Recent Posts

River Valley Athletic Club Announces New Ownership

The River Valley Athletic Club announced new owners and a new look to ring in 2018. Longtime Stillwater resident and entrepreneur, Dave Najarian and his family are the new owners of River Valley Athletic Club. Najarian purchased the club from previous owner Summer Kuehn. The Najarian family also owns Nelson’s Ice Cream and the Lion’s Tavern in downtown Stillwater. Najarian and his family have been residents of the Stillwater area for 17 years, and club members of River Valley for more than 10 years. Continue Reading →

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Charlie’s Irish Pub Bartender Dan Schiltz Wins Best Bartender in the Valley Contest

Dan Schiltz — of Charlie’s Irish Pub — wowed judges and took home some serious bragging rights last weekend during the Best Bartender in the Valley competition. Schiltz won the 2017 Best Bartender in the Valley title with his technical take on a classic concoction: Judy’s Irish Old Fashion. Schiltz began crafting the cocktail by rimming a lowball glass with espresso grounds — which he the dipped in high-proof bourbon — and lit on fire to toast the grounds. In a separate glass Schiltz muddled ginger-infused sugar and chocolate bitters, poured 2 ounces of 2 Gingers over the sugar and served the drink neat with an orange accent. The annual Best Bartender in the Valley competition was held March 12 at Pub 112. Continue Reading →

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Rita’s Italian Ice Opens for the Season on St. Patrick’s Day

Rita’s Italian Ice is opening for the season on Friday, March 17. In case you weren’t aware, Rita’s Italian Ice is located in Lucky’s Station on Greeley Street and Curve Crest Boulevard. The Stillwater location is open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Sunday -Thursdays, and 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The menu includes Italian Ice, Cream Ice, Frozen Custard, Milk Shakes, Misto Shakes, Sugar-Free Italian Ice, Gelati, and Frozen Custard Cakes. The frozen treats are gluten and fat free. Continue Reading →

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Twin Cities Live is All About Stillwater This Week

Twin Cities Live is all about Stillwater this week — culminating with a live broadcast from Pub 112 on Thursday, Feb. 2. Twin Cities Live will broadcast from Pub 112 from 2-4 p.m. Thursday. “The show’s theme is Food, Fashion and Fun,” according to a news release by KSTP – TV. “Twin Cities Live is about more than just Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Continue Reading →

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Pizza Ranch is Now Open in Oak Park Heights

Pizza Ranch opened the doors of its newest franchise across the street from Stillwater Area High School in Oak Park Heights this week. Pizza Ranch’s buffet features pizza, broasted chicken, sides, salad and dessert. Pizza Ranch also offers delivery, pick-up and catering options. The new franchise location is the second for lifelong Stillwater residents Ernie and Kris Swanson, along with their son, Ernie Swanson Jr., and daughters Julie Hove and Jennifer Swanson. The Oak Park Heights restaurant is open Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m – 10 p.m.

“Opening a Pizza Ranch in our hometown has been a dream for our family for years,” Ernie Swanson Sr. said. Continue Reading →

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2017 Best Burger in the Valley Cards Now Available

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, “Best Burger in the Valley” cards are now available. Burger cards for downtown Stillwater’s eighth annual Best Burger in the Valley competition are now on sale at the participating restaurants. This year, 9 downtown restaurants will compete for the “Best Burger in the Valley” title, while raising awareness and funding for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Burger cards cost $40, and are good for a burger at each restaurant Monday – Thursdays from January to March. This year’s participating restaurants include:

Pub 112 – 2016 defending Champion

Water Street Inn

Brine’s Bar & Restaurant

Smalley’s Caribbean Barbeque

Lion’s Tavern

Revé Bistro and Bar

Grand Pizza

Nacho Mama’s

Leo’s Grill & Malt

To date, the “Best Burger in the Valley” contest has raised more than $102,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Read the story of how the “Best Burger in the Valley” contest began


Past Winners:

2016: Pub 112

2015: LOLO

2014: Oasis Cafe

2013: Oasis Cafe

2012: Reve 324

2011: Leo’s

2010: Smalley’s

Continue Reading →

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Sara’s Tipsy Pies: A Perfect Crust and Just the Right Amount of Alcohol

