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Moonlight Bar closes doors

The sun has set on the Moonlight Bar and Lounge. As of Jan. 1, the Moonlight Bar, located near the Corn Palace on Mitchell's Main Street, has closed its doors, according to Brad Jamison, owner of the building that housed the bar for approximately...

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The sun has set on the Moonlight Bar and Lounge.

As of Jan. 1, the Moonlight Bar, located near the Corn Palace on Mitchell’s Main Street, has closed its doors, according to Brad Jamison, owner of the building that housed the bar for approximately two years. Jamison confirmed the closure Tuesday morning.

Jamison said the bar’s owner, Shannon Foster, told him in November she was ready to get out of the business for personal reasons. Foster declined to be interviewed for this story.

“I’ve known for about a month and a half, and I gave her my blessing,” Jamison said. “I was bummed out, of course, because now I’ve got a big building there ready to rock-and-roll, but I need somebody in there.”

Jamison has no plans for the building but said he will entertain offers from individuals wishing to rent or buy the roughly 3,000-square-foot structure, and the building could be renovated, if requested. As the Moonlight Bar & Lounge, the property featured indoor and outdoor seating, pool tables and an outdoor volleyball court.

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The Moonlight moved into the space from its previous address at 413 N. Main St.

Prior to the Moonlight’s move, the building housed the Jackpot Gamblin’ bar, opened by Brad Jamison’s parents, Bill and Doris Jamison. But after Bill died, Brad said the family lost interest in the bar and closed the Jackpot in 2012. The building remained unoccupied for approximately one year until it was reopened as the Moonlight.

The Jamisons have owned the 75-foot long, saloon-style building at 511 N. Main St. since 1990. It originally housed a jewelry store, a clothing boutique, an old-time photography studio, a baseball card shop and a smaller version of the Jackpot Gamblin’ bar, which eventually grew to fill the entire structure.

In November, the Moonlight reapplied for its retail liquor license and owns one of 26 retail or convention center liquor licenses available in Mitchell city limits.

With the Moonlight Bar closing its doors, 10 liquor licenses remain on Mitchell’s Main Street at the following businesses: Dr. Lucky’s Bar & Grill, Thirsty’s, The Depot, One Eyed Jacks Casino, Lake House, Big Dummy’s and the Longhorn Bar, American Legion Coacher-Goetsch Post 18, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2750, E-Z$ Pub and the World’s Only Corn Palace.

Jamison said the now-empty building’s biggest draw is its proximity to the Corn Palace, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, and the proposed Sixth Avenue plaza. But with big box stores increasing in popularity, he said it can be tough to make it as a Main Street business.

“There are some things that just can’t make it downtown as much,” Jamison said. “The world’s getting taken over by Walmarts and great big, huge places.”

Local bars, too, are becoming more difficult to run, Jamison said, as concern over DUIs grows and restaurants like Buffalo Wild Wings draw large crowds.

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