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Our Beginnings: Bob’s Lookout
In 1957, with the help of his family, founder Bob Kinnan transformed a building situated on the family farmland that was used to house farm implements and equipment into a small bar.
The doors of “Bob’s Lookout” opened with a 3.2 beer and set-up license with a seating capacity of 55. Beer sold for 30 cents a bottle, set-ups were 20 cents a glass and cigarettes cost 15 cents a pack.
In 1959, live country music began 7 nights a week. The first band that ever played at the Lookout was the Clyde Harris Trio and others that followed were the likes of Mel Tillis, Jim Feeney, Les Cunningham, Texas Bill Strength, the Houle Brothers, The Stageman, The Countrymen and many more. “Come dance under the stars” – “Music 7½ nights a week” – one band would perform each evening and on Sundays there would be a band in the later afternoon and then a different one in the evening. People could dance outside on the first outdoor patio in the area. Once the seats were full inside – customers would sit outside on the grassy knolls and beer cases with the farm animals nearby. The Lookout had the best bands in the Twin Cities.
In 1960, Bob and Vivian were married (and still are married) and went on to have two sons – Thomas (Tom) born in 1963 and Michael born in 1968. In that same year – The Lookout opened its kitchen – run by his mother – Myrtle Kinnan (known as “Ma”) and started with a very limited menu – from hamburgers and fries for 50 cents, to a 16 ounce porterhouse steak dinner for $3.95.
1958: Bob’s Lookout opened – 30¢ beers & 15¢ cigarette packs
1959: Live country music began 7 nights a week
1960: Bob & Vivian were married
1963: Bob & Vivian welcomed their first son, Thomas
1968: Michael, Bob & Vivian’s second son, was born. The original building was also expanded, a liquor license was obtained, and The Lookout offered its first food menu.
1982: Opened a noon lunch food service
1983: Pineview Lane in Maple Grove changed from a gravel road to blacktop
1985: Residential house construction began
1987: Bob and Vivian officially retired, turned the day-to-day operations over to sons Tom and Michael and changed the name to “The Lookout Bar and Grill”
1993: The outdoor patio and parking lot was expanded
1998: Tom had decided that he needed a career change and headed up north – where he still resides today and Michael took over managing the business
1998 to 1999: Added a banquet room, started expanding the kitchen
1999: The Lookout Bar & Grill Catering business began
1999: Mike and Brenda were married
2000, Sept: Mike and Brenda’s first child, Camryn Kinnan, was born
2002: The 4-season porch was added
2002, Nov: Abby Kinnan, Mike and Brenda’s daughter, was born
2004: Revamped the patio and added a kids' play area
2005: Added outdoor fire pit
2008: 50th year in business
2013: The main bar and outdoor patio area was remodeled
2015: The New "Alley" was added to the side of the bar
2016: The outdoor bar was completed and opened for the first time
2017: The Lookout expanded its platform with the addition of our Champlin location open April-October at Andrews Park.
2018: The Lookout celebrated 60 years in business. Making it Maple Grove's oldest retailer.
Today: The Lookout Bar & Grill continues to be known as the "best kept secret in Maple Grove"