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A good time for Perham eateries: Pine Island Fish Company opens doors as Michelangelo's opens second location

Kellie and Jake Smith have opened their Pine Island Fish Company restaurant in downtown Perham. Brian Hansel/FOCUS

A type of dining experience not shared by many Minnesota communities has dropped anchor in Perham.

The Pine Island Fish Company opened Sept. 25 at 165 W. Main.

Given the fact that Jake and Kellie Smith, the owners, have both spent plenty of time on the water, a restaurant featuring fish is not a shocker. Jake, who grew up in Perham, worked for many years as a fishing boat skipper. He met his wife when she moved up from Colorado to run her parents' resort near Frazee.

The Smiths were already operating a catering business they call "Destination Dining", so when the restaurant idea popped up, they already had most of the staff they needed. They wanted to open Aug. 4 at 165 Main Street, the former Whisk from Scratch Coffee House, but a full kitchen remodel pushed the opening date back to the final week of September.

The business is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. They are closed Sunday and Monday at this time. They have a breakfast and lunch menu and in the evenings they serve "small plates" along with drinks from their bar.

"It's a great place for business lunches," Kellie said.

Michelangelo's to open place in Park Rapids

The owners of Michelangelo's Take and Bake Pizza have a spot picked out in Park Rapids for their second restaurant.

"We've owned Michelangelo's in Perham for five years, and we're adding a second location," Owner Cameron Wedde said.

Cameron and his mother, Maryann, have purchased a building at 207 Park Ave. South. It is located on Highway 71 just north of the Arvig Building.

The Weddes would like to open their second restaurant before the end of the year, but the Department of Health has something to say about the timetable.

"It's a lengthy, expensive program," Wedde said.

Park Rapids is quite similar to Perham according to Wedde, catering to a great number of tourists.

The new restaurant will need 6-12 employees to operate. In addition to pizza, Michelangelo's serve sandwiches, subs and salads.

Michelangelo's has been part of the Perham business community for 13 years.

"Perham has been a great town to do business in," Wedde added.