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Rusty's opens east of New Richmond

Crystal Williamson, left, and Johnny Emerson have opened Rusty's Waterin' Hole and Chowhouse in the former Crossroads business. The two decided to name the business after Emerson's grandfather, Rusty Ferguson. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)

When Crystal Williamson and Johnny Emerson discovered Crossroads was for sale, the two jumped on the chance to buy it.

"This location fit the vision we had for owning our own business," Williamson said.

Williamson, who has worked in the restaurant industry for 17 years, said she and Emerson are enjoying the new venture of owning their own place.

Williamson and Emerson, a New Richmond native, took over the space at 1901 Highway 46 on Feb. 1 and went to work making some changes that would create the atmosphere they were envisioning, which would include changing the name of the business.

"Crossroads was a landmark, but it isn't ours," Emerson said. "We want something meaningful to us."

Now known as Rusty's Waterin' Hole and Chowhouse, the business honors Emerson's grandfather, Rusty Ferguson, a longtime area resident.

"Johnny and Rusty were very close," Williamson said. "He was well-known and respected, in the area, and had many friends."

While much of the menu and the name of the business has changed, Williamson said she and Emerson are keeping some of Crossroads' traditions.

"Having been in business for 25 years, Crossroads was very successful and well-known for their fish fry on Fridays," said Williamson. "We are happy to carry on the tradition and are grateful to the former owners, who shared their secret recipe with us."

Rusty's will also feature some of the same weekly specials that Crossroads had, along with adding a few new specialties.

Williamson said she and Emerson have enjoyed getting to know those who have now become Rusty's regular customers and enjoys seeing new faces pass through their door every day.

"That's our favorite part of the business, making new friends," Williamson said. "Our customers and the community have been very welcoming."

Rusty's is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information, call 715-246-3433.