Food Network winners open restaurant at Wausau Center Mall - WFXS, MyFoxWausau - News and Weather for Wausau, WI

Food Network winners open restaurant at Wausau Center Mall

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Tyler Sailsbery and Sarah Smith came to Wausau hoping to fulfill a dream.

"I hadn't told anybody because I thought this was a one in a million shot," said Sailsbery.

In April, they competed on the Food Network's show "Food Court Wars". Both said it was a challenge.

"There were stages of excitement, and oh my goodness they're here and worry and defiance," said Smith.

Both are from Whitewater. They competed for the chance to open a restaurant at Wausau Center Mall against a couple from Wausau.


After long days of competing and cooking, their restaurant called Casual Joe's won.

"It's hard because we really want to win more than anything, but we are now emotionally invested in the other people, in the other team," said Sailsbery. "You care about them and you want them to win too."

Casual Joe's will celebrate its grand opening Monday, but some people got a sneak peak this weekend.

The two say they specialize in Wisconsin-style comfort food.

Sarah plans to run the restaurant. She hopes people in central Wisconsin will like what Casual Joe's has to offer.

Tyler will stay in Whitewater where he runs another restaurant. Both told us appearing on the Food Network changed their lives forever.

For winning the competition, they were given one year of free rent at the mall.

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