When one bar closes, another opens: PlayTime Sports Bar to become Salty Pickle

The PlayTime Sports Bar is now closed, and on March 1, a new restaurant will take its place at the corner of Highway 78 and 390th Avenue: The Salty Pickle Bar and Grill.

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Sisters Sara Pishler, left, and Kristi Shursen are two of the new owners of the former PlayTime Sports Bar, soon to become The Salty Pickle Bar and Grill. The longtime local restaurant located between Perham and Ottertail, at the corner of Highway 78 and 390th Avenue, will reopen under their ownership on March 1.
Vicki Gerdes / Perham Focus

PERHAM — The PlayTime Sports Bar is no more: Its last day of business was Monday, Feb. 13. But almost before local residents and nearby patrons have time to miss it, a new restaurant will be taking its place.

The longtime local watering hole, located between Perham and Ottertail on Highway 78, is under new ownership, and it will be closed until March 1 — at which time it will reopen under a new name: The Salty Pickle Bar and Grill.

"It's a family business," says Trevor Deyo, one of four partners in the new enterprise — along with his mother, Kristi Shursen; aunt, Sara Pishler; and uncle, Tom Piechowski, who are all siblings. He and his uncle are more silent partners in the business, he added, as Shursen and Pishler will be handling the day-to-day operations.

So why the Salty Pickle? That moniker came from a conversation that the partners were having about choosing a new name, as they munched on a jar of pickles — made from an old family recipe.

"It was my grandmother's recipe," Deyo said, adding that one of the early names they considered was The Polish Pickle, but that quickly evolved into its current name.


Those Polish pickles will feature prominently in the business, however. "The menu will have some signature dishes that feature grandma's pickle recipe," he said.

"We will have a new menu," added Shursen, who will serve as manager of the restaurant.

Initially, the menu will focus on appetizers, burgers and signature sandwiches, Deyo said, as their vision for the new enterprise begins to take shape. Besides finalizing the menu, the two weeks between PlayTime's closing and the Salty Pickle's opening will also be spent on doing some minor renovations, he added.

"The locals and regulars will see a noticeable change in decor, though the major renovations will start this summer," Deyo said.

The sand volleyball courts, which were just redone last summer, will stay pretty much as is, but they do plan to make some upgrades to the patio, as well as "cleaning up" the stage area and other improvements, focusing on the bar and kitchen areas. Though the event center will get a bit of a facelift as well, they have no plans to close it while the renovations take place.

"The event center will be up and running (right away)," Deyo said, and they plan to have the patio open for outdoor seating in time for the grand opening, which is tentatively planned for early summer (an official date has not yet been set).

But renovations and a new menu aren't the only plans they have in mind, Shursen said. "We will have bingo, pull tabs, and weekly poker nights — with more to come."

They will also have their new website up and running soon, she added, with the possibility of offering online ordering in the near future.


Live music and other events are in the works as well, Deyo said — starting with their first "big event" on April 15, a banquet for a local nonprofit foundation.

"We want to give people plenty of reasons to come out here, not just the great service and quality food," Shursen said.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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