RED RIVER ROAD TRIP: Greenbush: At the town’s only restaurant, they know what you like
GREENBUSH, Minn. — Tucked back into the corner of Main Street North is a place that’ll take you back more than 60 years. Decorated from floor to ceiling in Coca-Cola, Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop memorabilia is one of the cities only restaurants, Twins Rockin’ 50’s Cafe.
“I always loved retro ‘50s and ‘60s stuff,” said the cafe’s owner, Sonia Lee.
After working at nearby Marvin Windows and Polaris factories for years, Lee and her twin sister decided to open a restaurant in Badger, Minn., called Twins Corner Cafe. It too, was filled with retro decorations. When Lee noticed a building had opened up on Main Street in Greenbush, she jumped at the opportunity to open a restaurant on her own.
“I did it because I love cooking and I love baking,” said Lee with a smile.
Now, the restaurant has been up and running for nine years.
Lee said she not only tries to keep prices low and have a variety of daily specials, she makes all her bread and baked goodies in house.
“My favorite part of the restaurant is meeting the new people that come in and baking different things,” said Lee. “Plus, we have a great staff here. They’re all from in town. They could actually all walk to work, it’s pretty small.”
Tyler Campbell, 24, started working as a cook at Twins Rockin’ 50’s Cafe when he was 15 — and he never left. He is one of two currently employed at the restaurant.
“I am currently a second grade teacher at Middle River School. I have summers off so this is the perfect summer job,” he said. Though he loves the staff and his boss, Campbell said his favorite part of working at the restaurant is all the regulars.
“Oh gosh yeah,” he said. “Like our coffee guys we have every morning, some of them are in here four or five times a day. They come in during their break or whatever. It’s funny because sometimes I see somebody walking in and I already know what they’re going to get. Like, I’ve already put it on before they even tell the waitress.”
“Some of the regulars have known me since I was a kid,” said Lee, “some of my old teachers and kids I used to babysit come in, too.”
The regulars love it just as much as the staff does. AJ and Marlene Pulczinski, who owned a restaurant in the same building a few years before, said they come in at least three times per week.
“Right now, it’s pretty much the only restaurant in town,” said AJ Pulczinski. “But we come here because the food is good and the service is fast.”
“It’s been a pretty popular eating place ever since it was built I think,” said Marlene Pulczinski.
Twins Rockin’ 50’s Cafe is open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“It’s a small community, family restaurant,” said Campbell, “I love it here and so do the customers.”
Greenbush has a variety of things to do during both winter and summer. The town has its own pool, golf course and skate park. It also has a few parks and a library.
“It’s a town where everybody knows everybody,” said Lee.
- The name of the town comes from the Ojibwe words “Sha Ach Wah.” That means “spruce tree” or “green bush” and describes a stand of spruce trees near the original town site.
- Greenbush had a population of 712 in 2012.
- Residents once moved the entire town three miles. It was originally settled in 1898 on a ridge on the shores of glacial Lake Agassiz. In 1904, when the Great Northern Railroad expanded to the area but didn’t reach the old town, residents moved all the buildings to be closer to the tracks. One merchant reportedly stayed open during the three weeks that it took for horses to pull his building over rolling logs to the new town site. New Greenbush became incorporated in 1905. A few years later, the railroad expanded north and went through the old town site.
- Well known Green Bush natives include: Dennis Brazier, who founded Central Boiler, which makes furnaces and lawnmowers in town; his brother Glen Brazier, the founder of Mattracks, which makes track systems for a variety of vehicles in nearby Karlstad, Minn.; Dave Thompson, Jim Bernat, Larry Coltom, Dave Wahl and Durmont Wahl, all inducted into the Snowmobile Hall of Fame.
- Located in southwest Roseau County, Greenbush is about 95 miles by road from Grand Forks.
- For more on the history of Greenbush, the town’s Centennial Book is online at bit.ly/UtWpLL.