It's the roll call of names that got to Walt Straka.
McDonald's in west Brainerd is getting a makeover and will temporarily close beginning Monday, Sept. 10. Customers can expect changes inside and out as the restaurant gets an update. Nor-Son is behind the construction work. The restaurants drive-thru will reopen Friday, Sept. 14. The dining room will reopen Oct. 20.
The movie-going experience is about to get an upgrade. Mann Theaters, owners of the Lakes 12 Theatre in Baxter, recently announced it is upgrading all its auditoriums—two at a time—to Mann Luxury Loungers. The loungers, with roomier seating, allow customers to watch films in a recliner with their feet up with the touch of a button. Renovations begin Monday, Sept. 10. The theater will remain open during renovations.
Tiny hand-painted windows on buildings barely 2 inches tall depicting Brainerd were painstakingly placed to reflect the city's history in cloth. All in time for the Class of 1958 to celebrate its 60th reunion. The project—creating quilted table runners of downtown Brainerd streets—was born two years ago when a classmate brought in a menu preserved for six decades. The menu was saved all those years and provided a direct link to the times when the average income was less than $4,000 a year and a gallon of gas cost 25 cents.
PINE RIVER—Long before sustainable living was a catch phrase and podcast topic, it was part of Paul and Lynn Hunt's investment in resiliency. Their resilient living campus in Pine River focuses on energy conservation and reducing greenhouse gases, efficient building design and ways to help people use resources so they can live well during economic booms and busts.
Employees are in short supply and that's not going to change anytime soon, forcing employers to be more flexible in order to keep workers and find ways to automate where possible.
There were those who wondered if a second $50,000 prize to get a startup or a business expansion off the ground amounted to the idea that lightning never strikes twice in the same spot. Good thing for Brainerd lakes area entrepreneurs the National Weather Service already debunked the myth by noting lightning often strikes the same place—repeatedly. When the idea arose to tap into the energy created with the first Destination Downtown Business Challenge with a sequel, there were skeptics.
Ordering groceries just got a lot easier. And the appeal should cover a wide range of people from parents of young children, busy single workers and older retirees. Instacart arrived in the lakes region this summer. It allows customers to shop Cub Foods and Costco without ever leaving their couch. Online orders may be placed from a smartphone, tablet or computer. I tried it in August to get an idea how the service would work.
Life is busy. And the number of online options in the lakes area presenting time-saving convenience is growing, and perhaps offering a way to reduce at least one area of stress. Instacart, (which is featured in Tech Savvy this week) offers grocery delivery from Costco and Cub Foods and is one of the new offerings as of this summer. Another new service that started last week is Food Dudes. Food Dudes offers delivery from certain restaurants in the community that don't have that delivery feature on their own.
Small and mid-size business owners in retail and service industries and manufacturers in the lakes area agree the economy is cooking. While motorists may remember the summer of 2018 for its challenges with major road arteries closed for construction, business owners may think of it as an indicator of investment confidence, job creation and record revenue.