Small business spotlight: The Local Bar & Grille
The Local Bar & Grille in Ashland is a bit of a chameleon: It has a casual atmosphere, a bar with lots of TVs playing sports, space to host events, and a menu that ranges from cheese curds to crab oscar filet mignon.
“We try to check all the boxes,” co-owner Natalie Skinnes said.
The restaurant is on the Chequamegon Bay Golf Course in a building that used to house the Elks Club.
“My husband and then our partner and chef, we’ve all been in hospitality our whole lives, working for large corporations opening restaurants all across the country,” Skinnes said. “And we decided finally when this place was available, let’s take the leap and do it.”
The Local opened in Dec. 2021 and has stayed committed to the name.
“We are 100 percent community-focused,” Skinnes said, “and that includes our team that obviously is a part of this community as well. So since we’ve opened, we’ve been heavily committed to paying fairly.”
They also close early on the fourth Monday of every month for staff appreciation and to do community outreach.
And people are taking notice. The Local was named one of “America’s Best Restaurants” and will have a film crew there in March to produce a 30-minute episode.
“It’s a huge honor,” Skinnes said. “It’s based really off of our customers feedback, Google reviews, social media, things like that. So really thankful for the community support that we’ve experienced since we’ve opened.”
They make seasonal adjustments to the menu 3-4 times per year and are looking forward to hosting a “Dinner with Santa” on Dec. 8 and 9. They also still have openings for holiday party gatherings.