Opening Up New Restaurants Food+Drink

FOOD TO PREY ON: The Cranky Buzzard is E.C.’s Newest Comfort Food Restaurant

new business is owned by ICU nurse Sara Matthieu, who also owns Alaskan seafood and pasture-raised chicken supplier, Denali Farms

Parker Reed, photos by Andrea Paulseth |

FOOD TO PREY UPON: Owner of The Cranky Buzzard, Sara Matthieu is proud to bring her comfort food creations to the historic second floor of Banbury Place.
GET YOUR BEAK READY. Owner of The Cranky Buzzard, Sara Matthieu, is proud to bring her comfort food creations to the historic second floor of Banbury Place.

Nothing satisfies a hungry belly quite like comfort food deep-fried to your heart’s content. 

The Cranky Buzzard is a brand new restaurant located in Suite 210, 800 Wisconsin St., in Eau Claire’s Banbury Place. On March 9, owner Sara Matthieu took over the prior business, Lunchbox EC, with a new vision for the comfort food eatery. The Cranky Buzzard currently serves cheeseburgers, Philly cheesesteaks, fried chicken bowls, and a number of other mouth-watering delights. 

“This community deserves really good food,” Matthieu said. “There are a lot of restaurants doing great things in this area, and I just want to be a part of that. I’m proud that I’m able to pay my employee a livable wage, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to lay down my roots here.”

we deep fry to our heart’s content here.

sara matthieu

the cranky buzzard

In addition to opening The Cranky Buzzard, Matthieu’s full-time gig is working as an ICU nurse, as well as owning Denali Farms, where she raises poultry and distributes Alaskan-style seafood. She said her goal is to transition out of the healthcare field, as the past few years have burned through her passion for the industry.

“Food was a huge part of my life growing up,” Matthieu said. “It was always something I wanted to pursue, but it wasn’t what my family envisioned for my life. Sometimes it’s OK when the dream that you had changes mid-life. The food industry makes a difference in peoples’ lives, too, just in a different way.”

Fans of Lunchbox EC should expect something slightly different when they visit The Cranky Buzzard, as the menu is tailored toward the casual food lover this time around. Matthieu currently rents the space from the owner of Lunchbox EC and plans to cook in the space until a food truck can be incorporated into The Cranky Buzzard’s business plan. 

The menu at The Cranky Buzzard features many slices of meat sourced from Denali Farms, an aspect of the business near and dear to Matthieu’s heart. She said cooking her own meat in this specific space is something that brings her immense pride. 

“I have a very strong connection to this space because this is where I realized it was OK to do something different with my life,” Matthieu said. “This is the kitchen where I get to feed all of the people who’ve helped give me a successful business, so this is the place where everything was born. There is a ceiling to how many people can come through the doors here daily, but I want to keep this area a part of the business going forward.”

The Cranky Buzzard is open from 10am-1pm Monday-Friday, and is also available for delivery through DoorDash. For more information visit