Perry: Making memories on a beautiful Perham night

Disgruntled Brewing was the last stop on a wonderful recent summer evening in Perham. (J.J. Perry / FOCUS)

Have you ever had one of those unexpected, perfect nights? The kind of night that makes you feel full in your soul, the kind of night where it all falls into place?

My wife, Tina, and I had one recently in Perham.

Nothing really special happened; it was just us taking advantage of this wonderful little city for an evening.

We decided on dinner and a movie, and hopped over from Detroit Lakes.

While I am in Perham at least once a week, this was a more rare visit for my wife. I have been slowly eating my way through several great spots around the newspaper office -- Brew Ales & Eats, Papacito’s, Pine Island Fish Company, Gathering Grounds Coffee Shoppe -- but on this night, we decided to try 1894, the old St. Paul's Lutheran Church, on Sixth Avenue Southwest.


What an absolute delight: Delicious comfort foods in a one-of-a-kind spot. We appreciated the dedication to keeping some of the old church’s character and history, from Bibles to wedding photos from the building’s former life. (How much fun would it be to have an anniversary dinner in the church where you were married?)

J.J. Perry column mug
J.J. Perry, Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus editor

I get such a thrill from repurposing and upcycling history and making it new again. What ingenuity.

After dinner, we drove over to the Comet Theater for the 7 p.m. showing of “Spider-Man: Far From Home.” The Comet was featured recently in the Focus, when the cinema was sold to Dave Quincer.

Tina is a longtime stagehand, and has worked in all kinds of roadhouses and remodeled downtown cinemas. She and I have an affinity for the one-screen downtown theater.

The Comet has so much of that charm and detailing with the colors and lights and art deco-style touches. But, inside the theater proper, fantastic sound and picture quality, big comfy reclining chairs, and plenty of legroom.

It was the best of both the old and the new, and definitely a destination.


It was a pleasant summer dusk when the movie let out, so we decided to finally look for Disgruntled Brewing in the industrial park on Perham’s east side.

Tina drove, and I navigated. Just when we thought we were in the wrong place, we pulled up to the building and were knocked back by the gorgeous patio and seating area, glowing warmly from party lights in the dark, dusty-blue night.

The bartender was knowledgeable, and the beer tasty. We relaxed under the bright moonlight hanging over the tree canopy on the comfortable back patio. And we laughed as we talked about what a nice evening we had.

But Perham, you already know you have these and so many other jewels.

Thank you for sharing them with us for a wonderful Minnesota night. We can’t wait to discover more.

(Or, if you have insider recommendations, feel free to call or email me and point us in the right direction!)

Contact Perham Focus Editor J.J. Perry at 218-844-1466, or follow @jjperry on Twitter.

What To Read Next
"Church worship now competes with everything from professional sports to kids activities to household chores. ... we can either have a frank conversation about what church can be, or we can continue to watch the pews empty in cherished houses of worship across the country."
When Katie Pinke directed her daughter to a beef expert in preparation for her speech meet, it made her think about the need for trusted ag sources of information.
Casey is the well-behaved dog that normally stays out of the limelight.
"I experienced two epiphanies a week apart that made me realize that far too many people see their faith lives and the rest of their week as distinctly separate," Devlyn Brooks writes.