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Nick's Bar and Grill open for business (finally)

Sam Benshoof/FOCUS Nick's Bar and Grill in Ottertail is finally open for business, after being delayed by the Minnesota shutdown in July.

Count Nick Opatz among the fans of last month's budget deal that ended the two-week long state government shutdown.

Opatz had hoped to have his new restaurant, Nick's Bar and Grill in Ottertail, open in time for the Fourth of July, but when the shutdown hit he was left stranded.

"We got our liquor license back in June," Opatz said. "But we still needed the final health inspection."

When the shutdown was over and the health inspectors finally came out, Opatz said that they were easy to work with.

"The inspector was very good, they did what they could do to get us going," he said.

Formerly CJ's Pizzeria, Nick's Bar and Grill will serve homemade pizza, roasted chicken, burgers and other similar items.

Opatz is trying to make the restaurant like a "bar and grill," he said. "It's nothing fancy, but simple, with a menu at a reasonable price."

Even though the restaurant has only been open for a few days, Opatz said that initial reaction from customers has been encouraging.

"We've gotten good feedback from everybody so far," he said. "People are coming in to check it out, and calling us."

Originally from the Valley City, N.D. area, Opatz became familiar with the Ottertail area through vacationing at Sunset Bay resort in Vergas.

"I like the area - everyone's friendly around here," he said.

Customers can look for a taco bar on Tuesday nights, and a possible nacho night on Wednesdays in the future. Opatz also hopes to incorporate entertainment on the weekends, such as live bands or karaoke.

Nick's Bar and Grill is located at 235 West Main Street in Ottertail, and can be reached at 218-367-3637. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week.