Written by John Plestina
The new owners of the long-established Old Town Grill on U.S. Hwy. 2 at Third Avenue North are familiar faces in the restaurant.
Brad and Dee Dee Iwen became the owners of the 35-year-old restaurant Dec. 1, 2013. Dee Dee Iwen, who more recently worked as a counselor at Northside School, and her daughters, Ashley and Lindsay Iwen, all worked in the restaurant prior to purchasing it.
Brad Iwen is a teacher at Fort Peck Community College in Poplar and owns a construction business. He also works part-time in the restaurant.
The business is a family affair with mother and both daughters working nearly every day.
“We changed ownership real quick and we decided to keep the name,” Dee Dee Iwen said.
The restaurant has operated with the Old Town Grill name for several years. It opened in 1979 as the Burger Kitchen with dine-in and car hop service.
The Old Town Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and includes American and Mexican entrees.
Barbecued ribs cooked in a pressure cooker are now offered and are cooked in a smoker.
“Most people — their ribs aren’t smoked. They’re just baked. Mine are smoked,” Brad Iwen said.
Homemade ice cream and pies that Lindsay Iwen makes are served and are available for sale.
Before the Iwens bought the Old Town Grill, desserts were not offered.
Several employees of the restaurant stayed on after the sale. Laurie Lien is a server who has worked in the restaurant since it opened in 1979.
“I call her our glue. She holds everything together. She’s a wonderful asset,” Dee Dee Iwen said.
Breakfast cook Jesse Johnson is the son of the former owner.
The Iwens are not new to business in Wolf Point. They owned the Hi-Way Market grocery store for 10 years. Brad Iwen’s grandmother previously owned it.
“That’s where we got our experience in food service,” he said.
The Iwens are considering adding broasted chicken to the menu. That, and the homemade ice cream and pies are all Brad I-wen’s grandmother’s recipes and were sold in the Hi-Way Market.