Meet the new owners of O-Town Tavern in Osakis – Kathie and Dave Darrington.
The events that led them to purchase the bar-restaurant snapped together like it was meant to be.
“A friend of ours was looking online and found that it was for sale, so we went one rainy Sunday afternoon and fell in love with it,” said Kathie. “We loved the size and the atmosphere as soon as we walked in the door.”
The Darringtons bought O-Town Tavern from brothers Pat and Jeff Kalpin, who opened the place in August of 2013. Selling the business wasn’t an easy decision.
“This was something that we built and put together,” Pat said. “You get attached to the business, the customers and the employees. A lot of the people get to be like family.”
Running the business exceeded their expectations, Pat said, adding that they were able to develop friendships with many customers along the way.
The sale will allow the brothers, who both teach full-time and have children, more time to spend with their families. They believe their business is in good hands with the Darringtons.
“They’ll be great,” said Pat. “We’ve been helping with the transition and we really want the business to succeed and do well.”
The Darringtons have experience in running a business. Kathie has some background in managing fast food restaurants and Dave has owned his own telecommunication business for the past 12 years.
Dave was born and raised in Montevideo while Kathie grew up in Madison, South Dakota. A place on a lake drew them to the Douglas County area.
“We moved to Roberts, Wisconsin in 1998 where we lived until last month when we moved to Alexandria,” Kathie said. “Dave’s dad owned a lake house on Lake Latoka for the past 30 years. When he passed away five years ago, we purchased the lake house from the family. Last year, we moved the existing house and built a new house.”
At this point, the Darringtons don’t plan on making any changes to O-Town, including the staff. “We love the staff,” Kathie said.
The Darringtons also plan to continue O-Town’s support for events, such as serving as a headquarters for the Turkey Dash for Diabetes in November.
“We would love to be involved in community events and offer support for all of the local causes,” Kathie said.
The couple is impressed with Osakis’ vibrant downtown business scene. “There’s a nice variety of local shopping places,” Kathie said.
The Darringtons are excited about running O-Town Tavern and serving Osakis customers.
“We’re definitely looking forward to this new venture,” Kathie said. “We love being part of a small friendly community. We look forward to meeting all of the townspeople. Everyone has been so friendly and welcoming that we have met so far.”
O-Town Tavern will have a customer appreciation day on Saturday, Nov. 16. “We will be having food/beverage specials and door prizes,” said Kathie. “Please stop in and see us!”