ReGrow Dining Spotlight
Ben Pratt, Owner
Ben Pratt, owner of Ingredients Café had a vision of a community focused, Burger and Sandwich restaurant in downtown White Bear Lake. The restaurant would be chef-driven, fast-casual, high quality and affordable. In May of 2019 his vision took to fruition when, after significant remodeling challenges to the old Red Lantern sushi restaurant space, The Burger Bar opened on 4th street, across from his own Ingredients Café.
As supportive members of the community, The company sponsors several youth hockey teams, both boys and girls; as well as other youth sports team. Ben likes that many of the coaches of these teams are friends he grew up playing hockey with in WBL.
The new concept is lean and mean with the food focus on outstanding burgers, roast beef sandwiches and fried chicken sandwiches. There are also wings, salads and side dishes and their beef and chicken are sustainably farmed, cruelty-free and never frozen. There is beer and wine to accompany your meal as well.
COVID has obviously hit all restaurants hard, but probably even more to those whose seating capacity was already fairly small. To face this challenge head on the restaurant did a quick pivot to online ordering. As luck would have it, their initial conversion crashed their computer system and they had to scrap the old system and invest in a newer one to keep the orders flowing. A blessing in disguise, the new system enabled the Burger Bar to bring develop some new and beneficial programs, such as their new VIP loyalty program, which has been a hit with customers. Ben is excited about the new Burger of the Month (BOM) club they are starting and they will soon be unveiling a new item called the “Buffalo Billy Club” – a Juicy-Lucy style burger made with buffalo meat and stuffed with bacon jam and blue cheese. Yikes!
Take-out has developed into a considerable percentage of their overall business and as the weather starts to cool Ben feels it will only continue to be an important component of ensuring the restaurant’s success. Fans may order through the Burger Bar web site at www.burgerbarwbl.com
The Burger Bar employs on average around nine employees. They are open seven days a week from 11 am to 8 pm. They are open all winter.
This article written by Ken Galloway, and originally featured in the White Bear Press.