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Rush City Business Owners Concerned with Future of Old Liquor Store

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 at 10:54 am

Picture 1880The old liquor store in Rush City is currently vacant.  It has been since the new municipal store opened in August.  Two groups are now asking to move into the building, but their requests are raising concerns with other local business owners.  The future of the facility was discussed at Monday’s city council meeting.

The city put out a request for proposals in September, and received responses from two groups.  One proposal is to turn the building into a bar and restaurant.

The other request came from Channa Tastsides and Troy Lerch who are the owners of the Firefly Bistro and Coffee House in Rush City.  They, along with Dan Carlson, who owns the Lakeview Supper Club in Pine City, are proposing to convert the building into a municipal ballroom that could hold up to 300 guests.  The group is offering to pay a dollar for the building.  They say they received estimates that demolishing the building will cost roughly $100,000, but would only cost $35,000-$40,000 to remodel the building.

However, Holly Wheaton, who owns Chucker’s Bowl and Lounge, says selling the building for a dollar threatens already struggling local businesses.

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Wheaton told the council she has no problem selling the building as long as the sale is made at fair market value.  City council member Jamie Amundson says the decision comes down to what is the best move for the city.

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The city council decided that prior to making a decision, it will get cost estimates for asbestos removal and demolition.  They hope to have the estimates by the November 23rd meeting.

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