When she was just six years old, Laynee Brandt’s parents Paul and Tammie Brandt acquired the Bunkhouse bar and restaurant in Agar. “I grew up in here,” said Brandt, who for the past eight years has served as the business’s restaurateur.
Brandt says that when she took over in December of 2011, she replaced some paneling with sheetrock to brighten up the place. “You get in here, and over time try to do something, a little each time when you have the money,” said Brandt noting that profits from the business usually go back into it.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit and closed the restaurant, Brandt saw an opportunity to conduct a substantial renovation. For six weeks in March and April, Brandt worked with contractor Eric Falkenhagen to level the floor, replace flooring, renovate the kitchen, install new bathrooms, and brighten up the space with paint.
“We’d come in after the work day is done and work on the renovations from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.” With a crew made up of Falkenhagen, herself, her dad, and Ernie Benson, along with assistance from Alice Mikkelson and her sister and husband Keelie and Pete Aasand, Brandt says that they didn’t come across any major issues during the demolition and construction.
“It took two to three weeks to repair stuff no one will even see,” said Brandt. “We tore up and leveled the floors. We have all new plumbing and all new electrical.” New bathrooms have been installed near the front of the restaurant where a pool table used to be located, and the old bathrooms were incorporated into the new kitchen, making it much larger.
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