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Lil' Evil relocating to new, larger location on Perham's East Main

A bike on display at the shop bears the Lil' Evil business name. Marie Johnson/FOCUS1 / 2
Lil' Evil owner Kurt Peterson, with a bike his team is restoring at the shop inside his new location on East Main Street in Perham. Opening May 1, the new building will feature a spacious showroom with a larger retail inventory, a customer lounge, more winter storage space and more. Marie Johnson/FOCUS 2 / 2

Lil' Evil Inkorpor8ted is enjoying quite a ride in Perham.

The motorcycle service, repair and custom build shop opened in town five years ago, and quickly took off. Its mechanical and sales team has a reputation for quality work and good old-fashioned customer service, and their award-winning custom bikes have garnered national recognition.

Owner Kurt Peterson said that's led to a strong, ever-expanding customer base and an increased demand for Lil' Evil's services. About a year ago, the team realized they were outgrowing their little shop in Perham's industrial park, and they hit the gas on plans to relocate.

"We were out of space," said Peterson. "It was just a matter of finding the right building and the right fit and the right partnership."

They wanted a place that was bigger, more visible, and more inviting as a "destination" spot for their customers. They found what they were looking for at 900 East Main Street.

Lil' Evil will open at this new location on Monday, May 1. An official grand opening and customer appreciation day will follow later in the summer.

The new building is about four times the size of Lil' Evil's current shop, Peterson said, and it has the benefit of Main Street's traffic and exposure. Formerly used as a Homestead Building Supply store, and before that the Boys and Girls Club Thrift Store, it'll have a much different look as the new Lil' Evil.

The Lil' Evil team has been redesigning and remodeling the building for the past couple months, creating separate spaces inside for a large showroom, service counter, lounge, fabrication room, storage area and more. Exterior signage will be up within the next two weeks.

Peterson said the larger building will allow the business to offer a wider and more diverse selection of retail goods, in-house services, and additional winter storage for bikers who need a place to hang their hogs when it gets cold. A spacious customer lounge area with a couch and TV is also an important part of the design, as it gives people a place to wait while their bikes are serviced, or even just to hang out and talk.

"The whole idea was to make this a destination," said Peterson of the new shop. "It's not only a place to have service and repair work done, but also a place for people to feel comfortable... A place to come to, meet, exchange ideas... We wanted to turn this into the place to come to when you want to know what's coming up that weekend, or the latest and greatest in parts and accessories... It's developing a customer base that becomes friends that become long-term customers."

It won't just be tailored to "the guys," either. Ceaja Kaul-Philp, owner of Motorheadz Boutique based out of West Fargo, N.D., will be utilizing the new Lil' Evil sales floor as a satellite location for her unique men's and women's products. From apparel to jewelry to home decor and original artwork, Motorheadz gets high marks from customers for its one-of-a-kind, motorsports-inspired offerings.

All this will be in addition to what Lil' Evil has come to be known for best: reliable, high-quality service on everything from routine motorcycle maintenance and repairs to full custom builds.

"People can come here for an oil change, for parts...everything from antique restorations to complete custom builds, to audio, to tuning, to service and suspension work," said Peterson. "The word has gotten out that 'These guys really are a full-time, all-purpose, all-business shop that can do anything you ask, from the simplest to the most intense fabrication and design work.'"

Peterson said that, even as Lil' Evil grew and the team began to realize that the original building wouldn't last, they never considered relocating to another, larger town.

"We love this community," he said. "I was never looking or anticipating moving from Perham or the lakes area. This is where our customer base was built and it's the community we want to continue to support."

Now that the new building is nearly ready for business, he said, "We're excited. We think that this'll be a good addition to the lakes area community."

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Detroit Lakes Tribune in November 2017 after several years of writing and editing at the Perham Focus. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their young son and daughter, and their yellow Lab.

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