Wheelhouse rolling along in Deshler
The Wheelhouse in Deshler brought a hometown girl back from Maine.
Looking to gain even more experience in the restaurant business, Jessie Holtzen entered into an agreement with former Wheelhouse owner, Bob Reinke, earlier this year to take the Wheelhouse helm.
“It was a big decision and a lot to think about. I always wanted to open my own restaurant. It was a great opportunity. The community needs it,” Holtzen said.
The Wheelhouse was closed just about a month before Holtzen reopened it June 8.
She brought two friends from Maine with her, Dan Shaw and Chef Ryan Desjardins. Shaw is the front man for the dining area. Desjardins is a graduate from the New Hampshire Atlantic Culinary Academy. Holtzen helps out wherever she’s needed and that includes cooking.
She said they had a lot of ideas coming in.
“We’ve all ran restaurants before,” Holtzen said.
Their ideas include craft Nebraska beers. They’re currently serving a Brunette Nut Brown Ale and Cardinal Red Pale Ale from Nebraska Brewing Company.
Holtzen said she will eventually bring in wines.
“One of our big things is to bring local fare,” she added.
The three friends added their own painting and redecorating flair to the longtime Deshler establishment. A wall was built to partially shield the kitchen and a bar completed the banquet room space, which is the scene for a variety of events and accommodates 60 to 70 people.
Holtzen said the restaurant will take reservations for the banquet room.
For the menu, Holtzen said they wanted to mix it up a bit. Customers will notice traditional foods and a few surprises such as, fried catfish, grilled tuna or coconut shrimp on Friday evenings during seafood night.
Much of the Wheelhouse entrees, side dishes and desserts are made from scratch.
“Our French Fries are hand-cut and our fish is hand-breaded. We make our own barbecue sauce. All our desserts are homemade,” Holtzen said.
When asked if any of the entrees could use a mention, Holtzen recommended the Chicken Parmesan.
“It’s tucked away and a gem. It’s a solid dish and great find,” she said. She also chose an appetizer – Fried Hectors – the Wheelhouse’s specialty quesadilla.
She said they are in the midst of creating a new menu, which will feature a spicy hamburger entree, open-faced roast beef sandwich, chicken pot pie and new salads.
Specials include broasted chicken for Wednesdays; ribs on Thursdays, steaks for Saturday; and a Sunday buffet.
The Wheelhouse is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
It is closed on Mondays.
Holtzen said they will all head back to Maine for the week of Thanksgiving and reopen the restaurant Dec. 1.