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Fireside Social House to open at former RJ's in Hastings

A new restaurant is coming to Hastings this summer. Fireside Social House will open at 108 Second St. E. in downtown Hastings in July.

The building has sat vacant since RJ's closed in 2014.

"Our motto is eat, drink and play — which is kind of the theme to what we are trying to do here," said Kim Zeigler, co-owner of Fireside.

The family friendly restaurant takes a lot of pride in the food that is brought out to their customers, Zeigler said. Not only do they try to make as much as they can from scratch, but Zeigler said that they make sure to use high quality ingredients as well.

"I take a lot of pride in the food that we put out, we put a lot of thought into the things that we do," Zeigler said.

The menu will feature a meatloaf recipe, pot roast, boneless ribs, steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salads and more. There will also be a bit of Asian influence in the menu. The Asian fries are crispy french fries topped with chipotle mayonnaise.

The Hastings location will be the third Fireside restaurant in the Twin Cities owned by Rich Thompson and Zeigler. The other two Fireside locations are Fireside Bar and Restaurant in Rosemount and Fireside Foundry in Richfield. The Richfield location was the first of the three locations to be purchased by Thompson in 1997. At that time, it was mostly known for its award-winning thin crust pizza.

Today, the restaurant has expanded the menu and it has a number of comfort food items that are popular with the customers, Zeigler said. The Hastings location will be different from the other two restaurants because it will not serve the thin crust pizza. The pizza's take a specific type of kitchen equipment that is not at the Hastings restaurant; however, Zeigler said that there will be flatbread available on the menu.

Zeigler said that he had been casually looking for another Fireside property location for about a year when he just happened upon the downtown Hastings spot. When he looked at the building in person, he said that he called Thompson right away.

"You got to come take a look at this place, it's beautiful," he said. "They did a great job with this."

Zeigler said that they loved the community along the river and saw a lot of potential in the area. In addition, the building itself was what sold them on expanding into Hastings. They thought the building had a lot of charm and beauty, he said.

The building was already in pretty good condition when they first looked at it so there are not a lot of maintenance things on their checklist before opening. However, Zeigler said that they do want to turn the back room of Fireside Social House into a game room with skee ball, a pool table and video games.

Fireside Social House is hiring and plans a to open in July.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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