Isn’t pie the best? Especially when it is straight out of the oven, still warm and filling the house with sweet, fruity smells. The way to tell a great pie from a garbage pie is the crust. It should have a nice bite to it, a little crispiness. Lackluster pie is all too common, like most frozen pie from the grocery store, once you bake it up in the oven, you are most certainly going to be disappointed with soggy crust and a mediocre filling. Continue Reading →

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The Big Carve Set for Oct. 19 at Lift Bridge Brewery

The Big Carve is happening this week at Lift Bridge Brewing Co. Carve pumpkins without having to clean up the mess from 5-9 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19. Lift Bridge will be serving Imperial Pumpkin Porter, and will have pumpkins from Bergmann’s Greenhouse and carving kits for sale for $8 for each pumpkin (about basketball size). The Roe Family Singers will perform and R.A. MacSammy’s food truck will be selling food. Continue Reading →

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Healing River Chiropractic Moves to New Location in Downtown Stillwater

Dr. Brittney Reisnour Also Joins Practice at 200 East Chestnut Street

Healing River Chiropractic relocated to a new location in downtown Stillwater in early October. The clinic has moved to 200 East Chestnut Street, Suite 202, from its current location at 333 North Main Street. The move is the result of an increasing number of patients visiting the clinic for care from Dr. Kellie Seth, D.C., and the addition of a second holistic chiropractor to the practice – Dr. Brittney Reisnour. “We’re excited about finding a new clinic space just a few blocks away that will provide us with almost double the current square footage,” noted Dr. Kellie Seth, who founded Healing River Chiropractic in 2013. “We’ll be able to add an additional patient treatment room and greatly expand the patient reception area.” Healing River Chiropractic can be reached at (651) 439-3737 or Continue Reading →

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Pub 112 Chef Bernice Reyes Wins Stillwater Lumberjack Days Chef’s Competition

Pub 112 Chef Bernice Reyes was crowned champion of the 2016 Stillwater Lumberjack Days Chef’s Competition. Chef Reyes defeated the defending champ, Chef Nate Peterson of Phil’s Tara Hideaway, by cooking up her ribeye steak tacos with fresh corn tortillas, a smoky white chocolate mole and roasted blueberry salsa. All of the ingredients for the competition were purchased at the Stillwater Farmers Market. The meat was donated by River Market Community Co-op. All of the ingredients were a surprise to the competitors. Continue Reading →

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Ziggy’s Restaurant Set to Take Over Dairy Queen Space in Downtown Stillwater

A new restaurant will soon take over the former Dairy Queen space on Main Street in downtown Stillwater. David Suddeth is looking to capitalize on the popularity of food trucks with Ziggy’s Restaurant, the first food truck in Minnesota with a bar. “We’ve been super excited to figure out what type of restaurant would do well in Stillwater,” Suddeth said. “We were looking to develop an idea that falls somewhere between the high-end establishments and the bar and grills in downtown Stillwater.”

Ziggy’s Restaurant will offer quick, affordable and high quality street food, served in a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. Suddeth, who also owns Mallards on the St. Continue Reading →

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Lift Bridge Brewing’s Big Brew Day Event Celebrates Homebrewers

Lift Bridge Brewing Co. is holding its first Big Brew Day event on Saturday, May 7 from noon to 6 p.m.

Each year, the American Homebrewing Association promotes “Big Brew Day” to get as many people as possible from around the world to brew beer at the same time. Last year, more than 11,000 people attended a Big Brew Day event. The official beer for the 2016 event, as suggested by the American Homebrewers Association, is Summer Ginger Ale. Lift Bridge’s Big Brew Day event will host 24 registered homebrewers who will come together to brew in designated areas inside and outside of the brewhouse. Continue Reading →

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Sawdust Savvy Makes a Move to Main Street in Downtown Stillwater

Sawdust Savvy, a Pinterest-era, DIY occasional studio based in Stillwater has moved into the Grand Garage on Main Street in downtown Stillwater. They opened their doors to their first workshop in September of 2014, and as of April, are now open in a new studio space with more than double the square footage, in a bright new atmosphere, in the heart of downtown. “Moving to Main Street is an exciting step for our business,” states Lindsay Kohn, co-owner of Sawdust Savvy. “We never dreamed our business would grow this quickly. People don’t want a typical night out anymore, they are looking for exciting hands-on experiences with their friends, and that’s exactly what we give them.”

