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Pour Willies Bar and Grill is the Business of the Week

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

While looking for a place to live, Justin Vernlund stumbled across the opportunity to fulfill a dream of his -- owning his own bar. Together with his sister-in-law, Heather Vernlund, they own and operate Pour Willies Bar and Grill in Tenstrike.

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"I was looking for a place to live and I ran into this," Justin said. "Now I work here and live upstairs."

"This was a bar for a few years," Heather said. "They've been closed for about a year and a half prior to us opening."

Being in a small town, business has so far been what Justin refers to as "decent" in the month they've been open.

"I think people like having two bars in town," he said. "They like going back and forth from one to the other."

Heather explained that they want their establishment to be a place people can come to and have a good time.

"We want people to feel like they can bring their kids here and have dinner," she said. "Our goal is to have this be a nice place."

The name Pour Willies was what the bar was originally called when it was open years ago. Heather had worked under the previous owners and liked the name, so they were happy to keep it as is. However, as far as changes to the inside of the building, there were several to be done.

"We owned this place for a month before we opened," Heather explained. "We cleaned everything, repainted everywhere and a lot more."

For now, the in-laws are going to try and keep the staff to just themselves.

"We may hire a couple of part time workers down the road," said Justin. "We want to wait and see how business goes."

Pour Willies offers an extensive food menu and both Heather and Justin are hopeful that it will go over well with people in the area.

"If we find that we do better than we hope, maybe we'll even add more of a dinner menu in the future," Heather said. "We have to make sure we're going to make it first."

Unlike Heather, Justin has no experience in the bartending field and is anxious about this opportunity.

"I've always wanted to own a bar and I am excited about this," he said. "This is fun."

Pour Willies Bar and Grill is located on Main Street in Tenstrike and is open seven days a week from 11 a.m.-1 a.m.

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Bemidji Pioneer (218) 333-9819 customer support
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