Harmony couple excited to give restaurant new life

CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER The Onsager family opened The Falcon’s Nest on Friday, May 31. From left are Lucas, Shannon, Stefan and Emily.

CHARLIE WARNER/NEWS LEADER Emily and Shannon Onsager are shown in the dining area of their new restaurant in downtown Harmony, called the Falcon’s Nest. Some of the Falcon sports memorabilia is shown in the background.
Charlie Warner

For the past six weeks Shannon and Emily Onsager and their sons, Stefan and Lucas, have been working seven days a week remodeling the former Village Square Restaurant in downtown Harmony. The Harmony residents closed on the purchase of the popular eating venue on April 10 and went right to work.

“It was a lot of work,” Shannon said with the big smile as he looked around the new Falcon’s Nest. “But we are very pleased with the way it turned out. And we’re so excited about opening for business this Friday,” he added during an interview last week.

For more than two weeks in April, a large dumpster was situated in front of the building on the west side of Harmony’s Main Street, an indication that major renovation was taking place. The old floor was removed and a new, very attractive laminate was installed. New windows on the front of the building, a new color scheme, screen door and awning have provided for a new look.

The restrooms were updated with new fixtures and paint. A shiny corrugated steel wainscoting was installed on some of the walls in the dining area. New chairs and some new tables were added, as well as all new dishes for the customers.

And when the Onsagers weren’t working on the physical aspects of their new business, they were brainstorming as to what type of menu they were going to offer, trying different recipes. They contemplated how many employees they would have to hire, considered hours of operation and all the little things that help make a business venture like this be a success.

“This is something we’ve talked about for some time,” Shannon admitted. “Emily and I wanted to have our own business, something here in Harmony. So when we heard that no one had bought the Village Square and it wasn’t going to open this spring, we decided to move forward.”

When asked if anyone in the family had prior restaurant experience, Emily noted that Stefan had worked at the Village Square for three years. She added she had worked busing tables at the Branding Iron when she was a teen and then worked as a waitress at the former Townouse Restaurant in Harmony several decades ago.

“I always liked to cook,” Shannon chimed in.

The Falcon’s Nest has a sporty feel to it. The walls are painted grey and black with accents of teal (Fillmore Central Falcons’ school colors). There are old sports photos, uniforms and other Fillmore Central sports memorabilia on the walls.

“We wanted the Fillmore Central theme, as both of our sons participate in Falcon athletics,” Emily explained. “Fillmore Central is a great school, with great students and staff. We wanted to promote this with our business.”

Proof that the Onsagers’ new venture will be supporting the local school district is the fact that over 20 Fillmore Central students have been hired to work at the Falcon’s Nest. Shannon added there will also be two full-time employees, besides himself, that will be working there. “We definitely plan to be open throughout the winter months,” he added.

Falcon’s Nest will offer pizzas, various types of burgers, chicken sandwiches, salads, wraps, various appetizers, soups, more than a dozen varieties of homemade pies and eight different varieties of the “Chocolate Shoppe” brand of hard ice cream.

“I actually had to travel to Madison, Wis., for an all-day training session at the corporate headquarters of Chocolate Shoppe,” Shannon pointed out. They also plan to sell the specialty ice cream by the pint.

Falcon’s Nest held a “soft opening” last Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday where friends and relatives were invited to try out the menu. Both Shannon and Emily said everything went quite smoothly. And they received rave reviews on the food, the service and the updated dining area motif.

The Falcon’s Nest is open for business Mondays through Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The business will be closed on Sunday.

“We have been receiving tons of support and enthusiasm from the community,” Shannon noted. “Folks are excited about the Falcon’s Nest and we are too.”

For more information or to call for takeout orders, call 507-886-FOOD.