Beager’s Barbeque in Lincoln is up and smokin’

Former Old Mill and Lin Club now owned by Jeff Larson

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
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Jeff Larson opened Beager’s Barbeque June 15, at the former Old Mill restaurant site. A dream of his to own a specialty restaurant, he is looking forward to adding many items to his menu. Larson is pictured with the restaurant’s new Ole Hickory smoker that holds 300 pounds of meat.

Jeff Larson of Sauk Rapids has purchased the restaurant formerly known as Old Mill and prior to that, the Lin Club, located in Lincoln.

Now named Beager’s Barbeque, it is serving just as it’s name implies, barbecued, smoked meats.

Larson, who has fished the Lincoln Lakes area for more than 25 years, and has owned a lake home on Fish Trap Lake for five years, is living his dream.

“I have always wanted to open a specialty restaurant, just wasn’t sure what type,” he said. “I wanted to do something different and barbecuing has always been a passion of mine.”

A non-superstitious person, Larson signed the purchase agreement Friday, April 13, and closed April 24. He named the restaurant after his 12-year-old beagle, Beagers.

Larson employs about a dozen workers to ensure a great experience at his new restaurant.

To produce the smoked barbecued food he’s offering, Larson purchased an Ole Hickory smoker. The unit, which will hold 300 pounds of meat on its 72 square feet of racks, arrived Tuesday from Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The cooker has thermostat controlled temperatures and uses both wood and gas. The former is for flavor and the latter is to keep the temperatures in the cooker equalized.

“Barbecued and smoked meats need to be cooked slow, at about 225 degrees,” said Larson. “By using lower temperatures, it reduces shrinkage and the meat is more tender.”

The unit’s rotating racks are self-basting and its sealed doors retain the hot dry smoke and air. No moisture is released from the oven to produce a juicier product.

To begin with, Larson will be serving ribs and pulled pork sandwiches. Soon he will be adding chicken and within a couple of weeks, brisket.

Larson also plans on specialty items on a regular basis.

“I will be cooking in a fashion most people won’t have experienced unless they have eaten in pit restaurants in the Southern United States,” said Larson.

All Beager’s Barbeque’s menu items will be available for take out and Larson will have the capacity for large orders for special parties or get-togethers. He asks for a week’s notice for larger orders.

Beager’s Barbeque is open at 11 a.m. seven days a week. Reservations are not needed for lunch or dinner.

Larson was born and raised in Sauk Rapids and for a time, held the title of food and beverage manager with Best Western Hotels. For the next 25 years, he owned Guardian School Bus Company in St. Cloud, retiring in 2011. Shortly after that, he found the Old Mill Restaurant for sale.

Larson lives with his two beagles and a bloodhound.

For more information, contact Beagle’s Barbeque at (218) 575-2550.