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New Shady Grove owners' paths destined to cross

Bridget Kelly and Shane Pruitt took ownership of the Shady Grove Restaurant on Hwy. 65 between Ellsworth and Beldenville this fall. The couple has extensive experience in the food service industry and both are Hudson natives, graduating in the same Hudson High School Class of 1986. (Herald photo by Bill Kirk)

Bridget Kelly and Shane Pruitt were each employed in other fields previously, but both concluded food service is the industry in which they’re meant to be.

Interestingly, this mutual conclusion—like so many other aspects of their lives—occurred on a closely coinciding timetable. That’s a fact for the pair as individuals, despite them having gone their separate ways, and certainly since they’ve found each other again.

Their latest venture is helping them fulfill that desired occupation together, as the new owners of the Shady Grove Restaurant on Hwy. 65 between Ellsworth and Beldenville. They took ownership in October from the recently retired Steve and Heather Snook.

“We’re thankful the staff has stayed on,” Kelly said, with Pruitt adding, “they’ve actually been teaching us.”

Like the employees, the couple vows the rest of the dining establishment will mostly stay the same. Same name, same hours--though the latter could be expanded eventually depending on demand, Pruitt said. Meantime, the premises are open Wednesdays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to close.

“We’ve had some inquiries about noon and other times,” he said.

The basic premise of the menu will go unchanged, too. They’re impressed with the “farm to fork” concept the Snooks introduced, they said. In fact, Kelly first became aware of the local business when she heard it and this idea being discussed on Twin Cities radio, she said. Pruitt promised the local buying will continue from the abundance of fresh produce vendors in this vicinity.

“Everything from apples to zucchini,” he said.

Customers shouldn’t doubt what the new owners can do with these types of meals and this type of hospitality. They’ve already noticed a lot of their patrons have changing pallets, according to season, and they’ll tailor their menu accordingly. Bison and duck (all organic) have been popular choices for the public; they’re glad willingness to try different dishes has been high.

For more please read the Dec. 25 print version of the Herald. 

Bill Kirk

Bill Kirk was editor of the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth, from 1988 to February, 2015 and is now on staff as a reporter. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He previously worked in the media distribution department at the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus and is past editor of The Tri-County News in Osseo, Wisconsin.

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