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THE EATBEAT: New sports bar in Crookston provides pleasant lunch with great service

Marilyn Hagerty

“My name is Rachel, and I’ll be your waitress today.”

With that welcome, we launched into a very pleasant lunch with great service at the relatively new Drafts Sports Bar and Grill in Crookston. It’s conveniently close to the Crookston Sports Center.

My lunch companions were Susie Shaft (SS), Suzan Huus (SH) and Donna Gillig (DG). We found the menu full of inviting choices and the restaurant willing to accommodate requests for splitting sandwiches. Soup of the day was barbecued beef and vegetable along with a pepper ale beer cheese soup.

I found the pepper ale beer soup very good and half a burger I shared with DG was just right. That is, when you consider we also investigated the very inviting dessert menu.

Drafts has a $7 express lunch of soup and salad or soup and sandwich as well as lunch chicken fettuccini. Soup choice of the day along with pepper ale was Texas red chili.

There are burgers, Dagwood sandwiches, chicken and buffalo wraps. All of these and more are available on the extensive menu.

The full dinner menu includes sandwiches, greens, pasta and entrees including chicken ($13), sirloin ($14 to 16), ribs ($14, $15), walleye ($15) and ribeye steak ($18).

The restaurant has a dining room, a sports bar and a beautiful, well equipped kitchen. It’s a kitchen management is proud to show to visitors.

We bypassed the lounge and chose a booth in the dining area. There we were impressed by the colorful décor. However, we found the acoustics in that area made it hard to hear.

We studied the extensive menu with the thought of future stops on the way to or from the lakes of Minnesota. The location on Fisher Avenue – the Highway 2 bypass –is one that many people know as a way to hookup with the main highway.

We ended our lunch at Drafts sharing a very large and luscious toffee brownie. SS and SH agreed this alone was good enough to call us back.

Drafts has been open almost a year. It was built by Brent and Jasmine Melsa, who both had been in management of businesses and attained training in restaurant school.

Jasmine Melsa said, “We wanted to work for ourselves, and this is going good. We chose the location because of the nearby sports center and the lake traffic.”

Drafts Sports Bar & Grill

925 Fisher Ave., Crookston

Owner-operators: Brent and Jasmine Melsa

Restaurant hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Seating inside for 175 plus outdoor summer patio

Reservations: 218-281-1183

Report card: Prices are reasonable, surroundings are beautiful, acoustics are a problem in dining area. Menu is appealing. An extra dimension to dining in Crookston.

Wings and burgers are best sellers.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at or by telephone at 701-772-1055