The lakes area had gains and losses recently for area businesses.
Erbert & Gerbert's Sandwich Shop closed quietly and abruptly last week. Crews were up working on the exterior signs on the building. It was a surprise they weren't just doing repairs but actually stripping the building's exterior of all trace of the restaurant.
The restaurant opened at the corner of Washington and Northwest Fourth streets in West Brainerd in June of 2009. At that time, it opened with two other businesses-Daylight Donuts and Brainerd Lakes Cakes. Those two businesses didn't last. But Erbert & Gerbert's appeared to find their niche even as people navigated the unique sandwich names like the Jacob Bluefinger, created from story characters.
The building has been home to a number of different businesses over the years. When Erbert And Gerbert's moved into the building it was previously home to Movie Gallery.
Last week, a Facebook post showed a sign in the Erbert & Gerbert's door saying: "Loyal Patrons, it is with deep regret that our Brainerd location has closed. We have hopes of a new Baxter location and will possibly be re-opening this year sometime ...
"We have sincerely enjoyed serving Brainerd businesses, loyal customers, friends and family ... and we hope that a chance of location will bring you there and we will be able to serve you even better."
Later, that sign was apparently taken down and another-slightly altered one-was in its place saying: "We are hoping for a new location here in the lakes area and a chance to serve you even better."
As someone recently stated, people like to sleep. And that is apparently true as two additional mattress businesses plan to open in Baxter. One mattress store is planned in existing commercial space on Dellwood Drive north of Radco.
The other, a Select Comfort Sleep Number store is slated for construction is slated to begin in May in Baxter near Menards. The Select Comfort Sleep Number store is expected to open in 2,400 square feet on the south end cap of the first building. The store is expected to be completed in mid-September and open this fall.
Bill Bradford, owner/developer for the Northwoods Crossing site, was recently before the Baxter City Council looking at doing the commercial project for the former Wells Fargo branch bank site in phases. Northwoods Crossing was before the city in 2016 with plans to develop the Dellwood Drive site-a semi-wooded lot and the bank lot-into two retail buildings with multiple tenants constituting a mix of service retail and food. At that time, plans called for several restaurants, one with a drive-thru, and a coffee shop. The concept was for two three-tenant buildings each with a drive-thru lane. Developers asked the city to go with a phased-in approach, meaning they will construct the southernmost building first. When more tenants are secured, the plan is to construct the second building to the north. The council was supportive of the change.
After the council meeting, Bradford said expectations are the other tenants in the building with the mattress store will be food and retail.
The Sears store recently moved from Baxter to Brainerd, returning to earlier community roots by the East Brainerd Mall. Formerly just off Highway 371 in Baxter, the store planned to reopen for business Saturday, March 31, at 302 Fifth Ave. in northeast Brainerd next to Cub Foods and Brainerd Glass in what was once the County Market grocery store
Jeff Skoglund, who has been the store manager for 11 years, is continuing in that role in the new store. Previously a franchise store, the new Sears is considered a transition store right now and will be corporately run in the interim. The decision to move came as previous store owner Mary Kolkind decided to retire and to sell the building, Skoglund said.
The new space will take what was left for occupancy in the former County Market building, which now includes Brainerd Glass and Anytime Fitness. Skoglund said the move provides more showroom space but a little less room in the warehouse area. But, he said, it also comes with easier access for people as the store was tucked away just off Highway 371 in Baxter and people going by at 60 mph could miss it. Skoglund pointed to the considerable daily traffic along Highway 210 and the nearby Cub Foods store as being benefits of moving to east Brainerd. Sears will also be close to one of Brainerd's biggest employers with nearby Ascensus offices.
Skoglund said for customers everything else remains the same with the Sears store brand and services.
Corral Auto Inc., an auto service and repair shop that has been part of northeast Washington Street for at least a half century, is moving. Owner Joe LaRoue bought the auto repair business about a year-and-a-half ago. Corral Auto will move to West Brainerd but remain on Washington Street. By May 7, expectations are to be fully settled into the now vacant auto space across from Walgreens and next to Riverside Elementary School near the intersection with Washington and Northwest Fourth streets. The owner of Jimmy John's purchased the current Corral Auto building.
Smude Sunflower Oil, Pierz, introduced a Smude Microwave Popcorn to the company's product line, which is now sold in grocery stores and co-ops across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. In a news release, Tom Smude said their customers encouraged them to make a microwave popcorn from their sunflower oil. "From the first batch, were were pleased with its taste, like it had been lightly tossed with butter-without the saturated fats."
The popcorn sells for $4.99 per box with three servings inside. Smude Sunflower Oil continues to evolve from its early days on the family farm and now comes in infused flavors such as hot fiery, lemon, lime, tomato basil, garlic pepper, Italian, and Mediterranean.
Prairie Bay restaurant in Baxter is under construction updating is appearance.
Boomer Pizza in Baxter is using a Kickstarter campaign until April 19 to gain funds to expand its bar seating area from four seats to 14 in a spring remodel.