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Osage Bait and Tackle open for business again

The Branstrom's (from left to right: Kim, David, Peggy, James and Richard) reopened Osage Bait and Tackle in May. It's the second time the family has owned OBT after David and Peggy sold it 10 years ago to raise what were then their small children. (Jason Adkins/DL Newspapers)

A familiar haunt is open again on the western edge of Osage as Osage Bait and Tackle reopened its doors in May after being closed for several months.

For David and Peggy Branstrom, long-time residents of the city on the eastern edge of Becker County on Highway 34, it's a second try at running OBT.

They sold the business 10 years ago to raise what were then three small children.

Now with the children grown, they wanted a chance to run the business together. So in March, David and Peggy bought back OBT at auction.

Selling gas, diesel, bait and tackle, food and beer, OBT is a gathering place.

The Branstroms see OBT as a family restaurant and not your typical bar.

"We're trying to draw for all ages," Peggy Branstrom said.

Working as a family could be an unworkable situation, but the Branstroms said things have been smooth thus far.

"We haven't had any disagreements," said daughter Kim.

Peggy Branstrom said it helps when they don't all have to work together at the same time. Peggy and David work full-time at their regular jobs.

"Lots of people say it's a problem, but we haven't had any," she said.

Peggy and David still put in a few shifts a week, Peggy Branstrom said. Besides the Branstroms, there are a couple of additional employees.

"You have to have two people to help out," Peggy Branstrom said.

David Branstrom, who works in construction, renovated the building. New wood paneling adorns the walls, and the tables and chairs have been redone as well.

Richard Branstrom, Peggy and David's son, said he wants to add more televisions around the restaurant/bar area.

"And a jukebox," Kim Branstrom added.

In the fall, the Branstroms hope OBT is approved to become a big game registration station. OBT currently sells hunting and fishing licenses.

The residents of Osage have been integral to the relaunch of OBT.

"They're very excited," Peggy Branstrom said. "We've had lots of support."

At times, business can be slow, expected for a small town, but that doesn't mean that there aren't busy times.

"Friday nights are hopping," Kim Branstrom said.

The food menu has been upgraded. It used offer just pizza when the Branstroms first owned OBT, but now it serves usual grill-type fair.

"It's a night-and-day difference," Peggy Branstrom said of the food operation now compared to 10 years ago.

Above all, the goal is variety.

"We just try to offer a little bit of everything," she said.