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Diner-style Benedict’s Wakes up Wayzeta

Benedict’s Morning Heroes now open in The Promenade of Wayzata.


Everyone was telling Mike Rakun that a good, solid breakfast spot was needed in downtown

Benedict’s owner and executive chef Mike Rakun (left), along with co-owner Scott Gardiner, bring morning fare to Wayzata.

Wayzata, now that morning mainstays Original Pancake House and Sunsets were long gone. 

Said to anyone else and a nod of agreement would likely follow, nothing more. But to the chef and owner of Mercy (formerly Marin) in downtown Minneapolis, this was an opportunity to turn the ideas he already had for a breakfast-and-lunch café into reality. Working with the developer of mixed-use project the Promenade of Wayzata, along with design and marketing firm Shea Inc., Rakun opened Benedict’s October 17 at 845 Lake St. E. 

“I just thought, the stars are all pointing to this, so let’s do it,” said Rakun. “I love breakfast—I mean, who doesn’t? But I don’t want to get all fussy with it. I want to do the classics and do them really well.”

Those classics include, of course, a selection of eggs Benedict ranging from the original with ham and hollandaise to a surf-and-turf version with beef tenderloin, crab Oscar, smoked mustard and hollandaise. Then there are omelets, pancakes and other breakfast standards, plus a full lunch menu of sandwiches (get the crab grilled cheese) and more. 

“I want to be the everyday place, not the special occasion place,” Rakun noted of developing a familiar menu with a few twists.

Rakun’s wife Abby, who has family in Wayzata, is also helping run Benedict’s, and Rakun said he was lucky to convince good friend Scott Gardiner to not only come on as co-owner but move from Florida to Minnesota. The two first worked together at Truluck’s in Fort Lauderdale, where Gardiner said they grew sales to more than $6 million. 

Having worked every front-of-house position during his career, Gardiner said the service at Benedict’s starts with “hiring through hospitality” and ensuring the people who work at the restaurant want to take care of other people. It’s one of the reasons, he noted, that the full name of the restaurant is actually Benedict’s Morning Heroes, as they aim to be just that. 

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