Shamrock Lanes & Grill: A touch of Ireland in Kittson County

Becky Vagle (left), is the new owner of the Shamrock Lanes and Grill, Hallock, Minn.. She is pictured here behind the counter with full-time cook, Judy Jans.                                (Enterprise Photo by Linda Andersen)

By Linda Andersen
“All these pictures in the napkin holders are different places in Ireland,” says Becky Vagle, who has owned the former North Branch Bowl & Grill in Hallock since July 29, 2017. Becky adds that her maiden name was O’Hara, she’s got a good bit of Irish in her, and she’s visited Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone. She has painted the stools and one wall of her establishment green, white, and orange – the colors of the flag of Ireland.
And, she’s not finished showing her ethnic pride – “I’ll eventually get more Irish décor in here,” she says, adding that she’d like to have large pictures of Galway Bay, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, and Kylemoor Abbey on her walls.
How did the Irish gal come to own a business in Hallock? Originally from Adams, N.D., Becky had worked for a brokerage in Pembina for over sixteen years. She lived in Hallock and eventually married Hallock resident Troy Vagle. She had gained cooking experience working at the Eagles in Hallock part-time for several years.
After the North Branch Bowl & Grill closed, Becky was approached about buying the business. “I did say ‘no’ several times. I kept thinking about it…I kept thinking how nice it would be to be in town and not to do the traveling,” she says.
She eventually put her fears aside, bought the business, and opened on Sept. 19, 2017. She’s enjoying her new career. “I like coming to work everyday. I like the people I work with. I like being my own boss. I like not traveling to work everyday. I like being creative and coming up with different things to do and make.”
To be in such a business is probably in her genes; one of her grandmothers once owned a café in Minto.
Becky is a believer in cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients. She explains that they hand slice all the meats and cheeses and cook all the meats themselves. All the soups are homemade. (The hot chocolate is made from scratch, too, and this writer can attest to its superiority over the packaged varieties).
Becky says the most popular items on the menu are the Chicken Bacon Swiss Sandwich, Pickle Fries, and the Paddy Burger (a burger on a pretzel bun with homemade “shammy” sauce). She adds that they have different specials everyday – items that are not on the menu.
“I want to get more dessert items,” Becky says, adding that she’d like to have more bakery items for special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
“Bowling league is Wednesday night,” she explains, adding that people who would like to bowl at other times should call and make arrangements. They often host bowling birthday parties on Saturdays.
Asked what jobs she fulfills at her business, she responds, “Everything,” mentioning, in particular, food ordering, cooking, and waitressing. She mentions that her hiring of Judy Jans as a full-time cook has freed up some of her time. She also employs several part-time staff.
Becky has a daughter in kindergarten (who enjoys spending time at the restaurant), and two step-sons.
Shamrock Lanes & Grill brings a nice touch of diversity to Scandinavian Kittson County. Check it out! Hours of operation are: Monday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

By Linda Andersen
“All these pictures in the napkin holders are different places in Ireland,” says Becky Vagle, who has owned the former North Branch Bowl & Grill in Hallock since July 29, 2017. Becky adds that her maiden name was O’Hara, she’s got a good bit of Irish in her, and she’s visited Ireland and kissed the Blarney Stone. She has painted the stools and one wall of her establishment green, white, and orange – the colors of the flag of Ireland.
And, she’s not finished showing her ethnic pride – “I’ll eventually get more Irish décor in here,” she says, adding that she’d like to have large pictures of Galway Bay, the Cliffs of Moher, Blarney Castle, and Kylemoor Abbey on her walls.
How did the Irish gal come to own a business in Hallock? Originally from Adams, N.D., Becky had worked for a brokerage in Pembina for over sixteen years. She lived in Hallock and eventually married Hallock resident Troy Vagle. She had gained cooking experience working at the Eagles in Hallock part-time for several years.
After the North Branch Bowl & Grill closed, Becky was approached about buying the business. “I did say ‘no’ several times. I kept thinking about it…I kept thinking how nice it would be to be in town and not to do the traveling,” she says.
She eventually put her fears aside, bought the business, and opened on Sept. 19, 2017. She’s enjoying her new career. “I like coming to work everyday. I like the people I work with. I like being my own boss. I like not traveling to work everyday. I like being creative and coming up with different things to do and make.”
To be in such a business is probably in her genes; one of her grandmothers once owned a café in Minto.
Becky is a believer in cooking from scratch with fresh ingredients. She explains that they hand slice all the meats and cheeses and cook all the meats themselves. All the soups are homemade. (The hot chocolate is made from scratch, too, and this writer can attest to its superiority over the packaged varieties).
Becky says the most popular items on the menu are the Chicken Bacon Swiss Sandwich, Pickle Fries, and the Paddy Burger (a burger on a pretzel bun with homemade “shammy” sauce). She adds that they have different specials everyday – items that are not on the menu.
“I want to get more dessert items,” Becky says, adding that she’d like to have more bakery items for special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries.
“Bowling league is Wednesday night,” she explains, adding that people who would like to bowl at other times should call and make arrangements. They often host bowling birthday parties on Saturdays.
Asked what jobs she fulfills at her business, she responds, “Everything,” mentioning, in particular, food ordering, cooking, and waitressing. She mentions that her hiring of Judy Jans as a full-time cook has freed up some of her time. She also employs several part-time staff.
Becky has a daughter in kindergarten (who enjoys spending time at the restaurant), and two step-sons.
Shamrock Lanes & Grill brings a nice touch of diversity to Scandinavian Kittson County. Check it out! Hours of operation are: Monday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday – Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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