By Sonja Kosler
The Station House Restaurant was recently closed for a few days while new owners, Robbie and Jeff Paridon, worked on some changes in the library seating area of the restaurant.
Customers visiting the library for the grand re-opening will see a baby grand piano and a small service bar. Jeff says he expects to have light piano music played on weekend evenings. The current lounge area hours will be expanded and the atmosphere there will lean to blues and jazz.
A business move brought Jeff and Robbie to the Perham area in 1994. They had been living in a small town near Akron, Ohio. Robbie says that when settling in Perham, family members felt "this is it".
The family now includes Bryan, 20, who is in school in Bemidji; '08 PHS graduate Adam, 18, who attends St. John's in Collegeville; Madison, 15, attending PHS; and 9-year-old twin daughters Madeline and Victoria who attend St. Henry's.
The family also includes eight birds. A parrot was acquired about three years ago at the annual exotic animal auction at the stockyard, followed by a pair of parakeets. Last winter the female parakeet started laying eggs. Around Thanksgiving five baby birds hatched and joined the family.
Jeff is looking forward to "getting to spend time with my family and see people here in town instead of being on the road." He says he'll be working in the background attempting to fill Don Kennedy's "enormous shoes". He'll also try to follow Don's tradition of wearing shorts for much of the year. Jeff says he cooks at home and "loves to cook because I love to eat!"
Robbie doesn't enjoy cooking as much as her baking. She is a familiar face to regular customers. She's been employed at the Station House for three years, the last two as manager. Robbie hopes to bring customers the same warm welcome her family received when they moved to Perham.
Jeff and Robbie don't anticipate any major changes at the Station House. As Jeff says, it will be their job to "maintain the same high standards as the Kennedys."