by Jim Boyle
The creators of “Caddyshack,” the movie, grossed more than $40 million in the United States after it hit the silver screen in 1980.
The movie also launched the film career of comedian Rodney Dangerfield, who built his name off his “I get no respect” monologues.
The owners of Caddyshack Bar and Grille in Elk River are hoping for a similar fate. Its creators want to shed the eatery’s image as private diner on a private golf course. The truth of the matter is it’s neither.
The golf course is open to the public, and the restaurant — separate from the golf course — is open to the public, too.
And that’s precisely why the operators of the restaurant decided to try on a new name.
“We wanted something catchy, and something that didn’t sound private,” said Paige Lingman, the food and beverage manager of Caddyshack Bar and Grille.
And while “Caddyshack,” the movie, had Dangerfield as one of its stars, Caddyshack, the restaurant, has the Jucy Lucy.
The first night Dale Dols, the bar and grille’s kitchen manager and head chef, rolled out this burger — before it was even on the menu — 35 were sold by word of mouth. He sold another 1,000-plus of them over the next seven months.
Like all burgers at Caddyshack, the Jucy Lucy is hand-pattied. It also includes a special seasoning and a special sauce that blends with the fresh pickles added to the top of the patty.
“Ours is the best,” Dols said of Caddyshack’s Jucy Lucy. “I’m not trying to toot my own horn. I’m just trying to be honest.”
The Jucy Lucy hamburgers were among the most popular items at the recent Taste of Elk River. That event alone got the restaurant’s juices flowing.
“That really helped,” Lingman said. “We hear from a lot of people that ‘I didn’t know you are out here.’ ”
That’s another one of the restaurant’s hurdles: location. Not being in the heart of downtown Elk River or along one of two stretches of highway within the city gives people pause.
“But we’re only two miles out of the way,” said Chris Singer, the general manager and golf professional at the golf club.
Caddyshack is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. To see it from the road is very deceiving. The establishment overlooks the Elk River Golf Club, providing some of the best vistas of any Elk River restaurant. It also offers patio seating with this same view.
It also offers daily homemade soup specials, and they are advertised on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
People come primarily for the fresh burgers that are handmade to order, and for a selection of salads for those looking for a lighter fare.
The menu tips its hat to Elk River history. Come and see who the Father and Son burger is named after on the menu. Or how about The Coaches burger?
“We just want people to come and try us out,” Dols says. “We think we can hook ’em if we do.”