Brainerd Area News

New Beginnings For Restaurant And New Owners


The iconic Spotlight Restaurant in Garrison is under new ownership as of October 1st. The sale was made Facebook official in a post from the Svoboda’s that have owned the Spotlight for over four decades.


Nick Bratland is the new owner. He and his family started looking into owning the Spotlight around four months ago. According to a recent story in the Aitkin Independent Age, He had spent the past 22 years in Minneapolis as the manager at a jewelry store that was destroyed in the Minneapolis riots this past summer.

“I knew I was ready to get out of Minneapolis,” Bratland said, “and go do something different.”

In addition to the jewelry store, Bratland also has prior experience working in food service, including work at a golf course and at a bar and restaurant owned by his mother, Kim Verret.

Verret will also join Bratland at the Spotlite Cafe, managing the store’s front end. Bratland said that his wife, Amber, will be assisting at the restaurant part-time, though she also keeps busy as a stay-at-home mom for the family’s 16- and four-month-olds. The family has four teenage children as well.

“I was looking for a family business,” Bratland said. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, whether it be a restaurant or something else.”  —Aitkin Independent Age

They added that they don’t intend to change much as menu will stay the same. One exciting change that the regulars will like, the Bratland’s are going to keep the Spotlight open through the winter.