Timber Lodge Steakhouse

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Timber Lodge Steakhouse
Wholly owned subsidiary
Industry Restaurants
Genre Casual dining
Founded 1991
Founder Doron Jensen
Headquarters Bloomington, MN, US
Number of locations
Area served
Key people
Bruce Taher, CEO
Products American cuisine
Parent Taher, Inc
Website Timberlodgesteakhouse.com

Timber Lodge Steakhouse is a privately owned American steakhouse chain with two locations in Minnesota. Formerly a public company, it had eighty-five locations at its peak.

Early History and Growth[edit]

Timber Lodge Steakhouse Inc. was founded under the name Minnesota Steakhouse in September 1991 in Burnsville, Minnesota. The founder of Minnesota Steakhouse, Doron Jensen, changed the name to Timber Lodge in 1995 to make it more marketable in other areas of the country.[1] After the founder split off due to conflicts with his business partner, the company grew from 16 Minnesota locations to 85. Restaurants ranged from New York to Arizona under mainly the name Timber Lodge Steakhouse, with a couple exceptions (Paul Bunyans Steakhouse in New York).[2]

Bankruptcy and Closings[edit]

Bad locations have plagued the company and it has dwindled back down to a few Minnesota restaurants. All locations outside the state of Minnesota have closed. The chain operated 18 locations when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2006.[3]

In August 2008 Taher Inc. acquired Timber Lodge Steakhouse Inc. Minnetonka-based Taher Inc., led by founder and CEO Bruce Taher, provides foodservice management for schools, senior-housing facilities and corporate cafeterias in 10 states. “They have really good food,” Bruce Taher said about Timber Lodge. “They cook from scratch, which fits our culture of chef-driven restaurants, and I think they provide a good value to customers.” Bob Campbell, who was part of the previous ownership group that consisted of 10 local investors, said it’s a good deal. “I think it’s a very positive change for Timber Lodge, our employees and our customers, and in the long run for our vendors and everyone else involved,” he said. Timber Lodge was down to ten locations by the time of its sale to Taher.[4]

In November 2009, restaurants closed in St. Cloud, MN, and Rochester, MN. As a result of the closings, a judge levied a $3.57 million judgment against Timber Lodge for not fulfilling its leases. The Fargo, ND, location closed its doors on July 24, 2010. The Sioux Falls, SD, location also closed late July, 2010.[5][6]

The Duluth location closed permanently on January 1, 2016. Owner Bruce Taher cited lack of customer parking, high rent, and the restaurant's large footprint as reasons for the closing. The Duluth restaurant had been located in the Waterfront Plaza building in Canal Park for 20 years. Timber Lodge now has only two remaining locations: Bloomington and Owatonna.[7]