Restaurant Enterprise Sweeps the Range

Restaurant Enterprise Sweeps the Range

Posted on March 28, 2017 at 11:44 AM. Written by Entrepreneur Fund

Jessica-and-Erik-Lietz.jpgJessica and Erik Lietz are becoming household names across the Iron Range for their ambitious and exemplary work revitalizing restaurants like The Whistling Bird in Gilbert and Boomtown Woodfire in Eveleth. And because owning and operating two restaurants in two different cities isn’t keeping them busy enough, they’re working on a new restaurant concept in Hibbing.

The Process

The Lietz’s love what they do, from start to finish – and they take great pride in offering new and unique dining experiences to communities on the Iron Range. It’s a lot of work for the couple, but it’s the kind of work that makes the them tick.

Rather than purchasing existing restaurants that are currently in operation, or building from the ground up, the Lietz’s choose to purchase restaurant properties that are bank-owned. This approach allows them to have creative freedom without the extensive costs and overhead that can be associated with new construction.

Although they buy existing properties, there is still a lot of revitalization involved in bringing a closed restaurant back to life. The Lietz’s think carefully about what their customers might want and need with every new concept they create. Oftentimes, to put their own touches on décor and layout, the entire space must be gutted and the kitchen must be rebuilt.

“There’s something so exciting about what we do,” said Jessica Lietz. “There’s an adrenaline rush in the restaurant industry – we get to create our own destiny. We have creative freedom to see our visions through from start to finish.”

Creating new menu options comes with a bit experimentation, but the Leitz’s always keep old standards in the mix, too. They feel the most important thing is to invite people to try new things, while still providing an element of familiarity.

The Leitz’s say it’s always exciting to open a new restaurant to the public, and both The Whistling Bird and Boomtown Woodfire have been very well received in their communities. Chatter started early in Hibbing – even before the Lietz’s had made an offer on the vacant downtown space – which goes to show the community of Hibbing is looking forward to having a new dining option.

The Outcome


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