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Social media group visits Leaf Valley bar, video goes viral

Self-proclaimed Midwest entertainment channel, "You Betcha," creates comical midwestern related content found through various online platforms.

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The "Merc" is located about 14 miles north of Alexandria in the unincorporated town of Leaf Valley.
Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press
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LEAF VALLEY — Midwest-based social media personality, " You Betcha, " visited the Leaf Valley Mercantile on Thursday, June 2, to create a video featuring the "coolest" Midwest bars.

"You betcha, guy" Myles Montplaisir visited the Mercantile, known as "The "Merc," on Thursday, June 2, for a video highlighting small-town bars. Although his visit lasted nearly four hours, the viral video posted on Tuesday, June 14, was just over five minutes long.

"He was a very laid-back, good Midwestern guy," said Jon Sarkilahti, the Mercantile manager. "He didn't walk in like he was King Tut or anything like that. He walked in like a normal person. That's kind of good to see when people blow up like that, and they can still be normal."

Sarkilahti said the whole experience was very positive and has received a lot of good feedback, as well as old acquaintances reaching out to him since the video was released.

The Mercantile was featured in the video after an affiliate of the social media group who regularly visits the area suggested the idea. Sarkilahti initially reached out to You Betcha to see if they would be interested in attending the bar's golf tournament.

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In the video, Montplaisir tours the bar, orders drinks and food, plays a "wheel of fortune" drink purchasing game and pull-tabs while conversing with some other patrons.

As of Friday, June 17, the video has had 85,533 views and 4,500 likes on Youtube and 12,000 reactions with 3,100 shares and 1,500 comments on Facebook .

According to its website, You Betcha is a Midwest Entertainment company that celebrates Busch Light, ranch, and all things Midwestern. They post on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram , Twitter, and Tik Tok .

Thalen Zimmerman of Alexandria joined the Echo Press team as a full-time reporter in Aug. 2021, after graduating from Bemidji State University with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication in May of 2021.
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