of all sizes, weddings, bar mitzvahs and business meetings. Mike Drust said that Diane Burke of Simple Pleasures restaurant, which is across the street, will cater those events. “We’re all excited about Beermann’s reopening and having another owner who will do a good job,” said Aaron Burke, Simple Pleasure’s floor manager. “It’s good for the town and for businesses. Beermann’s is another beautiful facility for people to have events.” The Drusts were repeat customers at the former Beermann’s a decade ago. Enjoying a meal there as a customer is a far cry from reviving the once popular venue that closed six years ago. But the Drusts are up for the monumental task. “We want to bring the building back to life after it has been sitting there empty for six years,” Mike Drust said. “It’s a huge undertaking. But I’ve been in the restaurant business for 40 years. I know what I can do and how I can motivate people. Times are lean but they will go up.”