New business: Iron Corral deals with opening in a pandemic

Plans to serve takeout and delivery options start this week.

Jessie Grangruth stands at the ready behind the bar at the Iron Corral, Wadena's newest bar and grill. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

The joyous occasion of opening a new bar and grill in bustling Wadena was marred by another shutdown of dine in options Friday, Nov. 20, just days after opening up to customers.

Executive Order 20-99 by Michael Johnson on Scribd

For the few days it was open, guests enjoyed drinks while the grill served up bar pizzas. Nearly a year of work behind him, Iron Corral owner Jessie Grangruth was finally able to show the place off.

Now a week into December and Grangruth has had to rethink his food options to better suit takeout and delivery possibilities. While the latest order is to end Dec. 18, he fears it could go on for an extended period. He plans to be ready for the full reopening, yet he wants to show the community what the new bar and grill has to offer in the meantime.


"A guys got to go with it," Grangruth said of making a new business work in a time of a pandemic.

The new restaurant in the former Whiskey Corner Saloon is a stark contrast to what many may remember the place to be. The entire structure was gutted down to the studs with spray foam insulation going in along with new wiring, lighting, wall coverings, flooring, a new bar, expanded kitchen, bathrooms and an expanded seating area inside and out. The exterior covered area will soon sport an iron fence that brought about the name of the Iron Corral.

The interior of the Iron Corral sports a brand-new feel that warm and inviting. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

It's bright and open inside and while sitting down in a clean space is great, the test will be whether the food is going to be as good as Grangruth believes it will be. He plans to start serving takeout and delivery options Tuesday, Dec. 8, with hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Chief on the menu are fresh cuts of steak, but that's likely not going to be a part of the options until the business can reopen to dine in options. That is until Grangruth can obtain boxes capable of keeping a steak piping hot on your car drive home. In the meantime and in the days after, you can expect a range of burgers and sandwiches, soups and salads and even a kids menu. Grangruth is proud of the fact that all beef used is fresh, never frozen certified angus beef. His additions of other sides brings about a home-cooked meal feel to the menu.

"I wanted to bring food back to how it once was," Grangruth said.

Grangruth was thankful for the support he was shown in the days he was open, and looks forward to the day when guests can once again fill the tables inside.


The Iron Corral is located at 21 Aldrich Ave., SE., Wadena.

The Iron Corral Bar and Grill sports a new look inside and out as it opened its doors in November. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in rural Deer Creek, Minn., where he is starting to homestead with his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
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