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WunderBar Eatery and Glampground faces financial challenges

Teri Downing of WunderBar with one of the first campers in the
Teri Downing of WunderBar with one of the first campers in the "Glampground." Photo courtesy of WunderBar's Facebook page.

The WunderBar Eatery and Glampground opened just over two years ago with a novel idea and high hopes. Teri and Chris Downing planned to revitalize the long-closed Harbor Light Supper Club, making it not just a restaurant, but a place for people to “stay and play.”

They brought the concept of “glamping” to the North Shore, offering stays in several revamped campers and elegant Lotus Belle tents. The glamping model has been well received and WunderBar has received a great deal of media attention around the region. The funky atmosphere, with its from-scratch menu overseen by Chef Chris Callender, nostalgic drinks, game room and lounge and live music has earned two Minnesota Monthly awards – Top 50 Destinations in Minnesota and Top 100 Places to Visit this Summer.

However, keeping the WunderBar open year-round has been a struggle. In recent months, the parent company of WunderBar Eatery, Heart Rock LLC, has been on the docket in state bankruptcy court.

WTIP Community Radio reached out to the Downings to find more about the status of the WunderBar. Teri Downing confirmed that Heart Rock LLC is in the process of restructuring. Teri told WTIP this decision was not taken lightly, but it is one that will hopefully give WunderBar the chance to honor the events and vacations planned by guests.

WTIP invited Teri and Chris into the studio to learn more about the future of WunderBar – and the Downing family.

The couple is still hopeful that WunderBar Eatery and Glampground will continue to be part of the community. They both expressed appreciation to the many people who have supported them. And Chris Downing encouraged people to watch for announcements about the WunderBar and an opportunity to be involved in the business. The couple said to watch for announcements at WunderBar and on their social media outlets, such as their Facebook page. 

Here’s WTIP’s Rhonda Silence with the conversation with Teri and Chris Downing.