St. Peter American Legion votes to sell Whiskey River

ST. PETER — The former Whiskey River restaurant is back on the market.

Members of St. Peter’s American Legion decided not to move into the larger building on Highway 99.

“It’s far too big for our use and would be far too expensive for us to run,” said Legion member Shawn Schloesser.

Nicollet County Bank donated the former restaurant and bar to the William R. Whitty American Legion Post 37 late last year.

Legion leaders hired the Region Nine Development Commission to study whether the veterans service organization should move from its home on West Nassau Street. The study concluded the more than 9,000-square-foot former restaurant would be too costly for the Legion to update and operate.

Legion members met Monday night and made a nearly unanimous decision to sell the property and use the proceeds to modernize its existing building and programs.

Schloesser, chairman of the committee formed to lead the Whiskey River decision, and Post Cmdr. Dave Arpin said they will now turn their efforts toward making the post “more welcoming” to all community members.

Legion leadership said the Whiskey River gift was a blessing, but it also created dissonance among post membership over how to move forward.

Schloesser said he was relieved when the feasibility study yielded a firm recommendation that the Legion should not try to reopen the restaurant — at least not by itself.

“Although the former restaurant and bar could lend itself to be an attractive space, the downsides come with potentially debilitating potentials,” the study warned.

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