Posted Sept. 7, 2012
After 11 years at the helm of the Poolside Inn, Kristen Burnelle has sold the business to Mike and Karina Cline. Burnelle, explains, “Joyce, I bought the Poolside in 2001 from my Aunt and Uncle, Lanny and Jennifer Johnson, whom I was working for at the time. I had plenty of food service experience having worked in a restaurant business in Minneapolis. I did do some changing to the menu, slowly adding things more veggie related, and wraps and such. I also added catering and doing the fair and other community food service projects. But about four years ago I started thinking about selling and then about six months ago, I got serious about it. There are new things I want to concentrate on now, like traveling and finishing some schooling and then follow this with a regular 9-5 job. I would like to come home one day not smelling like a French fry! To this she added, “It’s kinda time”. I will stick around here until I decide which direction I want to go in. I want to tell everyone that I could not have done this without the support of our great community, amazing employees and my family. It’s been a heartwarming experience here in Mott. I have been blessed.”
Next, I stop at the Poolside, now renamed “Violets Kitchen” after the new owner’s, Karina Clines, great-grandmother who raised her, where we talk of the future of the business. The Clines, Mike, Karina, Lilly and Josh will be running the business and have high hopes that the community will appreciate the small changes they are making. The eating area is now set for more leisure restaurant service with waitress service, new menus and candles on the tables. There will be “Oldie Goldies and old country music as background music in the restaurant. The Drive Inn service will continue of course. Violets Kitchen will provide full dinner meals service after p.m. each day, and you may call in for delivery service of these meals. You may pick up a meal service sheet of available meals at the drive-in window. Katrina adds that they are so very grateful to find a business they could purchase at this time to support them, since Mike Clines injures from the heater explosion, have not recovered to any point where he can return to his long-time career as an electrician. His hand no longer closes and he is still in treatment for his eye injuries, which have left him with blurring vision.
And so the Park Inn became the Poolside Drive Inn and now taking it into a new future it will here fore be known as Violets Kitchen.
The history of the Poolside Inn was started in 1958 by Urban and Irene Gratz, as he explains it, “We constructed a small block building, “about 12 x 24”, Gratz’s says, “ and we called it the Park Inn. Our first customer was Jean Blaine, on July 3, 1958 who ordered an ice cream sundae at about 11:30 a.m., that day!” A “sweet” beginning to 54 years of Mott fast food history. Lest we forget, and I did, and needed to be reminded, they had “Car Hops” back then that served you at your car. Urban and Irene had the drive-in for 5 years, after which it went to Gary Kelsch, Lawrence Schmidt, Ron Julson, Les Hohhalter, Brian Bieber, Ed and Marcy Kautzman, Myron and Jodi Schweitzer, Lanny and Jennifer Johnson , who as mentioned above sold it to Burnelle. Each of the previous owners added something, to improve or add to the menu or construction and or shape of the building. Things like canopies, a gazebo, a canvas topper that became a medal canopy, then indoor seating, the first bathroom which was on the sidewalk, an area to sell fireworks from and finally Kris who sided it. Gary Kelsch, renamed the Park Inn, the Poolside in the 60tys, and it has been the Poolside Drive Inn ever since. (*Please note the only persons, having owned the Poolside I was unable to contact was Ed and Marcie Kautzman, whom all other owners credit with doing the most to improve the business.)
Joyce Hinrichs Mott