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Marilyn Hagerty: Uptown Lounge in Warren, Minn., means good service, everyday favorites

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If you are good and hungry at lunch time in nearby Warren, Minn., you can get a beef or pork dinner at the Uptown Lounge and Café.

It's easy to find because it is the only full-service restaurant in town. And it's located right in the heart of the city.

The beef or pork dinner is $8.29. For most people, the half dinner at $6.29 would be enough. That is when you consider the mashed potatoes, brown gravy and dinner roll that come with it.

Choices are plentiful in this restaurant formerly operated by Melody Olson and known as Melody's. Since last October, it has been owned and operated by Lisa Thompson and Cynthia Kaushagen. The two are sisters.

Thompson formerly owned and operated Dee's Kitchen in Thief River Falls for eight years. Now she makes a daily drive to Warren.

The new owners are thinking ahead. They have plans to update the large dining area that seats up to 125 and is popular for group events. And they have been making improvements on the adjacent café area.

We passed by the counter and booths in the café and chose seating in the large dining room when Sue Huus (SH) and I stopped in Warren for lunch. It was during the noon hour and there were several tables full of people who seem to prefer the quiet and space.

Our server, Laci O'Keefe, was excellent. And SH and I agreed a waitress can make or break a visit to a restaurant.

This is a place where customers look for beef or pork every day. They find biscuits and gravy and homemade baked pies. Some customers call ahead and order favorites.

They count on homemade dumplings on Tuesdays, Mexican fare Thursday, Italian food on Friday. During August, they are geared for calls from people working during the harvest. Some order ahead and pick up food to take to the fields.

Uptown Café and Lounge

Warren, Minn.

Telephone: (218) 745-7636

Owner-operators: Lisa Thompson and Cynthia Kaushagen

Hours: 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Report card: Basic, good everyday food at moderate-high prices in large, pleasant facility in the heart of Warren. Service rates an A.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.