About our Restaurant

mug club

Customers sliding up to the bar to order a drink are met with dozens of colorful coasters from bars and pubs all over the country. Some are favorite hangouts of the past, and others, places of employment. For Drafts Bar and Grill owners and alumni Brent and Jasmine Melsa, the coasters are symbolic of the aspiration this husband and wife team had of owning their own restaurant.

Brent graduated in 1994 with his bachelor's degree in hotel, restaurant, and institutional management—part of the first graduating class ever to earn their baccalaureate degrees at the University of Minnesota Crookston. He says an early interest in cooking (and eating) culminated in his decision to earn a degree in the field.

Following graduation, Brent went to work for Marriot Corporation Services. The very nature of the hospitality industry requires working long hours, but Brent hoped some day those long hours would be spent in a place of his own. "I always wanted to own my own sports bar; I just never thought it would be possible," Brent explains. "Since opening Drafts in the summer of 2013, Jasmine and I probably work harder than ever before, but we enjoy the satisfaction of owning and operating our own business."

Jasmine '06, a dietetics major, started out in the same program as Brent, but left school after a year to work in Hawaii. When she returned to campus to pursue a degree in dietetics, Brent taught one of her classes and her future fatherin-law, Cleon, was her chemistry instructor. "UMC brought Brent and I together," Jasmine smiles. "Our dads both worked on campus, we are graduates of Crookston High School, and we both chose to go to UMC."