Island View Dining, Waconia Minnesota offers casual dining and banquet facilities.  

It seems like it was just yesterday, but in fact, it has been almost two years since Victoria residents Kevin and Kim Heenie departed from Island View Dining in Waconia. For a while, there wasn’t a day that went by without one or two people asking me what the Heenie’s would do next, or even better, lobbing out an awesome to ridiculous rumor regarding their plans. Not one of which turned out to be true. The closest anyone came was that they were going to start another restaurant. Really??? Always heard there were lots of Mensa candidates in the area. What plan did God have in mind for them???

Well now, there is finally something to talk about, and to those of us that miss Kim’s decorating and hospitality or Kevin’s wings or creativity, we have a reason to celebrate. Everyone knows that Kim has always had some big dreams, with the energy to go along with them. She has been working on whatever would come next around the clock, I’d bet. So it was just a matter of time. I’m pretty sure that all Kevin wants is be left alone to experiment and create great food and play a little more golf, but he usually ends up doing whatever the boss tells him to do. Don’t we all?

So here it is.....Winchester and Rye.

That’s the name of the new restaurant that the Heenie’s will be building out and managing in the old Creamery building in downtown Victoria. It’s been about 100 years since that building had some serious renovation. It was time.

What kind of restaurant will it be? Well, I was lucky enough to obtain a sneak peek at the preliminary menu, and it made me happy. It includes some old favorites (yay!) but more interesting was the inclusion of a brick oven pizza and a serious whiskey bar! Pretty sure most would agree that there is room in Carver County for some decent pizza. Just sayin’. Not as sure that everyone would be as excited at the prospects of a whiskey bar but kudos to the Heenies for jumping on an emerging trend that might take Carver County drinkers out of the eighties! Hehehe. There will also be adequate event space. Want to know more than that? You’ll have to wait until they open early spring when the new establishment opens to all readers...

Now let’s go back a minute and chat about the name. Why Winchester and Rye? Because it sounds cool? (and it does) Nope! It’s because Kim has had almost two years to put the pieces of this dream together, and she has had lots of time to get everything “just right”. She did not want just another catchy name. She wanted a catchy name that means something. (and it does)

So as it turns out, the Heenie clan comes from out east. The Great State Of Connecticut to be precise. Kevin’s family has a history of craftsmanship and artisanal creativity. His grandfather was a very well-known gunsmith who created custom, handcrafted wood stocks for Winchester. Actually, he made them for Kings and Queens, Presidents and Senators, movie stars, famous athletes, and the ultra-rich. These are the types of craftsmen that our country was known for. It’s a legacy of handcrafting and creativity that has been passed down through generations of Heenies in various forms. Like the culinary arts. So that is where the “Winchester” comes from.

Meanwhile, Kim’s great-grandparents have their own history of artisanal creativity. They were known for making some of the best rye-and-corn whiskey around (at a time during Prohibition when folks took it upon themselves to make their own). If you want to see the proof, Kim’s uncle can show you the spot where the old farmstead’s underground distillery was located. Crazy, but true. So that’s where the “Rye” comes from, and I’m pretty sure our Mensa candidates have figured out the reason for the whiskey bar! See you there!

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