The stools no longer line the counter at the West Side Cafe on West Washington Street in Brainerd. The West Side Cafe recently closed its doors after decades in business.
Owners could not be reached for comment. Shannon Knutson, store manager at the Freedom convenience store and gas station, said the cafe had been leasing the corner of the station's building. And the Freedom station is considering using the space to create a liquor store.
Knutson said her great-grandmother, grandmother and mother all waitressed at the cafe which had been in the Pflepsen family for generations.
"It's always been there," Knutson said looking down the hallway to the door where the conveinence store meet the cafe entrance. "It's the West Side Cafe. It's a shame."
The creative talents of Nicole House, Baxter, are displayed in the August/September Country Woman magazine, a national country lifestyle publication with more than one million readers.
House entered a contest with the magazine and while she didn't win, the magazine wanted to hold her children's outfit for publication. And now it's included in a section on country crafts and designs on denim. House's creation put a Western flare on jean bib overalls. The outfit includes a fringe on the outside of the leg seams on the jeans, a red bandanna for the bib and back pockets and a horse head applique with mane fringe on the leg.
House has been sewing since she was young enough to be wearing those overalls. She said she started making doll clothes and even clothes for herslf at a very young age.
Now she custom sews for others with formals or alterations. She'd like to submit an original dress design to a magazine. Her areas of interest include heirloom sewing and embroidering along with taking patterns and tweaking them come up with something of her own.
The mother of six - ranging in age from 17 months to 12 years - House said besides her children, her passion is sewing.
The Warrior Outlet, Brainerd High's school store, is open for the school year. Marketing students and their instructor, Dea Eschenbacher-Hondl, run the store.
The outlet, which is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or by appointment, offers school spirit items like T-shirts and sweatshirts in infant to adult along with school supplies and snacks for both BHS students and the community.
Royal Expressions Boutique of Aitkin is relocating to Baxter. Owner Jenny Cluff said she hopes to open in early October. The boutique is moving in the retail center next to Starbucks. Cluff has a new partner in the business in Chanel Schilling
Kelly Bevans is listing his Mobil station with a real estate firm. A few weeks ago, Bevans was hopeful to retain the service garage and sell or lease the convenience store and gas station. He was open to a number of options, such as leasing space from a new owner. With a significant investment in gas pumps and the canopy, Bevans thought the corner would likely continue to be a gas station. Now he's not so sure. He was approached about dividing the property and selling off the front apron and gas pumps on a highly visible corner.
Bevans said keeping the operation himself is difficult physically and financially. Bevans said independents are struggling and he can buy gas cheaper down the block than he could through his Mobile affiliation. Sometimes, there isn't the money to make the gas purchases, he said.
If he were to keep the station, Bevans said he couldn't afford to stay with Mobil, where the nearest refineries are in Chicago and Montana and less attention goes to northern Minnesota. There was a time, Bevans said, when the city sported five Mobil stations alone.
It is difficult for a sole proprietor to be profitable, he said.
The Animal House is a new pet accessory and supply business in the Northlnd Center in Nisswa. Owner Linda Beach said they are trying to come up with the types of supplies people cannot get in other places like treats and specialty food and pet clothing. Other offerings are expected to include dog houses (insulated for outdoors or heated and air conditioned as needed) and kennels.
Beach expects to open Nov. 1. This will be her first retail store. She said she hopes it will fit a niche in a business that attracts people who have pets as part of their family. They expect to have some items for hamsters and cats and dogs with outside bird houses and food.
With Christmas coming, Beach said she hopes it proves to be a good time to shop for that four-legged friend. Her son, Eric, will be her business partner.
The Brainerd area summer home of figure skater and Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican, Caroline Hurricanes hockey player, graces the cover and several pages of the September issue of Mpls St Paul magazine.
The couple's vacation home is on Gull Lake.
Hedican played hockey for St. Cloud State University and met Yamaguchi, his future wife, at the 1992 Winter Olympics. He bought the Gull Lake property in 1993, later errecting a vacation home on the site. The magazine reports the couple spends about a month on Gull Lake each summer with their two young daughters and visit the area throughout the year.
Godfather's Pizza opened in Little Falls with owners Rudy and Margaret Thibodeau. The restaurant is on Northeast 12th Street. This is the Thibodeau's third restaurant. They have other facilities in Zimmerman and Otsego. Tom Thibodeau is the general manager with Brad Doege and Tammy Thibodeau as assistant managers. The menu includes pizza, broasted chicken, hot sub sandwiches, pasta and a 27-item salad bar with daily buffet.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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