Green Mill Restaurant closed its doors May 28 at its location on South Sixth Street in the Ramada Inn.
A sign on the door from the Ramada Inn staff and management states: "The restaurant and bar are temporarily closed due to contract default by Green Mill owners/operator. We look forward to reopening with the quality food, service and atmosphere that our guests and the community have come to expect. We apologize for any inconvenience."
The windows are shuttered on the restaurant.
Jill Carlson-Ferrie, Ramada director of marketing, said Green Mill, which had a lease agreement for the space until December, had been interested in relocating to the Highway 371 strip. While the Ramada expected the restaurant would leave early, the departure was unexpected, she said.
"They wanted out. We knew they'd be leaving sooner than that, we just weren't sure just when," Carlson-Ferrie said. She said Green Mill staff members arrived Saturday to find they did not have work.
Ramada plans to open its own independent restaurant in the space, which will offer the option of providing package discounts. The new eatery, yet to be named, will not be a chain, Carlson-Ferrie said.
The restaurant likely will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ramada still will do banquets with caterers until the kitchen is back up and running, but the restaurant could take a month or two to open.
Carlson-Ferrie said staff members are working with consultants for the menu and a name.
Tower Real Estate will open a second office on Highway 371 North and move 10 agents to the former RG Insurance Building. Tower Real Estate, which employs about 24 agents, is keeping its office on South Sixth Street.
Chad Schwendeman, Tower owner/agent, said they just needed more room to expand and an opportunity presented itself for Highway 371 frontage.
This Tower Real Estate office will open for business Monday.
Rachel Reabe of Baxter, with Minnesota Public Radio, will host the 12th annual Great American Think-Off in New York Mills. This year's big debate question is, "Should same-sex marriages be prohibited?" Reabe will host the live broadcast 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, which airs on KBPN 88.3 FM in Brainerd.
Adirondack Coffee, Baxter, was granted a construction permit for a suite on Audubon Way, which is in the Nature Learning Trail Business Park on Cragun's Properties along Highway 371 near Reed's Sporting Goods.
Reed's Sporting Goods was granted a permit for a sign valued at $37,000.
Radio listeners in the area likely are getting used to changes that made virtual song siblings out of WJJY 106.7 FM and The Power Loon 107.5 FM.
The ownership change that left BL Broadcasting owning the Kommerstad Communication group was first announced as a coming attraction in 2002 with acknowledgment that such moves take a lot of time to complete.
Lake Region Radio, which was on Laurel Street in downtown Brainerd, relocated to the new facility housing WJJY in Baxter. The former Lake Region Radio building has a sign on it indicating the building is for lease.
Mike Boen, general manager in Baxter, said the spring merger was typical with both staffs meshing well in the front office, programming and sales. The blending of the two created redundancies, Boen said. But he said the stations sound much the same. Boen said the biggest development since April 1 was the addition of The Fan, KLIZ AM 1380 for sports. Boen said the buildup to the merger took so long that the actual happening was a non-event.
The Power Loon's morning show, which included the fabled Labyrinth on Laurel, became the Dungeon on Dogwood in Baxter. Boen said many of the features developed at the Loon were retained, such as the classic car giveaway. A certain amount of decision making was fine-tuned, Boen said, but he added it was not extensive.
The combined operation employs about 28 full-time employees. Four full-time employees from The Power Loon were not picked up for jobs after the merger. One left to go to another station before the merger. Boen said he did not want to discuss individuals or even name those who had moved on (although radio listeners know exactly who he isn't talking about). But Boen said the merger did not create a blood bath.
Boen said it took significant spending to bring everyone on and some redundancy was kept that the new station did not have to include. "We tried to minimize the dislocation for the people at Kommerstad."
BL Broadcasting's Brainerd area properties include six radio stations: Four FM stations ( KLIZ-FM 107.5, WJJY-FM 106.7, KUAL-FM 103.5 and KBLB-FM 93.3) and two AM stations (KVBR-AM 1340, KLIZ-AM 1380).
Keepin It Real Skateboards and Reid's Tattoos opened along Washington Street next to Harting Shoe Repair. Keepin It Real was formerly in downtown Brainerd behind Chocolat Etc. on South Eighth Street.
The Minnesota Small Business Resource Fair in Brainerd is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Business and Industry Center at Central Lakes College. The resource fair is free. Exhibitors will include government agencies, nonprofits, educational institutions and lenders. Workshops include starting a business, finance, tax issues, marketing and selling to government.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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