Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking’s Personal Culture Is a Top Priority for Its Management Team

Bonfire general manager Meagan Laxen with assistant general manager Tanya Javner, chef Patricia Delgado and bartender Shanna Mooney.

Since it joined the Woodbury community in 2003, Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking has been a family gathering favorite. Their emphasis on casual dining and quality food and service has not gone unnoticed by the clientele that keeps coming back for more. Bonfire’s management has always taken pride in the restaurant and strived to maintain a friendly neighborhood feel, where guests can come to relax with friends and family and stay for a while. Bonfire’s new management team is upholding these values.

Meet the new team: general manager Meagan Laxen and assistant general managers Mike Masters and Tanya Javner. Laxen transferred to Woodbury last year from Bonfire’s Savage location. Masters was previously a kitchen manager for 20 years before joining Bonfire’s team. And Javner has been with Bonfire for a few years, serving for 12 years with previous management experience. The trio seeks to use their previous management and serving experience to make Bonfire not only a great place to dine, but also a great place to work.

“Everyone we work with really cares about this place. I love everyone I work with, and I want to be their voice,” Javner says. “Having been in the servers’ shoes, we understand where their hearts and minds are at.” Laxen echoes this thought, adding that her previous managers at Bonfire are part of what inspired her to get into management. “I said I would never be a restaurant manager, but the way our bosses and managers treated us showed us that they cared, and the heart that they had made me say, ‘I want to do this. I want to learn from them,’” Laxen says. It’s clear that not only does Bonfire’s team keep their guests happy, but they also place a high value on their excellent staff.

When Laxen was asked to come to Woodbury, she said yes because of the team. “It’s a super strong team; they are extremely warm and welcoming,” she says. “It’s just really cool. I fell in love with Bonfire because it really promotes a personal culture. Whether it’s hard times or easy times, we come together and support each other.” The staff at Bonfire translates this personal culture among their staff to their customer interaction as well, with a goal to truly get to know the people coming in and out of their restaurant on a day-to-day basis.

The management team notes that this personal focus is their priority and how they strive to get all their customers to become regulars. “I’d rather be saying ‘Welcome back’ than ‘Nice to meet you,’” Laxen says. Local, casual, fresh and friendly is their emphasis, and they have been successful in achieving this. Many Bonfire guests come in for the happy hour specials, get $2 off a cocktail at the bar, settle in for a nice relaxing dinner and then stick around for some great conversation or cocktails.

Though Bonfire’s focus is a neighborhood feel, the diversity they offer is a huge strength. From their Kids Eat Free on Sundays special to their catering business, rehearsal dinners and weddings, business lunches, happy hour specials, Bloody Mary and mimosa bars, high-end salmon, walleye and filet mignon, signature wood-fire pizzas and their lunchtime Campfire Combos, featuring half portions with soup or salad, their variety keeps everyone happy. From business owners to families of all ages, there is something for everyone at Bonfire.  

Creative Drinks and a Hearty Breakfast
Bonfire offers its popular Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary and Endless Mimosa Bar every Saturday and Sunday.

One of Bonfire’s most popular features is their weekend Bloody Mary and Mimosa Bar. Every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., guests can choose to dress up their one-time pour-your-own-vodka Bloody Mary at the bar with various cheeses, shrimp, bacon, hot sauces, fresh veggies and more for $8. Try the manager’s recommendation: the bold and spicy Bloody Mary, loaded up. Your other tasty choice is the bottomless pour-your-own-champagne mimosa with a variety of fresh fruit and juices for $10. A popular hearty and scrumptious breakfast is also served these mornings with many choices from omelets to French toast bake and breakfast burritos (breakfast is also served during the week at Bonfire from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.).

Bonfire Family Packs to Go
Check out these offerings for your next gathering.

1.BBQ Pack: Choice of barbecue brisket, pork or chicken with smashed potatoes, green beans, house slaw and buns. $40

2.Mesquite Feast:  Mesquite chicken, rack of St. Louis ribs with choice of brisket, pork or roast beef, served with smashed potatoes, green beans, house slaw and baguette. $65

3.Party Pack: Two three-topping pizzas, traditional char wings, celery, ranch, and garlic bread. $50

4. Wrap Pack: Southwest or Caesar wrap, queso blanco, tortilla chips and fresh fruit. $40