The building that has housed Farmington's American Legion Post 189 has changed hands again and is about to get a new life as a Carbone's Pizzeria.
Brothers Tony and Phil Marvets are franchisees who currently operate Carbone's in Burnsville and Northfield. Tony acquired the Farmington building last month. It's still operating as Tailgaters Sports Bar & Grill but will be remodeled and converted into a Carbone's in the near future, according to Phil, who handles day-to-day operations for the Marvetses' restaurants.
The sale of the property is the latest chapter in the ongoing struggle to keep the former Legion building open and operating.
Last summer the Legion sold the building to a private investors group as part of a bankruptcy settlement. The Legion's financial struggles had begun a few years earlier, when it was unable to pay debt incurred when it rebuilt after a costly fire.
Under a leasing arrangement with the Tailgaters owners, the veterans kept space in the building for their meetings, omelet breakfasts and charitable gambling events. It was a mutually agreeable arrangement, giving the Legion a home while providing rental revenue for the investors group that had bought the building.
Joanne Meide, Legion assistant manager, said she's not sure whether that arrangement will continue under the new owners or what the Legion will do if it can't stay in the building.
"It's kind of in limbo. We're still here for now," she said.
Legion Post 189 has about 280 members, plus another 120 in the Sons of American Legion and Women's Auxiliary. It had owned and occupied properties on the Farmington site for about 20 years before it was forced to sell.
Phil Marvets said the kitchen won't require any major renovations. He said plans call for remodeling the bar area, installing new seating and converting an area now used for banquets into a game zone for kids.
"Our goal is to create a family-friendly restaurant. We think that type of place is missing in Farmington, which is why we were interested when we learned the building had been put up for sale," he said.
The new restaurant will expand the footprint of St. Paul-based Carbone's, which currently has 37 restaurants in the Twin Cities area.
New graphics firm in Eagan
ProSign Branding Solutions, a new full-service sign and graphics business, recently opened in Eagan. The company is the brainchild of Eagan resident Carolyn Sampson, who has 30 years of experience in corporate marketing, branding and customer service.
It began production last month and will have its official grand opening May 16 at its office at 4101 Nicols Road.
ProSign designs, manufactures and installs interior and exterior building and lobby signs, event and trade show signs and banners, and graphics for windows and vehicles.
Sampson said her business will be working on projects for a church in Prior Lake as well as banners and signs for the Eagan July 4th Fun Fest Parade.
Sampson also said she has begun contacting State Farm Insurance offices, all of which need to have new signs beginning next year because of a change in the company's logo. "I'm still working my way through the list of agents," she said. So far, she's landed eight area insurance agent offices as customers.
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