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Sherwood Forest to reopen as events center

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Sherwood Forest lodge in Lake Shore will reopen this spring as an events center managed by Prairie Bay restaurant in Baxter.

After opening in the spring of 2012 as Sherwood Forest Tavern, that restaurant closed last December. That came after the historic building had been closed from 2010-12.

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Now plans are for the property to be home to events such as weddings, receptions, class reunions, business meetings, Christmas parties, fundraisers, wine dinners, whiskey tastings ... and the list goes on.

“Any reason they find to get together,” said Nick Miller, general manager of Prairie Bay.

The idea to turn the lodge and other buildings into an events center originated with offhand comments between Miller and property owner John Poston of Lake Shore. They talked more and decided to pursue the idea.

“The building is just beautiful,” Miller said. “The tradition and charm of that place — it’s past its day of being a restaurant. It can fulfill its role as an events center. It has character.”

To that end, the property will be called Sherwood Forest Events. While it won’t be open like a restaurant, some events will cater to the public, including a kickoff Mother’s Day brunch next month. Miller said Prairie Bay has a series of five similar brunches planned through summer at Sherwood Forest.

Plans also call for Prairie Bay’s Side Dish food truck to be at Sherwood Forest on Saturday mornings, along with a SPROUT stand selling fresh produce. SPROUT is a Brainerd-based food hub.

Also on select weekends Sherwood Forest will be open to the public to help nonprofits.

“We’ll have the doors open and the Twins on. The idea is to have a bar menu with a portion of proceeds going to a different nonprofit (each time),” Miller said.

Future ideas include refinishing an outbuilding and turning it into a Bride’s Lounge, a place for brides and bridesmaids to get ready for weddings, and having a Groom’s Room for the guys. The goal would be for people to book Sherwood Forest for the weekend, and not just the day, for weddings.

“We want them to come to that place and feel they don’t have to leave,” Miller said. “We’re hoping to be that destination that has all that tradition and all that character built in.”

Poston has an idea to one day open a coffee shop in the old bunkhouse building in front, featuring coffee, bakery items, a small store for locally produced items, and a farmstand.

Sherwood Forest Events will be open year-round.

Nancy Vogt can be reached at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her at facebook.com/PEJNancy and on Twitter @PEJ_Nancy.

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