News Column

Deck provides new options for Ultimate Sports Bar & Grill

June 14, 2014

By Kevin Allenspach, St. Cloud Times, Minn.



June 14--WAITE PARK -- Tom Frericks created perhaps the first true sports bar in Central Minnesota when he opened the Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill in 1985.

Now, he's branching out with the addition of 1,300 square feet of outdoor seating on a deck that can accommodate 100 people. It has four large-screen TVs and could be used as a music venue.

The expansion was recently completed in concert with some interior remodeling, including new carpet, windows and doorways, Frericks said. The Ultimate (www.ultimatesportsbargrill.com) now has a capacity close to 300 patrons.

And he says he's not done yet. Frericks owns property west of the bar that has a liquor store building, and a parcel to the north with housing. He plans to tear down the liquor store as early as next week.

That space would be used for additional parking immediately, but a long-term application could include volleyball courts and horseshoe pits. Eventually, he would like to tear down the house behind the bar to pave the way for more parking and access.

"We more or less wanted to get in the sun and get some visibility off Division Street," Frericks said of his reasons for adding the deck. "It was a long process ... I didn't want to throw down a concrete slab and put some tables up and say we had outdoor seating. I wanted to create something different."

He said he worked with the city to develop a plan for his property, which totals eight parcels.

"You've got a great day, afternoon, late-night, happy hour setting," Frericks said. "We tried to bring the interior environment outdoors. This industry in June, July and August doesn't have much revenue to work with unless you can get outside."

The addition of the deck has increased staffing to 25 to 30 employees, the most Frericks has ever had. He declined to say how much he's invested in the project, but he said it turned out to be about twice what he expected to spend.

"You can talk about pay-per-view events out there or Wild hockey (playoff games) and I get more excited about the deck for the fall thinking about how it will be with college football on a nice night," Frericks said. "Or there's the tailgating theme you can create on Sundays, grilling out there during NFL games. I think it can be used 6-7 months out of the year. We've got 24,000 cars coming by here every day and I think we just built our own billboard based on the beauty of seeing these umbrellas on the deck."

To submit information about new, moving or expanding businesses, contact Kevin Allenspach at 255-8745 or email kallenspach@stcloudtimes.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinAllenspach.

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(c)2014 the St. Cloud Times (St. Cloud, Minn.)

Visit the St. Cloud Times (St. Cloud, Minn.) at www.sctimes.com

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Source: St. Cloud Times (MN)


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