Sawdust Savvy holds events where wood projects have been prepared into step-by-step, easy to follow phases, giving participants the opportunity to make something that might otherwise seem impossible with their own two hands. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater City Council Approves Senior Living Facility Concept, But Says It’s Too Big

The Stillwater City Council approved the conceptual plan for Croix Bay senior living facility on Long Lake Tuesday night, but denied the zoning amendment requests for a taller development than is currently allowed. The original Croix Bay plans called for construction of one building to be about six inches taller than the 35 feet currently allowed for approval of special use permits for senior living projects. After hearing more than four hours of public comments in the past two weeks about the proposed $60 million development, the council appeared to favor the idea of a senior living facility at the location, but had reservations about the height and the density of the current proposal. “I have a concern with height. I also have a concern of density,” Council Member Mike Polehna said. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Zephyr Theatre Project Moves Forward on North End of Downtown


The Stillwater Zephyr Theatre project moved forward Tuesday night. The Stillwater City Council on a 3-2 vote — Tom Weidner and Dave Junker dissenting — approved a 7 foot height variance for the construction of a fly loft on the Stillwater Depot building on the north end of Main Street. Several residents of nearby condos oppose the project saying that granting a height variance will destroy their view of the St. Croix River. Only a Dim Image Productions has proposed renovating the Stillwater Depot building into a 332-seat professional theatre and bakery/coffee shop. Continue Reading →

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Robin Anthony Named Executive Director of Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce

Robin Anthony has been named the new Executive Director of the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. Anthony will start the position on Friday, April 1. Anthony fills a 7-month vacancy in the position previously held by Todd Streeter. She is the co-owner of PartyOnStillwater, and brings more than 25 years of experience to her new role including over 12 years working with government, 8 years as an executive manager of a global consulting firm and 5 years as a local small business owner. “I am honored to accept this position with an organization that I truly believe in, and am excited to work together with other local organizations to collaborate and bring new opportunities to the community and our membership,” Anthony said. Continue Reading →

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Nelson’s Ice Cream Will Open for the Season on Friday, April 8

One sign of spring in Stillwater is the opening of Nelson’s Ice Cream. Well, here goes … Nelson’s Ice Cream announced that it plans to open for the season on Friday, April  8. Nelson’s has been in business since 1923. Stillwater’s historical gem offers 48 ice cream flavors served in mammoth portions. Nelson’s spring hours are Monday-Thursday from 3-9 p.m., Fridays from 3-10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sundays noon to 9 p.m.

Believe It Or Not, Nelson’s Wasn’t Always King of the Ice Cream Cone

Teddy Bear Park Set to Open Saturday, April 2

Until then, check out this video featuring Nelson’s Ice Cream as the 2014 winner of WCCO’s Best Ice Cream Shop in Minnesota. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Current Launches New Local Business Directory: Claim Your Free Listing Now

Stillwater Current is proud to announce a new local Business Directory. Stillwater Current has partnered with Bizyhood to launch a new business directory. We’re offering free starter directory listings for businesses, churches and civic groups, so make sure to claim your listing today. The business directory allows businesses to connect easier with 40,000-plus people that visit Stillwater Current every month. This year, Stillwater Current is on track to have more than 800,000 page views that are local. Continue Reading →

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Nonprofit Group Aims to Turn Depot Builing into Stillwater Zephyr Theatre

A local nonprofit group is hoping to renovate the Stillwater Depot building on North Main Street into a theatre. Stillwater Zephyr Theatre has launched a $6.5 million capital campaign to buy the Minnesota Zephyr train depot and renovate it into a professional theatre. The hope is to begin construction later this year, and to open the new Stillwater Zephyr Theatre in November 2017. The 324-seat theatre would specialize in musicals from the 1920s to ’50s, according to Stillwater Zephyr Theater’s website. “The Zephyr Theatre will be a professional theatre providing live performances, music, dance, education and artistic opportunities for all ages.”

