New restaurants shaping Owatonna


Raeghen Murry

The Smokin’ Sliverback Craft Restaurtant and other food chains are paving the way for new opprtunities in Owatonna.

Raeghen Murry, Writer

Owatonna has evolved with new businesses and shops opening downtown. It’s been a huge success for Owatonna to invite and give experiences to people and businesses for the town. One exciting thing happening is there are three more food chains coming to Owatonna which, as a town, has been changing a lot these past two years. 

Since the COVID-19 lockdown, many Owatonna shops were shut down and not moving as business was slow. Many of Owatonna’s downtown stores and businesses are located in older buildings. These older businesses are aiming to add on to their stores and also renovate their buildings to bring in new customers. Owatonna is trying to make the town more colorful and lively in hopes that it will be perceived as more inviting to the public eye. One way they are doing this is by getting new restaurants to set up shop.

One of these new restaurants moving to town is an Italian based restaurant called Roma which will be located in the building at 203 North Cedar Avenue in downtown Owatonna. This building has a rich history–once a grocery store, then a barber shop, then it became the restaurant known as Jerry’s Supper Club in the 1960s. Now, the building will be known as Roma’s. Once Roma’s Italian Eatery opens in the spring, it is hopeful to bring hungry customers along the way.

A new BBQ restaurant has recently moved to Owatonna known as The Smokin’ Silverback Craft BBQ. This new restaurant opened in the month of January. The restaurant is located in the old Godfather’s Pizza building next to El Tequila on South Cedar Avenue. Residents in town are very excited to welcome The Smokin’ Silverback Craft BBQ to Owatonna. 

Owatonna is set to  welcome a new coffee shop called Scooters. Scooters is a drive-thru coffee shop. This will also be the first drive-thru coffee shop on the south side of Owatonna. They are planning to move into the vacant lot near Hy-Vee on the corner of 18th Street and Cedar Avenue.

The addition of Roma, The Smokin’ Silverback, and Scooters have many community members talking.  English teacher Lauren Gendron said, “I think it’s good to revitalize downtown because it brings more people into our community and helps local businesses.”. Owatonna is a growing town and is evolving with the recent addition of the shops and places to eat.