Mike Willenbring cuts the ribbon for the Manger Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Monroe Film and Photo.
February 2, 2019. The new Manger Restaurant and Wine Bar located in Bayport, Minnesota, celebrated a ribbon cutting on January 31, 2019, with the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce. In French Manager means "to eat" and in the English word it gives a nod to the farm-to-table focus of the restaurant. The restaurant features locally sourced ingredients and a menu centered around their wood-fired oven, which they strive to incorporate into each dish. They offer a carefully curated wine list focusing on affordable delicious grape varietals, and even offer a wine off-sale license. They host a nice selection of craft beers, with a complete cocktail list exclusively from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Owner Mike Willenbring served for seven years with Reve Bistro as first their line-cook to the Head Chef and finally, the General Manager. He also had some unique experiences doing short stages at some notable restaurants such as Bellecour, The Grand Cafe, Heyday, Vincent A Restaurant, La Belle Vie, and Seachange, along with working in a few other twin cities restaurants such as Chianti Grill, Lakes Tavern and Grill, Vero (OTG management at MSP Airport) and Cooks of Crocus Hill.
Mike and his wife Nicole reside on the south hill with their two kids, Maddy and Milo, and their two golden retrievers. Nicole graduated with a business and journalism degree which comes in handy as they grow this new business. “Nicole and I dreamed of having our own restaurant but didn’t really think it would happen for a long time,” Willenbring says. “The opportunity came (really fast) right after we got back from a trip to France while trying to figure out my next career move; this was exactly how we thought our first restaurant would look like” he said.
They are looking forward to summer to open their patios and will be able to accommodate groups up to 60, with approximately 35 seats inside and 25 seats outside. A beautiful quant local restaurant. They look forward to being a part of the Bayport community.
Manger Restaurant and Wine Bar
320 5th Avenue North
Bayport, MN 55003