Herald JournalHerald Journal, July 21, 2003

New owner takes over the historic Old Town Gallery

By Lynda Jensen

The historic Old Town Gallery building in Howard Lake was purchased by new owners as of July 1.

Don and Deb Dolezal of Camden Township, which is near Lester Prairie, bought the business from Pat and Molly Van Oss of Howard Lake.

The tradition of antiques and hidden treasures will continue with the Dolezals, since Deb loves both furniture, collectibles, and the town of Howard Lake.

In fact, Deb is crazy about Howard Lake so much that she relocated her mother Fran Dalros from Arizona and is working on others as well.

Her love of vintage baubles earned her the nickname "Gypsy Magpie," given by her daughter. The name denotes the roaming inclination of a bird that is known for collecting glittering items in its nest.

As a result, Deb calls the second floor of the gallery "Gypsy Magpie" to reflect interesting collections of antiques, vintage and contemporary furniture and home decor.

"This spring we approached them (Pat and Molly Van Oss) about buying the store and it happened to be a good time," Dolezal said. The two parties were able to strike a deal, she said.

The Van Osses will continue to work part time for the coming year.

Deb Dolezal is still working part time in the medical field, but she hopes to end this to pursue her dream of working with furniture and interesting merchandise, as well as meeting people.

She plans to add several lines of interesting items, including "Bow Wow Meow," which is a collection of items tailored for the pampered pooch or feline. A sample of this is embroidered beds and other items for pets.

There will also be antiques and collectibles from many antique dealers including "Grandma" Lorraine Luhman, the frame shop, and "Molly's Market," which features gift and retail items from the Van Osses, who have one year to liquidate them.

Textiles are also a feature offered by the Dolezals, since Deb takes a fancy to these items.

The coffee shop will also remain intact.

One feature that will not continue is Amish furniture. Currently, there is a liquidation sale at the gallery to sell the remainder of these items.

Her interest in the Old Town Gallery started about five years ago when she worked at the Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, helping to open the clinic in Howard Lake.

Deb Dolezal was formerly the director of radiology at Ridgeview, and more recently a business manager of Methodist Hospital, which is part of Park Nicollet.

However, she is no stranger to the Old Town Gallery, since she also managed to rent space from the Van Osses to sell her items for a number of years, selling furniture and primitives, despite her busy job.

Don Dolezal is owner of a business, along with his brothers, called United Standards Lab of Minneapolis. It was started by his father 38 years ago and does inspections of mechanical measuring equipment and quality inspection.

Store hours will remain the same, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays.

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