While the lakes area-particularly Brainerd and Baxter-has watched a number of businesses leave, from large department stores to restaurants, there is also a lot of potential activity for new arrivals big and small.
Recently, a number of names came up in conversations with developers about interested restaurants or businesses looking to expand or even return here. And many are familiar. In a number of cases, their reported interest in opening here was previously noted-like the restaurants Five Guys and Panera, as well as Dunkin' Donuts, and art and craft store Hobby Lobby. Some names now circling through were here previously but left years ago, like Ashley Furniture.
Only time will tell if the tire kickers turn into lakes area business community members. There are a number of unanswered questions, like the future use of the former J.C. Penney building, and Herberger's, both represent potentially daunting sizes in square footage for some tenants and sites like Burger King remain a conundrum-would the franchise reopen there or raze the building and start fresh?
Chipotle, which previously announced its intention to add a restaurant, is expected as an occupant in the building currently under construction in front of Gander Outdoors in Baxter. As for the others, stay tuned.
Victual is hosting a pre-opening open house at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 23. The open house will give people a chance to taste Victual's super-premium, full dairy, lactose-free ice cream that is made in-house. The new business on 124 W. Main St. in Crosby officially opens Monday.
Victual features artisan cheeses, charcuterie (French for cured meats and pâtés), packaged gourmet foods, specialty distilled liqueurs and fine wines, dinnerware, cocktail accessories, and gifts in addition to their own ice cream from Rave Creamworks.
Owners are Paul Kirkman and Paul VanderWaal.
Grand View Lodge's new 60-room boutique hotel will open July 1 at the resort in Nisswa.
Moxy Hair Studio and Spa recently opened in a newly constructed space in June on Church Street in Nisswa. The business opened in 2014. Moxy recently hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.
Pete and Joy's Bakery, long part of the Little Falls business community, closed this month with tears and good-byes as customers came through after the business announced in late May it was closing.
"Pete and I would like to thank everyone for patronizing our bakery," a bakery Facebook post noted, stating the 35 years they were there went by quickly and they wanted to thank everyone again. "The last week so many came to say good bye and buy the goodies they love. We thank you. Thank you, to our wonderful employees, they worked so hard this last week. May God bless each and every one of you. On to a new adventure, wonder what God has in store for us."
When they announced the bakery would be closing on the business' Facebook page, they wrote they were sad to make the announcement but it was due to many circumstances beyond their control, making particular note of a road construction project. They noted this was one of the most difficult decisions they have had to make.