Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 12, 2004

New owners of Dodge House taking family approach

By Ryan Gueningsman

A life-long dream of owning a bar has come true for Dawn LaMott of Winsted and her brother, Dan, of Lester Prairie.

The LaMotts took over the Dodge House Jan. 1 from previous owners Greg and Connie Gatz, who owned the bar for 13 years, and are retiring.

The LaMotts both graduated from Lester Prairie High School ­ Dawn in 1997 and Dan in 1999. Dawn has been a Dodge House employee for close to eight years, and Dan has worked there about five years.

"I started two days after my 18th birthday," Dawn said. "It was a dream of mine that I would own a bar by the time I was 25."

For now, both Dawn and Dan are keeping their full-time jobs, and their father, David, is working the day shift at the bar. Dan has worked at Lyman Lumber in Montrose for two years, and Dawn has been a manager at Summit Mortgage in Plymouth for six years.

Dan, Dawn, and their mother, Linda, will work the evening hours. The LaMotts are having everything in the bar painted, in addition to trying a meat raffle on Fridays and drink specials.

"Since we're so young, we're going to try to draw in a younger crowd," Dawn said. Part of the way they are going to do this is by booking bands to play and having karaoke.

Patrons of The Dodge House will also continue to see pulltabs, and also a potential pool league and bean bag tournaments. There already is a dart league in place that shoots every Thursday.

Another goal of the LaMotts is food ­ they want to have a grill in the bar by the end of the year for making burgers.

"This is something I wouldn't do if I had a family," Dan said. "But I'm single, so I thought I'd try it."

The Dodge House will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sundays from noon to 1 a.m.

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