The BBQ Smokehouse plans to expand with demolition project
The BBQ Smokehouse owner in Wadena hired a Perham-based excavator to demolish the derelict gas station and car wash adjacent to his Ash Avenue Northwest business.
WADENA — What went up must come down — at least Tyler Ehrmantraut thinks so.
The BBQ Smokehouse owner could see the former gas station adjacent to his business on Ash Avenue (Highway 10) from his parking lot. North Central Inc. of Perham was hired to tear down the derelict structure in Wadena and the demolition began on March 23.
“We are adding on to the west side of our existing building that we're in right now,” Ehrmantraut said. “I am purchasing the land, I am tearing down the building. And then my plans are to turn it into a big parking lot. … My loading dock will be on that site.”
The BBQ Smokehouse in Wadena celebrated its ninth anniversary on March 25. Located in a building that formerly housed a Chinese restaurant, The BBQ Smokehouse has grown to include a Motley location.
“Another reason for the parking lot is easier access for customers to come off the highway and get back on the highway for the ones going west more or less, I guess,” he said of his plans for the site. “It's just in-and-out and also hopefully to generate more business because of it.”
Ehrmantraut said the derelict gas station that included a car wash was owned by Jim and Tracy Stoneman.
“I know it's been in their family for quite some time,” Ehrmantraut said. “It was a gas station, service station, and it had some mechanical bays in it for changing oil, this and that — whatever. I know they had a small engine repair there at one time.”
Ehrmantraut said the abandoned business at Ash Avenue Northwest and Third Street Northwest had not been in operation for maybe a decade or two. He described the lot as 150 feet by 150 feet.
“It was a functional gas station for quite quite a few years,” Ehrmantraut said of the site owned by Stoneman for years. “He's still around — don't get me wrong. He's across the street doing propane and U-Haul stuff. He's still around, it's just that he's not in the gas business anymore.”
Ehrmantraut runs the Wadena location of The BBQ Smokehouse and his wife Kari runs the Motley location. The BBQ Smokehouse Plus in Motley is a full grocery store compared to the Wadena location.
“With the addition that we're putting on, we're looking to go a little bit more retail on our wholesale, I should say, on our products, so what we're adding on is a production area,” he said.
Ehrmantraut said his building expansion plans for the Wadena location include building a production area where he can make sausage, cut meats, etcetera.
“As soon as the ground allows us, I think we'll be able to start on the project, so with that being said, I'm hoping to be done sometime in June, July,” Ehrmantraut said of his contractor JR Construction of Verndale.
Curt Osterfeld is the owner of North Central Inc. out of Perham, which was hired to do the demolition work.
“It's an old building that’s an eyesore and we're gonna make it go away — that's the long and the short of it,” Osterfeld said matter-of-factly. “We might have to come back later and get the concrete out if the ground’s frozen.”