Quarterback Club celebrates a half-century!

On Monday, September 10, members of the NDDC Board paid a visit to the Quarterback Club in Northfield to congratulate owner Dale Finger on the 50th anniversary year of the restaurant. We had a fine time listening to stories of the restaurant’s history and taking pictures for posterity.

Kris Layman, Jenni Roney, Krin Finger, Dale Finger, Dan Bergeson, Angela Humann

The Quarterback Club was originally part of a 20-store franchise organization that was founded by a group of Minnesota investors including some of the early Minnesota Vikings football players. The Northfield store was opened in the spring of 1968. Dale started working there as a high school student ten years later and eventually bought the restaurant in the early 80s. He’s had a successful 40-year run with no end in sight. He told us that many folks predicted his demise with the explosion of fast food restaurants in Northfield during the 80s and 90s.

First, they said that Kentucky Fried Chicken would do him in. Didn’t happen. Then they said that McDonald’s would sink him. Nope! Next, Hardee’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. He survived them all. Kentucky Fried Chicken even opened a second time in Northfield just a couple of years ago. That didn’t work out so well either. They closed less than 12 months into their run.

Krin Finger, Dale Finger

Dale told us that his secret to success can be found in the following four words: “Good food. Good service.” Perhaps another reason is the dedicated service of his employees. We learned that Steve and Lorie Estrem have worked at the restaurant for more than 45 years! They started at the Quarterback Club before Dale did and they stayed with him after he became their employer. That’s an amazing commitment!

Back: Dale Finger, Steve Estrem Front-June Edwardsen, Lorie Estrem

Carleton Grads Launch New App for Businesses

Northfield businesses now have a new way to connect with local college students. Recent Carleton graduates Liam Bradney, Ammar Babar, Aman Panda and Max Mattessich have designed a digital coupon app aimed at increasing the engagement between local businesses and college students in Northfield.

The app is called Recoup and it will launch in September when Carleton and St Olaf students return to campus. They are offering a free month trial for all businesses. For more information, email recouptech@gmail.com or visit https://recouptech.com/businesses.html

photo courtesy of recouptech.com

Sidewalk Poetry Celebration Aug 30 at 7pm in Bridge Square

The Arts and Culture Commission of Northfield invites everyone to attend the 2018 Sidewalk Poetry Capstone Celebration at 7:00 p.m. on August 30, 2018 in Downtown Northfield on Bridge Square. The event is open to the public and will bring poetry lovers and sidewalk poets together to hear the poems read aloud, to meet the winning poets, and to hear music by Bonnie and the Clydes. Thanks to the Northfield’s FiftyNorth volunteers, the popcorn wagon will be open for business, serving delicious popcorn and cold drinks.

photo courtesy of Bonnie Jean Flom

Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs so they can relax and enjoy the music and poetry of the night. A large map of the locations of the 2018 winning poems will be shared and the winning poems from all eight years of the contest will be on display. The City’s Department of Public Works will have poetry molds on display.

In 2011, Northfield launched its annual Sidewalk Poetry Project. In the eight years of the project, 71 poems – the creations of 49 local poets — have been selected for imprinting in over 220 locations across the community. Each one of the winning poems, imprinted into the concrete of our city sidewalks, is remarkable on its own; collectively, they offer a sense of the spirit of our community. The five winning 2018 poets are: Becky Boling, Avery Eastvold, Steve McCown, Julie Ryan, and Marie Vogl Gery.

Sidewalk Poetry is a partnership with the Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library, the Northfield Public Library, and the City of Northfield and has been supported by the efforts of many local volunteers. An interactive map of the poems can be found on the Arts & Culture Commission page of the City of Northfield website.

For more information, contact Bonnie Jean Flom, Northfield Arts and Culture Commissioner, at bjflom@gmail.com.

See You Downtown at These Upcoming Events

August 25, Sept 1, 15, 22, 29Riverwalk Market Fair – Enjoy an open-air Saturday market located along the beautiful Cannon River offering locally grown produce, artisan foods, and a juried selection of art work. Each Saturday provides a different mix of special events, musical entertainment and activities for the whole family.

August 23Northfield Mobile Photography Tour – Join photography and architecture enthusiasts for an evening stroll around downtown Northfield. Beginning and ending at the Northfield Arts Guild, the tour pairs art and photography with local history. 5:30-7:30pm $25

Aug 30 – Northfield Sidewalk Poetry Celebration – 7 pm at Bridge Square. Hear this year’s sidewalk poems read aloud, meet the winning poets, and hear music by Bonnie and the Clydes. Thanks to the FiftyNorth volunteers, the popcorn wagon will be open for business, serving delicious popcorn and cold drinks.

Sept. 6-9 Defeat of Jesse James Days – Take part in all of the annual festivities including bank raid reenactments, rodeo, parade, craft beverage festival and so much more!
Sept. 8 & 9Riverfront Fine Arts Festival – See and purchase work from over 65 fine artists and craftspersons – ceramics, jewelry, paintings, fiber, wood and steel. 10am to 5pm

Sept. 8Jesse James Bike Tour – Bike this family-friendly ride on your choice of five scenic routes then enjoy a post ride meal and after pedal parties at Imminent Brewing and Tanzenwald Brewing downtown. Proceeds from this Rotary Club of Northfield fundraiser benefit the Mill Towns Trail and Northfield’s Safe Routes to School program.
Sept. 9DJJD Run/Walk – Choose a 5K run/walk through the streets of Northfield or a more challenging 15K run through the farm country east of town. Both runs, hosted by Northfield Shares, begin at Armory Square and finish at the original First National Bank building where the townspeople of Northfield stopped a bank robbery by the notorious James-Younger gang in 1876.

Sept. 29 – Oct. 1Northfield Poetry Festival – Enjoy a morning poetry reading for elementary school age children at Content Bookstore, a poetry event at the Northfield Public Library, a Sidewalk Poetry Celebration in Bridge Square on 9/30 at 7pm and an evening poetry contest and reading at Imminent Brewing.