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New restaurant opens in Durand

Brian Lehmer (left) and co-owner Sandy Bickel (right) opened the Durand River House in March. (Pierce County Herald photo by Vicky Howe)

DURAND--Brian Lehmer has been in the restaurant industry for over 20 years and always said it’s been a dream to run his own business.

“I prefer working for myself instead of someone else,” he said.

In March, the dream became reality as he opened The Durand River House, located at 214 W. Main St. in Durand.

Lehmer explained he was looking for about two years for a spot and, along with co-owner Sandy Bickel, toured the location in Durand and it was a perfect match.

“For the type of the food we wanted to do, there was nothing else in Durand,” he explained. “You either had to go to Pepin, Eau Claire or Menomonie.”

There was also the view of the Chippewa River in the background, which helped seal the deal.

“The view has been lightened and brightened and is a serene dining experience,” he said. “It is a beautiful view.”

As for the food, Lehmer, who serves as head chef, said the bacon wrapped tender with bleu cheese risotto has been well received, along with the apricot ginger chicken salad. Lehmer also touted the cheese cakes, which are made in-house.

“We have a full service bar, excellent wines and Wisconsin craft beers, some of which are available on tap,” he continued.

Lehmer hopes the Durand River House will become a restaurant for all.

“This is a great destination for date night or just hanging with friends. Casual attire is acceptable. Our mission is to provide quality food and excellent service at modest prices,” he said.

Hours for the Durand River House are 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays (breakfast only), 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Lehmer said the business will be happy to work with individuals who wish to have a private event during hours the restaurant is normally closed. For more information, visit

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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