Divine Diner

Wayzata’s Maggie’s Family Restaurant has been serving up breakfast (and more) for decades.

Walk in to Maggie’s Family Restaurant in Wayzata on a busy Saturday morning, and you might not know what year it is. The restaurant has been doing things the same way—with much of the same staff cooking up mostly the same menu for three meals a day, seven days a week—for almost four decades straight.

Nick Homan opened the restaurant in 1979 as a second location for his successful Park Pizzeria and Pasta in St. Louis Park. “We made salad, pizza, pasta—we made our own sausage, grated our own cheese, made fresh dough, sauce from scratch. It was your classic 1970s pizza joint,” says current owner (and Nick’s son) Scott Homan, who became a partner at age 27 and took over for his dad completely in 2015. “I was 6 when my dad took over the restaurant—I’ve been eating the pizza my whole life.”

But the pizza industry was changing—Domino’s and other major chains came on the scene, and “mom and pop pizza places took a hit,” says Homan. One former staffer had come from Perkins, so in 1984 Nick Homan decided to expand the menu and rename the place Maggie’s after his mom. When Maggie visited the restaurant from the family farm in Litchfield, as she frequently did on Sunday mornings, she’d wait for table 5 to open up so she could sit under her photo and wait for people to stop and talk to her.

“We got a flat-top grill and some fryers, added breakfast—a full line like you’d see in a Perkins or a Denny’s,” says Scott Homan. And with all the hustle and bustle and just 20 tables, there’s not much room for frills or extra staff. “I don’t ‘manage,’” Homan says. “I wear an apron and flip eggs.”

The team has changed somewhat over the years, but there are always around 22 people on the staff. It’s a family affair for the Homans, with several generations of siblings and step-siblings working there, but even the non-Homan staff has become like family. “I have staff members who are very much like family,” says Scott. His sister-in-law Marissa—who wasn’t a sister-in-law when she started—runs the dining room and has for years. Jon Kyllo, “the pizza guy,” has been around since he and two others moved over to the Wayzata location when it first opened. DeeAnn Pastoreck, a beloved morning waitress, has been a constant presence since 1980. Cook and manager Jeff Fiene—also known as House—is going on 20 years with the company.

“It’s a tight-knit staff. You see the same people every day,” says Scott Homan. “Gosh, there have to have been a dozen marriages between cooks and other staff over the years,” he adds with a laugh. There’s a pretty constant group of loyal Maggie’s regulars, too.

“They’re all local. They all know each other,” says Homan, who remembers Tony Feser, one of the area’s oldest residents. Feser passed away in 2011 at age 98, but he came in for coffee at Maggie’s every day but Sunday, when he’d volunteer at St. Bart’s. As head of the Wayzata Volunteer Fire Department and a local war hero, he seemed to know everyone who walked through the door. Homan mentions several other regular customers: “Al’s here every morning—he has a different meal for each day of the week. George comes in every Sunday. If Al doesn’t see him, he’ll check up on George,” says Homan. A group of teachers and coaches come in together for their fantasy football breakfast. “My kitchen is open—I see people come in, say ‘hi,’ and then throw their food on. I usually know what they’re having!”

“One of the first families of customers I ever got close to—they had a baby and stopped coming in for a while,” says Homan. “They brought Alexander in when he was about 6 months old, and I started watching him so they could eat. He’s in his 20s now—I had a beer with him recently.”

Because of the tight-knit, small-town vibe of the restaurant, Maggie’s has become a community meeting place and also a resource for its guests. “We’re kind of like 4-1-1 for Wayzata,” Homan jokes. “People call and ask, ‘Can you get me the number for the store two doors down?’”

The food is comfortable and familiar, and the menu is extensive. Bring it up on your phone, and you might need to give your scrolling thumb a break after the breakfast section. There’s a signature French toast, made with French bread baked fresh every day and dunked in a simple egg wash before it’s cooked. Get it cinnamon-flavored or topped with apples, strawberries or blueberries—with whipped cream, maybe? Five slices are standard; there’s also a three-slice order with an optional choice of meat.

On the savory side, there are traditional eggs and scrambles and an extensive omelet list, plus two kinds of eggs Benedict. “The crab cake Benedict—that sells like crazy,” says Homan. A traditional version comes with poached eggs, sliced ham or turkey on an English muffin with hollandaise sauce and hash browns on the side for under $10. “We’re making breakfast the way it was made in the ’70s or ’80s. Eggs the correct way—made to order—which is hard to find these days,” says Homan. “There’s no brunch buffet. It’s all made to order, as you order. And we’re good at it.”

Lunch includes classic sandwiches: BLTs, Reubens, burgers and turkey melts with salads and fresh soups. Dinners are mostly Italian with American classics like pork chops and chicken or sirloin dinners thrown in. Try a pocket pie for a Midwestern comfort food version of a calzone or empanada.

Pizza is still a favorite, like it has been since the restaurant’s Park Pizza days. Homan says that on a Friday night, they’ll sell up to 120 large pizzas. His favorite thing? Lasagna. “It’s kind of classic,” he says.

Without many frills—and just 20 tables—the magic of Maggie’s happens in a tiny grill area that’s about nine feet by four feet. “We cram three big guys in there on the weekend—and House is, like, 6-foot-5,” laughs Homan. “I brag because we’re making affordable food for regular people—we’re not making four-pound burgers. We’re just making good food. Every day. That’s why I think we’re still here.”