The areas finest Norwegian-Italian restaurant

History

Mmmmmmmmmmmmoooooooo! DID YOU KNOW?

Sven was talking to Ole one day and he asked him what makes Ole & Lena's pizza so good?
"It's da cheese," said Ole. "All of da cows are from Wisconsin and dey make the best cheese in da world."

"You're telling me da cows make all your cheese?" replied Sven.

"No. All of da cheese is made in Minnesota from Wisconsin dairies. Da cows in Minnesota are too busy making ice cream," said Ole.

Ole & Lena's cheese is made locally in Rice, MN. Our special blend of cheesy goodness is made up of mozzarella, cheddar, and fresh provolone in one of the best cheese processing plants in the world. But don't take our word for it—try it for yourself and taste the dierence!

If Ole & Lena say it's 'pretty good,' then you know it has to be 'pretty good!'

Uda, that's a lot of pizza!

Lena has always been a pretty good cook but sometimes even Ole has to step in and give her a hand making pizzas when it gets busy (even though she says she doesn't need his help).
Over the course of a year, Ole & Lena make more than 25,000 pizzas here and in our West Acres Mall location in Fargo, ND. We use enough cheese that each fan, player, and security guard during a North Dakota State Bison football game at the Fargo Dome could hold a pound of cheese and it still wouldn't be enough to make all of our pizzas throughout the year!
And don't forget about the pepperoni. Ole and Lena make so many pepperoni pizzas that if each two-inch piece of pepperoni used on our pizzas was laid in a straight line, it would go past Fergus Falls, MN - more than 20 miles of pepperoni!

But Ole & Lena's Pizzeria has never intended to be the largest pizza maker - only the best. Each pizza is hand-tossed and made to order the way you want it.

We sincerely appreciate your patronage and support in helping make Ole & Lena's Pizzeria the nest Norwegian-Italian Restaurant in the area. Thank You!

Long before pizzas were being served here at Ole & Lena’s Pizzeria, the town of Rothsay, Minnesota was home to many Norwegian immigrants who probably never imagined their prized hotdish casseroles would be eaten on top of pizza. But then again, Ole and Lena have always been a couple of inventive cooks. Start with some Norwegian roots, throw in a dash of Italian seasoning, mix together in a small town, and top it off with a little quirkiness, and you’ve got a restaurant concerned with making the best food possible at reasonable prices. Life seems to move at a slower pace in small towns. So sit down, relax, and let Ole and Lena do the cooking while you visit with friends and family.

About the Rothsay, Minnesota building

H.G. Stordock was appointed a mailman on a route between St. Paul and Glyndon, Minnesota when he and his wife, Anna, moved to a small town about ten miles west of here called Manston in 1876.

After a period of time, Stordock gave up the mail profession and built a warehouse in Manston used for buying and selling wheat.

Although Stordock’s business was good, it wasn’t long before both Manston and Rothsay’s fates were sealed with the coming of the main line of the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba railroad (later reorganized as the Great Northern) through Rothsay in 1879. Knowing that Manston’s future would be short, Stordock offered to swap his business with newcomer A.B. Pederson’s general store in Rothsay but Pederson wisely declined. Stordock later acquired a plot of land in Rothsay by swapping his land with Rothsay-founder Christian Tanberg and moved his building to its present site.

The earliest picture of Rothsay in the mid 1880s (below) clearly shows Stordock’s building as it probably appeared in Manston a few years earlier. Note the balcony off of the front of the building, the original front door placement in the center of the building, and the front façade before the top corners were clipped years later. The original building was also about 10 feet shorter as the back portion of the building was added some time later.Downtown Rothsay, MN

In the fall of 2006, Shane Balken, Matt Balken, and Greg Brandt renovated this building, completely stripping the building down to its original frame. The building was moved off of the original foundation for a new cement slab to be poured and the roof was replaced with new rafters and shingles. The beams in the front of the building were made from the original floor joists and the sawmill cuts can still be seen from more than 130 years ago. The boards on the balcony were saved from the outside of the building and are believed to be the original siding.

Throughout its history, this building has been used as a general store; an implement dealer shop by Wood & Fisher, Calmer Jorve, Hans Thorstenson, and Donald Burgett; a furniture store by Orris and Clarice Grina; a produce shop by Max Goltz; an apartment upstairs; a restaurant and pool hall known by many as “Whist Acres”; and several other uses that probably only H.G. Stordock and other Rothsay pioneers would ever know.

Today, Ole & Lena’s Pizzeria is proud to call it home.

Long before pizzas were made here, H.G. Stordock moved this building to Rothsay with other intentions. Today, in addition to this building, only one original building from the mid 1880s is left standing in Rothsay. It is T.K. Brye/Gambles Store (A). The Hamar Church Building (B) was moved to a site near Pelican Rapids in 2010.