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      Trail Center "Drive In" Restaurant     
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05/13/2020 07:57AM
The Trail Center will be opening as a drive in restaurant this season. Pull into a designated parking spot, order food and pay online using their wifi, and they bring out your food the old A&W restaurant style. Eat in your car, at an outdoor picnic table, or take it with you to eat somewhere else.

They have changed their menu to make sure they are getting the food out quickly. I'm anxious to see if I can still get my favorites, but also looking forward to trying something new. I've never had a bad meal there.

In order to do this they needed to remodel the kitchen and they are using the seating space so they can also run their store as an order and pick up grocery store so people on the Trail don't have to drive to GM for groceries. Once she decided to go this direction she needed to go "all in" and make it drive in for the whole season because of the changes that needed to happen in order to make it work. She can't go back to dine in this season even if things settle down and restrictions are eliminated as the summer goes on.

I just wanted to let everyone know what to expect if they make it up to the Gunflint Trail and plan on eating at the Trail Center this year.
 
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05/13/2020 08:27AM
Thanks, Ducks for the information.

I will be interested to know what the more limited menu is. Anna always gets a BLT. Of course, I think our June trip probably is a no-go, but I am still keeping my hopes up.

I hope they still have malts. :-)
 
thegildedgopher
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05/13/2020 08:58AM
That's pretty cool. We are doing day trips and staying with an outfitter in June and this was our plan anyway -- get takeout from a couple different places and eat in the car. I love not even having to go inside to place my order.
 
Mocha
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05/13/2020 09:31AM
this doesn't surprise me one bit. Sarah and her crew are forward thinkers. i'm constantly amazed at what is new each spring. i think this is a great idea for Trail Center and the Gunflint Trail.
 
05/13/2020 02:43PM
Tough to roller skate in a gravel parking lot
 
thegildedgopher
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05/13/2020 03:37PM
cowdoc: "Tough to roller skate in a gravel parking lot"
they could be the first hover-board drive-in?
 
missmolly
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05/13/2020 03:48PM
cowdoc: "Tough to roller skate in a gravel parking lot"

I suggest off-road roller skates. The wheels will be bigger, softer, and knobbier, and the meals will arrive with french fries in the shakes and deconstructed burgers.
 
05/13/2020 04:27PM
I'm impressed with their ingenuity but I will most surely miss having a sit down breakfast there.
 
05/13/2020 04:55PM
OneMatch: "I'm impressed with their ingenuity but I will most surely miss having a sit down breakfast there."

I feel that.
 
05/13/2020 05:08PM
OneMatch: "I'm impressed with their ingenuity but I will most surely miss having a sit down breakfast there." It won’t be the same sitting in the car eating a pancake as big as the steering wheel but I’ll do it anyways. Thanks for letting us know ducks.
 
schuetpa
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05/13/2020 05:27PM
Man I might have to plan a 2nd trip just to get to the gunflint side and support them. Always a good stop if on that side of the BWCA.
 
straighthairedcurly
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05/13/2020 07:50PM
We will be sure to stop in if we are still able to go that way. And I will let my sister know. They plan to go to their cabin and quarantine for 2 weeks before they venture out. Being able to pick up groceries on the GF Trail after they are done with quarantine will be a big plus.
 
Abbey
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05/13/2020 08:03PM
Can we still get beer from the drive-in set up? The post-trip burger is so good with a cold one!
 
05/13/2020 08:06PM
What a great place! Glad to know they will be "open" whenever I get up that way.
 
05/14/2020 08:32AM
They plan on opening June 1

I haven't seen anything mentioned about a beer to go. If they don't do it... the Poplar Haus just up the trail has a small liquor store now.
 
Bushpilot
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05/14/2020 08:50AM
I have known Sarah since she came to Trail Center. Wonderful person.

Fun fact she used to build Harley Davidson race motors. Ask her about it and watch her smile.
 
Mocha
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05/31/2020 07:45PM
Anyone try out the drive in yet?
 
05/31/2020 10:48PM
We're tripping out of Ely so we'll miss out in June but will definitely stop by when we head up the trail Labor Day weekend. We love visiting the Trail Center.
 
06/01/2020 08:07AM
It was closed when I drove by late last evening (Sunday). It looked like bundles of campfire wood are stacked between parking spots. I’ll try it next week.
 
06/01/2020 10:01AM
We had to cancel our planned week with Anna on the Gunflint this month. There is some possibility that Spartan1 and I will be at Rockwood in September, and hopefully by then it will be going strong at Trail Center, even if it is just drive-up.
 
06/01/2020 04:37PM
Big duckling and I were there today. As soon as we heard soccer was cancelled we planned our daddy/daughter get away right away so we could be here for the new opening.

New type of service but still the same great food. A lot of the oldies but also a lot of new stuff on the menu. I am sad that the Logger didn’t make the cut. That was my favorite Sarah wants it to be fast to be able to keep moving people through. Duckling had a walleye sandwich and I had the Canoe meal of burger fries and malt.
New online menu

Currently there are 12 drive up lanes. Pull in. Log into their WiFi and password is posted. Pull up the menu, place your order. And pay with a card. They also have a real phone in the phone booth now that you can use to place your order and pay with card. When it’s done they place it on the ledge 6 from your Car.

It took longer for me to go through the WiFi steps and order online than for them to make the food and get it out to me.



 
06/01/2020 05:18PM
Thanks for the report ducks. I thought the piles of wood are funny. I hope nobody takes it thinking it’s for sale on honor system.

The Sunday night rib special looks good! For $8.00 a guy get get two!
 
RoundRiver
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06/01/2020 05:22PM
They were not yet ready when I was up a week plus ago. It was sad as I have not been on a trip on the Gunflint when I have not eaten there at least once (on the way in or out). I hope to catch their new version this year and that it is a great success. Great food, best Friday night fish fry deal anywhere, and fun staff.
 
MN_Lindsey
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06/15/2020 10:27PM
Super excited to try this out!
 
06/15/2020 10:55PM
We finished a trip on 6/5 and Trail Center was the first stop after getting cleaned up.

Ducks is right on. Pull into a spot, bring up the WiFi and start ordering. Menu has some of the same options, but things were tweaked for faster service. Walleye sandwich and fish/chips were great. Check out their Facebook page.

Jonesy
 
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