After more than three decades as the owner of the Eagle Inn restaurant, Todd Baker is taking on a new venture, opening the third full-service restaurant the Village of Prairie du Sac.
Surrounded by what once was a sprawling prairie that has now turned into housing developments, the new Prairie House Food and Spirits, formerly Mason’s Bar and Grill in the Wyttenbach Meats plaza, will offer what Baker calls a unique dining experience not currently offered in the Sauk Prairie area.
The new business, targeted to open in mid-May, pairs Todd with his younger sister Toni Baker, who has worked at Madison’s Shamrock Bar and Grille for 12 years. Todd said it’s a perfect match for success. “Toni loves cooking and she’s proud of it,” Todd Baker said. “I love running a business. I love coming in here and starting a new place and marketing and figuring out how to increase business.”
Todd said he discovered the space was available beginning March 1 when he asked Fritz Wyttenbach about it last month. “Here sits this little restaurant right in the middle of all these homes,” Todd said. “What a good place to open a restaurant. I’m more of a sit at the bar until dinner’s ready then go in and eat kind of guy, and I think that’s lacking here. This is more of a middle-level place.”
Todd emphasized his interest in the Eagle Inn will continue and the business will remain one of Prairie du Sac’s mainstays.
“For the Eagle Inn 2013 was a record year,” Todd said. “With Highway 12 being closed down, sales were still up by 13 percent. In 2014 I expected to take a hit because of the Highway 60 bridge being down, but sales went up another three percent above 2013. In January of 2015, we were up 3.2 percent over 2014.” The Prairie House is twice the size of the Eagle Inn, with two full-size dining rooms and a third one upstairs. The bar and dining area is planned for a sports bar theme. The upstairs will be utilized as a dining room served by a dumbwaiter that will transport drinks from the bar, dinners from the kitchen, and empty dishes to the dishwashing area below.
“The wait staff will never have to leave the upstairs,” Todd said. Positioned next door to Wyttenbach’s, Baker said the Prairie House menu would include top-quality steaks and ribs, along with unique sandwiches, salads and appetizers not found anywhere else. The menu, which is still in development stage, will also include various forms of pot pies and food pairings with craft beers and wine. Todd said all vegetables will come from local farms and be served fresh every day. The brother and sister are busy making new design decisions that may include new flooring, paint and prairie-themed decorations. Toni said she always has loved the look of reclaimed wood, and this may be her opportunity to decorate with it. “We’re thinking of the reclaimed wood look to make it look more comfortable and not just big, white walls,” Toni said. “We want a warmer, more welcoming space.” “It’s really taking on a life of its own and the ideas are just flowing,” Toni said. “I am so grateful for Todd for bringing me in on this. We’re excited to get up and running.”