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Main Street bar changes more than just ownership

September 27, 2007

Students can expect some big changes at the Main Street bar Bo’s ‘N Mine in the near future due to a change in ownership.

Cedric Ellingson and Don Howell purchased the property Sept. 7 from long time owner Howard Squires for an undisclosed amount. The property currently has a taxable market value of $327,500 and had an estimated fair market value of $322,200 in 2006, according to a Pierce County Real Estate Tax Summary. There are plans to make some changes to the bar and restaurant, including adding more food specials and being more aggressive with drink specials to lure more students in, Ellingson said.

“They didn’t always use to encourage welcoming college students,” he said. “We’re going to run food specials and drink specials every night.”

Plans for a red-light special every night at 10:15 p.m. are expected to be implemented soon, Ellingson said. The random drink special will be the bartender’s call and could include 50 cent mugs, crown or jag bombs, or whatever people yell out. Ellingson said he hopes the new special will be a Bo’s trademark.

“If students are walking by they can pop in at 10:15 for red-light and stay for a while, or be on their way to the next bar,” he said.

Along with more drink specials, Bo’s will also offer an expanded menu and more food specials. Ellingson also recently added a new stove and oven to the kitchen at Bo’s, and plans to run a buffet in the near future. Andy Sevcik, a 22-year-old senior at UW-River Falls and a frequent Monday night customer at Bo’s, said he welcomes the idea of expanded deals.

“I wasn’t a big fan of the drink specials at Bo’s, but I liked the burger special they ran on Mondays,” he said. “Cheap booze and cheap food is always a good combo.”

Students will also have more dining choices to choose from starting Oct. 1, when Bo’s will start expanding its food genre. Customers can expect a greater selection of reasonably priced food and more options in the $8 range, Ellingson said. Running a bar and restaurant is nothing new for Ellingson who has managed a few different restaurants including an Applebee’s during his 11-year career in the business.

His first business venture occurred in 1996 when he decided that the town where he lived, Harmony, Minn., needed a pizza place. The idea for Little Cedric’s Pizzeria came to him one day while he was working selling motorcycles. He ran Little Cedric’s for about five years and followed that with a brief stint as the manager of a Country Kitchen before heading over to Applebee’s in Hudson, Wis.

Some students welcome the change but also hope the new ownership doesn’t lead to a change in the ambiance that Bo’s offers.

UWRF senior Eric Bloms said he enjoys all types of bars, but especially likes the atmosphere he experiences at Bo’s when he just wants to go out, relax and grab a drink.

“It’s a place where you can have a conversation and feel comfortable,” he said. “It’s not oversaturated with college drinking.”

Despite the new changes Ellingson does not plan to transform Bo’s into something it’s not and instead hopes it will offer an alternative to some of the other places in town.

“Everybody has their niche,” he said. “We’re the alternative to the packed-in, dance on the bar type.”