When you bring in a former Saturday Night Live comedian, you know you’ve made it.
Steve Patterson and Brian Miller, business partners and owners of Lansing Corner Bar & Grill in Austin, have created a popular entertainment venue by bringing in a variety of acts. From live music to comedy and car shows to cornhole leagues, this establishment has it going on.
“We have a unique opportunity to bring in different forms of entertainment,” Patterson said. “Like last Halloween, we did a murder mystery party that we could only do because we have this big event center attached to our restaurant. Chris Cattan from Saturday Night Live came out and did live comedy. That’s the biggest act we’ve had so far. And I’m in talks to bring in three more former Saturday Night Live cast members, hopefully sometime this winter.”
Patterson relocated to Austin for work and Miller commutes to Austin from Albert Lea. The partners bought Lansing Corners – which was formerly a supper club – and opened in 2021.
They decided to pivot and switch from a supper club to a bar and grill, taking into account what Patterson describes as a recession whereby people seek more affordable food options.
Their concept resonates with the community, they know, as they were recently nominated for seven “best of” business awards via the Austin Daily Herald. Among their nominations were for best burgers, wings, fries, Bloody Mary, bar, restaurant and place to play bingo, Patterson said.
Patterson and Miller met while working at a Kwik Trip in 2009. Years later, they sold cars together and in 2017 they decided they wanted to go into business for themselves.
They had plans to open a craft beer brewery in Rochester, but then Covid interrupted their plans. Later, Patterson and Miller realized they’d have better luck opening a business in Austin than in Rochester, Patterson said. In Austin they were able to buy an existing business and recreate it.
“What was taking us six years to do in Rochester, we did in about six weeks in Austin,” he said.
With such a big space of 14,000 square feet, they’re able to hold events including weddings, birthday parties, bingo and the aforementioned comedy shows. They also hold outdoor concerts.
As for their menu, they feature traditional bar food, Patterson said. Their best selling burger is the cheese curd bacon burger, which is a ½ pound paddy with cheddar, bacon and cheese curds.
“That’s been really popular,” he said. “It’s been a really good seller for us.”
On the weekends, they offer specials such as prime rib, and Friday night fish fries are held in the winter. Patterson said they’ve only had two negative reviews since opening, and tend to generate positive reviews on Facebook and Google.
“We’re profitable during what I consider a recession,” Patterson said. “We’ve still managed to be profitable through all of it. It’s taken a lot of work but we’re determined to keep Lansing Corners around for another several decades.”
“Most people say they’re just happy someone is doing something with the business,” he said. “Lansing Corners has been around since 1938. People are happy we’re doing something. They really appreciate the comedy shows we bring in and appreciate that we’re trying to create family-friendly events people can be a part of.”
Lansing Corners Bar & Grill is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 10 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. It’s located at 27017 US Highway 218 in Austin.
To see what upcoming events they’re hosting, go to lansingcorners.com.