As of Tuesday morning, Johnny O’Neil’s in Spicer is now under new ownership.
Michelle Kastel-Olson and her husband, John, sold the restaurant and bar to Donovan and Keisha Frauendienst, who own Kegger’s in Clara City, and Finley Bridal Co. in New London, respectively.
Kastel-Olson said she was originally planning to sell the business on March 16, but due to COVID-19 shutdown, held off on the sale until this week.
After owning and operating O’Neil’s for 20 years, Kastel-Olson said she is ready to spend more time with her family, and potentially begin a new (undisclosed) venture.
“It’s a busy job,” she said, adding that two of the couple’s four children are heavily involved in youth hockey. “And when we remodeled in 2013, our goal was always to sell it after about seven years. So, it’s right about that time.
“But I would absolutely like to say that we’ve been very blessed to have such a supportive community and so lucky to have such great employees. It’s just been wonderful.”
Kastel-Olson said she plans to remain in the area and will continue to serve on the Spicer Commercial Club. She also intends to work at O’Neil’s on a part-time basis for a few months to aid in the transition process.
As for the Frauendienst’s, Donovan said he is “excited” and prepared to take over the business, citing experience owning and operating Kegger’s Bar and Grill since 1999.
For now, he said, there are no major changes planned for O’Neil’s other than minor modifications.
“The name will stay the same, and there will be some slight changes to the menu moving forward. Right now, we’re just trying to get things back up and running with COVID.”
Donovan said he and Keisha purchased the business so that Donovan could be closer to is wife and children. The family lives just west of New London. Donovan and Keisha have three children, all enrolled or to-be-enrolled in NLS: Finley, a daughter in second grade; Lillian, who will be starting preschool next fall; and Henry, who is four months old.
Amid the state-wide restrictions on restaurant capacities, Donovan encourages making reservations to O’Neil’s in advance, but said that walk-ins are accepted.
Lakes Area Review by Brett Blocker, Editor