In Case You’re Interested:

History of the Kernel Restaurant
Significant Events:

  • The Kernel Restaurant established May 18, 1961 in Menomonie, Wisconsin by Sid and Wanda Kern.

  • Sold some years later to Ray and Marge Tessman.

  • June 1974, Menomonie Restaurant interior severely damaged by fire.

  • February 1975, restaurant reopens.

  • May 18, 1981, Bill Cook and Mark Michel purchase Kernel in Menomonie, Wisconsin from the Tessmans.

  • July 31, 1981, Country Kitchen Restaurant in Owatonna end its affiliation with Country Kitchen,
  • August 1, 1981- Kernel Restaurant in Owatonna is established.

  • June 1995, shortly after retiring Bill Cook dies suddenly.

  • June 28, 2010, Mark Michels sells his interest in the Kernel to Brad Olson

On a personal note, I started working at the Kernel Restaurant in Menomonie back in 1974.  I learned alot about the restaurant business from the Tessmans.  In 1981 after graduating from UW Stout, I was hired by Mark Michels and Bill Cook to come to Owatonna to (among other things) help convert their restaurant to the Kernel, Owatonna. After working in some capacity for the Kernel all these years, I feel a responsibility to carry on the tradition started back in 1961 by the Kerns. – Brad Olson

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