This week we’re featuring stories of rural revival happening in Holstein, Iowa. Today’s guest blog post is from Billy Fraser, owner of Backdraft Bar & Grill, which has been voted one of the top 99 restaurants in the state of Iowa and just won the Siouxland Choice Award for Best Pizza & Wings 2018! Congrats and welcome, Billy!
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My name is Billy Fraser. I've been married to my wife Micki for 10 years now and we have three kids ages 9, 4, and 2. As a lifelong resident of Holstein, I’ve been a volunteer firefighter and EMT for 15 years and also volunteer for Boy Scouts.
Starting this business was something I wanted to do for awhile. I tried buying a restaurant about 10 years ago and it didn't work out. I had been working with the family business my whole life, which was body work, but the shop fell on hard times and we had to close up shop. During the last year of the shop I was also bartending for Ruble's Family BBQ, and they had mentioned a few times about selling. Around that same time we also found out we were pregnant with our second child, so we were at a tough spot in the road. All I knew was mainly body work, but we decided to take the gamble and purchase the bar. My wife had a good job working at VT Industries, so we knew we had health insurance to help us through the transition. That was five years ago and now she is home doing daycare.
Since buying the bar, we’ve created a great menu including 15 different specialty pizzas, with our most popular being Brisket with Cream Cheese, followed by The Works (a 7-pound pizza), Crab Rangoon, Bug Mac, Bacon Cheeseburger, and Buffalo Chicken. We also serve in-house smoked BBQ, with brisket, pulled pork, half chicken, and on Friday and Saturday nights we have prime rib. We also have a full wet bar with 80 styles of beer and 50 types of liquor.
In the time since we’ve owned the bar it’s been great to see the town grow. You hear about all the stuff the town had to offer in the past and to see some come back is great. What do I love about this town?! It is one of the nicest towns around. People are always willing to talk and help out as much as they can. There is so much to do. From the city park, rec center, swimming pool, and now the movie theater - which does a great job showing diverse movies - there’s something for the young and old and everyone in between. Out-of-towners have a place to get great cuts of meat at Tiefenthaler Quality Meats and great stores to shop to get clothes and home decor. You can get just about everything you need in town. And if you don't want to cook, we do offer some great restaurants in town, also!
Find Backdraft Bar & Grill on Facebook.
Find out more about the rural revival happening in Holstein, Iowa here: