Todd Johanson had worked in restaurants for a long time and never had the opportunity to be his own boss.
“I had been looking for a bar for two years,” he explained.
Mutual friends led Johanson to Baldwin and Chris Klinker, the owner of Klinker’s Korner. Conversation between the two commenced and on Oct. 11, Johanson, and wife Dawn, became the new owners.
The pair renamed the bar North Meets South in honor of their backgrounds. Todd is from Minnesota, while Dawn grew up in Kentucky.
“Chris has been extremely great and helpful throughout all this,” Todd said. “We are very thankful she sold to us.”
Johanson was drawn to the size of the bar along with the small-town aspect Baldwin gave off as he grew up in St. Paul.
The business started serving food the last week of October and has gotten off to a good start.
“Everyone has loved what we have done,” Todd said. “We’ve gotten great feedback from our food.”
As of earlier this month, the menu consisted of burgers, Cuban sandwiches and Dagos. That’s only the beginning as Johanson talked about adding soups, chilis or salads.
“We want to expand breakfast and maybe include wraps,” he added. The lunch menu will be available starting at 11:30 a.m.
The sign advertising Klinker’s Korner in front of the bar will be coming down at some point, he explained. Other subtle changes include new lights and new games.
With his Minnesota background, he replied that he is indeed a Minnesota Viking fan, but he has no issues with the Green Bay Packers except the two times a year which they play each other.