(KNSI) – The Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill is reopening after a fire destroyed the Waite Park bar last year.
The bar’s grand reopening is Saturday, May 1, at 10 a.m.
Ultimate Sports Bar Owner Tom Frericks sat and talked with KNSI News while workers were putting the final touches on the building and said he thought about rebuilding soon after the fire.
“The biggest part that went through my mind immediately was I was at a really really bad age for tragedy of that nature to strike because I was 57 which wasn’t given me the opportunity to pick and choose if I wanted to get out and get out for good. I was too old to go work for anyone else so immediately kept coming back to rebuilding, I did tell my children that night my heart and soul has always been in that industry. And therefore I foresee myself probably rebuilding.”
Tom has been in the bar business for nearly 35 years and decided to apply his experience to rebuild the Ultimate Sports Bar.
“When I lost everything. The whole concept was if I was going to do this, I was going to do it with no restrictions, I was gonna go from the ground up. And I was going to allow 35 years of vision of everything that I foresaw that I would like to try to do with my building but couldn’t do because of the age of the building.”
Tom says are some things he lost can never be replaced.
“The memorabilia was 35 years of a collection that I got from different avenues, different people met those sports celebrities, myself. And then we’re that special stuff, and they are things that can’t be replaced because of how you did get it. The memorabilia will stick with me for the rest of my life because that forever disappeared.”
Countless pieces of sports memorabilia lined the walls of the old sports bar.
The memorabilia the fire didn’t destroy, thousands of gallons of water used to put out the flames did.
Tom says he might start his collection again, but he isn’t sure. Other collectors have offered to allow him to display their collections, but he’s declined because it’s all the stories behind the sports memorabilia that make it unique.
Tom says after the fire, it was his family and the community that helped him get back on his feet.
“I was overwhelmed to see how many people had been affected by the ultimate sports barn grow in a positive way. And that helped push me to that degree that you know, what, if we did this the first time with a US building and renovated into something they really enjoyed? We could create something really unique here that they could really enjoy.”
After more than a year of rebuilding and challenges, Tom says he’s excited to be reopening.
The new Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill will feature an ax-throwing pit, a new kitchen, and an upgraded menu with classic favorites like burgers and wings. The bar also has an expanded deck, 75 mounted TVs, and raised ceilings, so no one has an obstructed view and upgraded bathrooms.
The Ultimate Sports Bar and Grill will start serving again on Saturday at 10 a.m.
The popular sports bar on Division Street caught fire on April 6 due to a faulty wire in the original 1920s portion of the building. The building was a total loss.
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