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Burger Time clocks out

BURGER TIME management opted to close down after they were told the existing gas lines would have to be shut down for new construction. They said converting to propane wasn't a good option for them, and they are currently considering other locations in Detroit Lakes.

Burger Time in Detroit Lakes has flipped its last burger -- for now.

After 22 years in the city, the burger joint has closed its windows.

The owner of Burger Time, Gary Copperud, a Colorado businessman, sold the land to the city back in October for $560,000

The plan was originally for Burger Time to then lease the building back from the city until spring so that it could continue operating.

"We were agreeable to that, but we said they would need to work out the propane and gas supply and things like that," said City Administrator Bob Louiseau, who said the existing gas lines needed to be shut down because they ran through the foundations of some of the new construction in that area.

"Our understanding is that they (Burger Time management) chose to close rather than to convert to propane," said Louiseau.

Don Insley is the area manager for the nine (now eight) Burger Times in the Tri-State area.

He says it just wasn't financially feasible to convert to propane, so they made the decision to close while they contemplate whether or not to relocate within Detroit Lakes.

"At this point we don't have any place lined up, so whether or not we will be coming back to DL is up in the air," said Insley, "We loved DL and we had a great staff, so hopefully we can work something out."

Insley says the tough part was telling their staff right before the holidays that they are out of a job.

"The timing couldn't have been worse," said Insley, "Our general manager had been there since 1990 and the assistant manager since 1992, so it was sad."

Insley says they are actively looking for a possible Detroit Lakes location, but haven't found anything they're interested in yet.

"I really want this to happen," said Insley, "Unfortunately our closing happened quickly, but you never know what can happen. My goal is to make this even more successful than it was before."

He says if they do relocate in Detroit Lakes, it will likely be new construction, and so nothing will happen before late spring at the earliest.

Meanwhile, city officials are moving forward with plans for the new municipal liquor store, which will be placed on the land where the Burger Time building is now.

Surveyors have been out to the site, and architects have been working on preliminary site designs, according to Louiseau, who said they hope to have the project go out to bid in time for spring construction.