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Junction 70 Grille in Cottage Grove breaks ground, eyes spring opening

The first holes were dug at the corner of 70th Street and Hinton Avenue for the Junction 70 Grille grounbreaking on Aug. 30. (Bulletin photo by Katie Nelson)1 / 2
Joel Lehman, owner of the future Junction 70 Grille, speaks about his excitement to open the new restaurant in Cottage Grove. (Bulletin photo by Katie Nelson)2 / 2

Junction 70 Grille may not open until next spring, but the first steps to constructing Cottage Grove’s new independently-owned restaurant are underway.

The restaurant is owned by Joel Lehman, Dave Voss and Jason Fleig.

Cottage Grove Economic Development Director Christine Costello estimated a spring opening for the restaurant, depending on the weather.  She also said the building permit was picked up, so construction could begin any time.

“It’s exciting; it’s an adventure,” Lehman said. “To watch it come up will be great.”

Lehman said that Junction 70 Grille will be similar to his Eagan restaurant Lone Oak Grill, but that he will “tailor the menu to this community.”

He plans for the restaurant to be family oriented and open to banquets for sports teams or other events. The restaurant will be able to seat 180 indoors and 40 on an outdoor patio.

“This is an enormous opportunity for ourselves and the community,” he said. “It’s somewhere else for residents. I hate to see people having to go to St. Paul Park or Woodbury and seeing our money being filtered out of the community and over to Woodbury.”

Mayor Myron Bailey echoed Lehman, and said he is excited to see this local business grow.

“One thing we hear all the time is that we need more restaurants in Cottage Grove,” he said. “It’s nice to see someone who lives here in Cottage Grove reinvesting in our community. This is truly bringing it home.”

Lehman is hoping that being local and independent business will benefit the business, especially in light of the corporate closure of Cottage Grove’s Ruby Tuesday location.

“It’s unfortunate they closed, but it’s a good thing for us, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “It’s unfortunate when any business has to close, and the thing is, they had to close 95 stores.”

Lehman said he’s excited to move forward with his project.

“I think the concept is solid and Cottage Grove needs something else,” he said. “We’re going to make it happen. Very shortly.”