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Blackduck American Legion building to close today

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

After being on the market for nearly five months now, the building which the Blackduck American Legion Post 372 occupies will be emptied come Saturday.

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Post 372 moved to the location in 1981 and a steady decline in member participation is the reason it will close, according to First Vice Commander Fred Larsen.

Larsen said that Anderson Fabrics did show interest in purchasing the building, but the deal recently fell through.

Since last week the building is back on the open market and Larsen said that they do have prospective buyers for the building, which is owned by Deerwood Bank.

Larsen offered his resignation as First Vice Commander, who oversees bar operations, in June and the property went up for sale in July. He has held the position since December 2011.

"It's a lot of work," Larsen said of overseeing the bar. "You've got to be on it all the time."

The American Legion did have a good turnout for the Barbwire Fashion Show and a pizza buffet, which was held on November 9. However, the Legion stopped serving food shortly after on November 13.

"We can still draw the people and fill the place but in order to have this liquor license you have to be an American Legion," Larsen said.

Post 372 did show profit from 2012, but 2013 has been a different story.

"This year it's been hard and our business has really gone down," Larsen said. "Hunting season isn't anything like it was last year."

A long, hard winter and the ice remaining on the lake longer than usual are partially to blame Larsen said.

The Legion has seen improvements over the past two years including a new ceiling, bar stools and new decks on the front and back of the building.

The owner of the "restaurant" building located in downtown Blackduck has offered to give the building to Post 372 to occupy as the American Legion.

"The members are trying to decide if they want to do it or not," Larsen said. "We'll see as time goes on."

Post 372 and the Auxiliary will still exist without the building.

"If we don't get the building we will have our meetings elsewhere," Larsen said.

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Jillian Gandsey
(218) 333-9786
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