Plans for Only a Dim Image Productions’ proposed theatre call for a large meeting hall and rehearsal space, a dance rehearsal studio, scene, costume and prop shops, and a bakery and coffee shop. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater’s New Indoor Playground, Kids Oasis, Opens Tuesday

Kids Oasis is set to open in downtown Stillwater this week. The indoor kids playground opens at 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 1. Open Play will cost $5.50 per child. The open play hours are Monday and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesdays through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Private group rentals are available every day from 8-10 a.m. starting at $59. Birthday parties are held 4-7 p.m. Monday through Thursdays; 4-9 p.m. on Fridays; and 2-8 p.m. on Saturdays; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Continue Reading →

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Looks Like Temps Will be in the 40s for Brine’s 24th Annual Frozen Bocce Ball Tournament

The 24th annual Brine’s Frozen Bocce Ball Tournament is going down Saturday, Feb. 20 in downtown Stillwater. More than 60 teams will participate in the double-elimination tournament. Frozen Bocce sign in is from 8-10 a.m. The tournament begins at 10 a.m. in the parking lot behind Brine’s Bar. According to Paul Huttner’s Updraft blog, Saturday is going to be a great winter day to get out and watch (or play) some bocce ball. Continue Reading →

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Local Realtor Earns Professional Designation

Local realtor Hannah Johnson was recently awarded the highly acclaimed national Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) designation. Johnson, of Carriage Realty, Inc. in Lake Elmo, joins other top realtors in the residential real estate industry from across the nation who hold this designation. “The real estate industry is so complex and is always changing, which is why I wanted to expand my knowledge and expertise to better serve my clients,” said Johnson. “I want to be the agent who never stops learning and goes beyond what’s required of me, and that’s what I believe this designation represents.”

Johnson earned the GRI designation by attending a specific, intensive series of classroom instruction, covering a variety of subjects including professional standards, legal issues, sales and marketing, finance and risk reduction, technology and social media. With this achievement, Johnson has made the commitment to provide a high level of professional service by securing a strong educational foundation of knowledge and skills to better navigate the real estate market and serve prospective clients and customers. Continue Reading →

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Shanghai Bistro Closes Its Downtown Stillwater Location

Shanghai Bistro’s downtown Stillwater location closed on Sunday. The announcement was made on Shanghai Bistro Stillwater’s Facebook page:

Henry Chan opened Shanghai Bistro Stillwater in the Grand Garage five years ago. Since then, he has made the Pioneer Press’ list of the Twin Cities Best Patios multiple times. Shanghai Bistro’s Hudson and Eau Claire locations will remain open. The space at 324 Main St., has also been home to The Kitchen and Stone’s. Continue Reading →

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ModernRoots Celebrates Grand Opening in Downtown Stillwater

The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce recently celebrated the grand opening of ModernRoots, a new retailer on North Main Street in downtown Stillwater. ModernRoots offers natural soaps, and body care products created by owner Meg DiMercurio. “I grow, harvest and create my products based on my own model that is naturally free of parabens, sulfates, corn, soy and canola,”DiMercurio said. “Everything is created by hand. I grow about 60% of the ingredients; foraging for 10% of that and growing 40% of my own herbs for steam distillation (essential oils).”

ModernRoots began with Meg attending farmer’s markets and selling online in 2011. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Ranks No. 17 on’s List of Best Beers in the Best Cities

Stillwater ranks 17th on’s top beer city list, 99 Beers in 99 Cities. Stillwater ranks higher on’s inaugural list of Best Beers in the Best Cities than hop-loving cities like Fort Collins, Colo., Seattle, Wash., Austin, Texas and Madison, Wisc. The other two Minnesota cities to crack the list are Minneapolis (22) and Duluth (45). Lift Bridge Brewing Co. and Maple Island Brewing are big reasons Stillwater ranked so high on the list, but editors used data that helped them find cities that “spend well on quality beer, spend less on domestic macro beers and overall support dining and drinking both in the home and out on the town.” Continue Reading →

