The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Currents

May 11, 2014

Bye, bye Boomtown

New owners turn 20-year-old sports bar into 'neighborhood' place called Bradley's

For 20 years near the campus of Minnesota State University, there was one bar that was a consistent draw for college students: Boomtown.

A short walk from campus, students could forget all about their stressful day at school with some inexpensive drinks and good times.

So when MSU senior and Boomtown loyalist Abby Hanson saw the bar had ended its run (officially March 29) she thought it had to be some kind of April Fool's joke. She's one of the many students lately who have had to stop and take a second look on their way to school at the new sign that reads “Bradley's” out front.

“I was surprised,” Hanson said. “Peers knew that it was changing, but I had no clue.”

Boomtown was opened in August 1994 by Jon Mueller, who named it after the 1986 hit song “Welcome to the Boomtown,” by David & David. The place quickly became a popular gathering spot for students.

After cheering at the Maverick football games, Hanson and her friends would often go to the bar.

“Homecoming 2013 the drinks were cheap, the DJ was playing, and the girls and I won free tanks and T-shirts,” said Hanson. “It’s my favorite memory of the place.”

Boomtown even drew in Vikings players from Training Camp over the years, which was one of MSU senior Jack Lee’s favorite times of the year.

“Yeah, it is nuts around Vikings Training Camp,” he said.

The décor of Boomtown didn't change much over the years. Mueller designed Boomtown as a sports bar with Vikings and MSU apparel, and it stayed that way after he sold it to Dan Guimont seven years ago. (Mueller now owns the neighboring Jonny B's.)

Guimont sold Boomtown to Matt Pittelkow, who only kept the business nine months. Brad Depuydt said he saw his friend Pittelkow struggling to keep the business afloat and saw an opportunity at hand.

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