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Bug-A-Boo may reopen soon

It looks like Bug-A-Boo Bay will be back - again.

The transaction is still pending but the restaurant is in the process of being sold to new local ownership - John and Caren Timmerman of Osakis.

John Timmerman told the Echo Press on Thursday that the only hurdle remaining is final approval from the seller's lender.

Timmerman expressed confidence that the deal would go through. In fact, Bug-A-Boo is on the agenda for the Alexandria City Council meeting Monday night. It's applying for a liquor license.

There are no plans to change the name of the restaurant and the menu, at least initially, would remain essentially the same, according to Timmerman.

If the transaction is approved, the Timmermans are tentatively planning to re-open the restaurant this May.

The Timmermans moved to Osakis in 2001 and have owned Papa John's Pizza in Alexandria since 2004, as well as Papa John's in Brainerd, and D.B. Searle's in St. Cloud since 2007.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. The property was recently listed for sale at $1.5 million.

Bug-A-Boo has had its ups and downs in recent months.

The Caribbean-themed restaurant, located in northeast Alexandria along County Road 42, closed on January 1, 2010. Owners Dave and Debbie Bistodeau decided to close the business after a nine-year run. They cited a number of factors - the faltering economy, the lower blood-alcohol limit, a statewide smoking ban, increasing food and beverage costs and construction on County Road 42.

Bug-A-Boo reopened five months later after Randy Stodola purchased it from the Bistodeaus.

Last fall, Stodola tried to sell the restaurant to the Zorbaz pizza chain but he said the deal hinged on the city council allowing it to serve alcohol until 2 a.m.

The council ultimately denied the request and the restaurant closed last November.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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