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Investing in downtown

Entrepreneurs see opportunity in rehabbed buildings

Jill Schramm/MDN A seating area in the new Creedence Energy Services offices in downtown Minot takes advantage of a historic window feature.

Golfers will want to check out a new restaurant and bar coming to downtown Minot this fall.

Construction is starting this spring to renovate a downtown Minot building for Whiskey Nine, a golf-themed establishment to be located at 111 W. Central Ave. The business will have golf simulation equipment and will be starting golf leagues to run in the winter. Opening is tentatively set for Oct. 1, according to the business partners. Kevin and Kalli Black with Creedence Energy Services, Andrew and McKenna Gudmunson with 701 Realty, Jeremy Mahany with The Starving Rooster and Jason Sanders with Rolac Construction are the partners.

Black said there’s been interest in the Minot region in a golf-themed establishment similar to others that have been appearing in the state’s larger cities. He said the goal is to appeal to all types of golfers but also to people who have never golfed but are interested.

“This is a place where you can come and have fun and enjoy the simulator,” he said. “Obviously, there’s a whiskey theme throughout the whole place. There will be a lot of whisky-infused flavors in foods as well, and what I’m guessing will be one of Minot’s better selections on whiskeys.”

Andrew Gudmunson said the local restaurant will have a broad menu, with snack items, appetizers and sandwiches as well as a dinner menu with steaks and seafood.

The owners plan to gut the building to give it an interior upgrade. The building will receive a new facade and upgrades on windows and other elements.

“We’re going to be returning the facade of the building to much more of a traditional look,” Black said. “It’s going to be much more an English pub style architecture with a lot of nice wood trim features.”

Gudmunson said it will have the combined feel of an old golf clubhouse and speakeasy.

The project is located in Minot’s Renaissance and Opportunity zones, which provide some tax advantages. The Opportunity Zone eligibility aided in the building purchase, and Renaissance Zone assistance is being sought on the improvements. The owners also have worked with Souris Basin Planning Council and its business assistance programs.

Both the Gudmunsons and Blacks are completing other downtown building projects.

Finishing touches have been going into the Gudmunsons’ 701 Realty at 24 1st St. NE. The company has offices on the main floor of the former warehouse, with office space on a lower level to expand. A portion of the building used for apartments will remain in use.

Creedence Energy has moved into the completed second floor of the renovated building at 21 E. Central Ave. Black said the third floor should be completed by the end of this month to accommodate Companions for Children and Cory Garber Photography. An additional 2,400 square feet remains available on that floor.

The first floor could be completed by early summer. On the north side, an axe-throwing bar called Up Your Axe will be taking up residency.

“It will be, again, another one of those things that other major cities in North Dakota have. We do not. So you’ll be able to hone in on your axe-throwing skills,” Black said.

Dakota Burger Company will move into the south half of the first floor this summer. The business started with a food truck and has been evolving, Black said. It will be evolving again in the new location with a new brand, new menu and new name, to be announced.

“We hope more and more entrepreneurs will take the risk and people will put up the capital investment to invest and to bring new ideas downtown,” Black said. “There’s a lot of really great economic tools out there, whether it is the Renaissance Zone, Opportunity Zone, Souris Basin Planning Council. There’s a whole host of financial tools that people can tap into, and the more people know about it, I think the more attractive those investments are.”

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