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July 27, 2006

Action at Lake Geo Plaza

It is back to Plan A for John Shaw.

Shaw, who built and owns the Lake Geo Travel Plaza in Dexter along Interstate 90, is back to the original plan he had in 2004 when he opened the center.

He now owns the restaurant and bar in the center as well as the gas station, convenience store and deli. In fact, it is easier to list the businesses that he does not own in the 15,000-square building.

That list consists of Farm Bureau Financial Services and Lake Geo Motors.

Until from September 2004 to this June, that list also including Die Bruders, the German steakhouse and bar that was owned by Joe, Pete and Chris Graves. Shaw had originally hired Chef Joe Graves to manage and cook at a restaurant in the center. Then Graves and his brothers talked him into letting them lease the space and open their own place.

When that operation closed down, Shaw stepped in and re-opened the Die Bruders’ bar as The Pit Stop Bar and Grill within a couple weeks. Then on July 19, the restaurant re-opened as the Lake Geo Supper Club. The two businesses take up about 5,000-square-feet of the center.

Shaw says the restaurant which seats about 150 people has 14 on staff. The Supper Club is open Wednesday through Sunday. It is managed by Chef Steve and Maryanne Shulze.

The Pit Stop Bar and Grill has six employees.

The center also has a banquet room that can seat more than 300 and has a large dance floor.
Taking on the restaurant and the bar has meant parking another project – an RV park – for the moment.

“That (the RV park built by the center) is on hold until the restaurant up and running well,” he says.
Meanwhile other parts of the operation – like the C-store and deli – are showing are showing signs of success.

“They keep growing and we’ve been adding employees there,” he said.

So now Shaw has a restaurant, bar, C-store, deli and gas station. However, he is still person who does most of the cleaning and maintenance at the center.

And that is according to plan.

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Unrelated, but might be very interesting: at 10:00am this morning, Tracy McCray will host reverend Darlington to talk about his recent editorial in the Post-Bulletin, regarding the conflict between Israel and Lebanon. Listen to it on KROC-AM 1340.

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