New restaurant set to open in Marshall
January 20, 2018
Don Sheppard thought it would be a great touch to have the walls decorated with barn wood for his new restaurant set to open on 516 Plaza Drive in Marshall.
He bought this rural décor from a farmer who lived between Fort Atkinson and Palmyra. Some of it is rusty. Hence, his new restaurant will be called Rusty’s Bar & Grill.
“It was going to be called Rustic Pizza, but someone said they like Rusty instead of rustic better,” Sheppard said. “I think I do like that name (Rusty) better.”
Right now, the main hold up to opening the restaurant is finding adult employees. He said he plans to open in a couple of weeks. “It is very, very hard,” he said. “We just need employees.”
He would love to have local farmers cast iron their farm logos and names on the barn wood on the walls.
He plans on having a pizza buffet with a few food items from 4-8 p.m. as well as a full menu. He will have breakfast Saturdays and Sundays with prime rib on Saturdays and a fish fry on Fridays. The village board granted him a liquor and beer license on Jan. 9.
He wants to have the restaurant open later at night to cater to customers who work all day, and often in other communities. It also would be a place for people to come in after basketball games or a school event, he said.
For Sheppard, farm life is intriguing to him. While both his parents worked in a city in South Dakota, many of his friends lived on farms. He helped then whenever he could. “It is neat. You live, work, play and eat together,” he said. “It was absolutely great.”
He moved to Wisconsin when he was 32. After graduating with a business degree from Northern State University in Aberdeen, S.D.., he worked in an insurance company to learn everything he could about businesses. His goal was to have his own restaurant business. He moved to Fort Atkinson to own, operate and manage Taco John’s.
Through his restaurant networking in Fort Atkinson, he knew Neim Beqiri, who owns the plaza where the new restaurant will be located. “He knew I wanted to own a restaurant, and he suggested Marshall,” Sheppard said. So far, he is pleased with this decision. “It feels like a South Dakota community,” he said of Marshall. “Everyone is very nice and welcoming.”
Currently, he commutes from his home in Janesville. He said he would like to move to Marshall, but there is no place to rent. He said he would consider buying a home if he finds one he likes. “What I may consider doing is build my own house in Marshall if I don’t find a place,” he said.
He loves the restaurant business as he said there are many conversations in the restaurant, and he finds that special. He also has menu items named after each member of his family based on his or her favorite food.
He will have Joannie’s Deluxe Cheeseburger which is a stuffed cheeseburger with a special sauce and an onion ring, Linda’s Chicken Fettuchini, Steve’s Steak Sandwich, Mom’s Lasagna and Susan’s Healthy Salad.
When his mother, Patricia, died in 2001, he was touched that he got three meals catered for free for his family. He said that if anyone dies in Marshall, he would do that free of charge for his or her family. “I want to carry on that tradition,” he said. “For everyone.”
He is close to his family, and his family is important to him. He would like to bring his family values to his employees, customers and to the Marshall community.
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