Weather Forecast


Panini offers quality grilled sandwiches and hot dogs quickly

Panini owner Lola Johnson-Mersha makes a chili dog for a customer.

When Lola Johnson-Mersha was growing up, her parents owned a restaurant. She always wanted to follow in their footsteps and in June she decided it was time to do so. Since then she has worked to open her restaurant, Panini.

On Oct. 14 Panini opened in the former Guiseppi's location on Claret Avenue. The restaurant offers an assortment of panini sandwiches and hot dogs. It's a simple menu, but Johnson-Mersha said customers will leave full and satisfied.

A Rosemount resident, Johnson-Mersha said when deciding what type of restaurant to open she wanted to offer something the town didn't have. She also wanted to offer a quality product but a quick one.

Ingredients are important to Johnson-Mersha. Their hot dogs are 100 percent beef and the panini are made with fresh meats and ingredients. The restaurant also offers British-style fish and chips.

Just a few days in, Johnson-Mersha said things have been going well. People have steadily come in and their feedback has been positive.

There's not much to the restaurant. There's a counter to order and seating for 14. It's a small operation, but Johnson-Mersha hopes they can grow as more people learn about them.

"This is my baby. I'm just hoping I can make something out of it," said Johnson-Mersha.

Before starting Panini, Johnson-Mersha worked at Total Care Cleaners. She's married and has two grown sons. She said her family has been supportive of her becoming an entrepreneur.

"I've always wanted to be my own boss. They have supported me 100 percent," said Johnson-Mersha.

Panini is located at 15092 Claret Ave. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant also does take out orders. To call in an order dial 651-423-2355.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
(651) 460-6606