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StillwaterEats! 2016 ‘Best Burger in the Valley’ Cards Now On Sale

It’s time for the “Best Burger in the Valley” contest. Burger cards for downtown Stillwater’s seventh annual Best Burger in the Valley competition are now on sale. This year, 10 downtown restaurants will compete for the “Best Burger in the Valley” title, while raising awareness and funding for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Read the story of how the “Best Burger in the Valley” contest began

To date, the “Best Burger in the Valley” contest has raised more than $77,500 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. When cards sell out this year, that amount will jump to more than $100,000. Continue Reading →

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Chamber Seeking Applicants for Director Position

The Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce is seeking applications for a new director. Summary:

The director is responsible to the Board of Directors of the Greater Stillwater Area Chamber of Commerce for the overall management of the Chamber’s operations, including financial, programming, events, interpretation of policy, membership, supervision of staff and providing direction and motivation of volunteers. Ability to work side-by-side and hands-on constructively and harmoniously with Chamber staff, committee members and the Chamber Board to construct and achieve common goals for the betterment of community. The courage and fortitude to inspire others and to command the respect of business and community members to worthwhile initiatives sponsored by the Chamber, and to motivate others to resolve community problems.

Provide leadership toward the achievement of the Greater Stillwater Area Chamber of Commerce mission statement and strategic goals. Requirements:

Undergraduate degree, US Chamber Institute program graduate, or five years chamber or non-profit experience. Continue Reading →

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Lift Bridge’s 5th Annual Commander Release Party: Music, Mustaches and Barleywine

Lift Bridge Brewing Co.’s 5th Annual Commander Barleywine Release Party is happening from 3-10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 14 at the brewery. There will be mustache contest, live music by The Langers Ball, Orange Whip and Candy Shop, contests, prizes and classic carnival games. The Commander Barleywine Release Party is all ages until 7 p.m., when it turns to a 21+ event. According to Lift Bridge:

Commander is Lift Bridge’s English-Style Barleywine ale brewed with an excessive malt bill and subtle, sweet cardamom. Continue Reading →

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Rita’s Italian Ice Giving Away Free Treats Wednesday for Grand Opening Celebration

Rita’s Italian Ice is giving away frozen treats Wednesday (Nov. 11) for it’s Grand Opening celebration in Stillwater. Rita’s Italian Ice is located of Lucky’s Station on Greeley Street and Curve Crest Boulevard. Rita’s Italian Ice is giving away regular-sized Italian Ice and Gelati’s for $1. Veteran’s will get free Gelati’s. Continue Reading →

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Veterans Day: Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop Serving Free Meals to Vets, Active-Duty Service Members

Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop is honoring veterans and active-duty service personnel with a free meal on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. This is the eighth year that Leo’s has held the Veterans Day event. At 11 a.m. local veterans will proceed from the Stillwater American Legion Post 48 through downtown Stillwater ending at the corner of Main and Chestnut streets near Leo’s. Stillwater police will halt traffic while the Color Guard performs their traditional ceremony including a bugler performing “Taps,” a short prayer and a 21-gun salute. Continue Reading →

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Deal Alert: Stillwater’s QuickFire Pizza Celebrates Third Anniversary with $3 Pizzas, All Day Long

Monday is QuickFire Pizza’s third anniversary in Stillwater — and to celebrate they’re offering every pizza on the menu for $3, all day long. The $3 pizza deal is good for dine-in only. In case you need an introduction — or a refresher — here’s a look at the menu. Ryan Lettner and Paul Larson opened their QuickFire Pizza location at 116 Main Street South three years ago (Oct. 26, 2012). Continue Reading →

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Expansion of Stillwater’s Water Street Inn is Still in the Works

A conceptual drawing of the Water Street Inn addition, which includes 20 new rooms, a clock tower and a rooftop patio. The Water Street Inn’s 20-room expansion — including a rooftop patio and signature clock tower — is still in the works. The Stillwater City Council on Tuesday granted an extension to St. Croix Preservation Co. for the special use permit (SUP) to construct an addition onto the north side of Water Street Inn. Continue Reading →

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