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Live music, fun at Zorbaz this month

It's been 40 years since Tom Hanson opened the first Zorbaz on West Lake Drive in Detroit Lakes.

Since then, he and operating partner Rick Jansen have expanded the business so much that a ninth Zorbaz restaurant just opened in March. They have also have passed on much of the day-to-day operation of the business to their sons, Cole Hanson and Tate Jansen.

"We're the second generation," said Tate Jansen earlier this week.

But both original partners -- along with their sons -- will be present for the restaurant's 40th birthday bash on June 26-27.

Though all nine restaurants in the Zorbaz chain will be having 40th anniversary celebrations at different times this summer, "This is the big one -- the official birthday," said Tate.

"This will definitely be the biggest event we've held here," he added. "We do live music occasionally, but nothing on this scale."

While June 27 will be the official birthday celebration -- complete with cake -- there are also a pair of live music acts lined up for Friday, June 26.

Minneapolis singer-songwriter Tim Mahoney will follow up his November 2008 visit to DL's Historic Holmes Theatre with a 9 p.m. show on the 26th at Zorbaz. He will be preceded by Fargo musician Wayne McArthur at 5 p.m.

Saturday's lineup is even bigger, with live music starting at 2 p.m. and continuing into the night.

To commemorate the restaurant's roots in the 1960s, the second headlining act for the celebration will be legendary Motown hitmakers Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels.

Best known for the song "Devil With a Blue Dress On," the group's other hits have included "Sock it to Me Baby" and "Jenny Takes a Ride." They will perform at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 27 to conclude the two-day celebration.

They will be preceded by Acoustic Addiction at 2 p.m., Cabin Fever at 5 p.m. and Fat Daddy's at 8 p.m. Both Acoustic Addiction and Fat Daddy's hail from the Fargo-Moorhead area, while Cabin Fever is based in Walker.

Besides the fact that you will hear some great live music on both days, there are other advantages to showing up early for the festivities, said Jansen. There will be no cover charge for those who enter before 8 p.m.

For latecomers, there will be a $5 cover charge on Friday, June 26 and a $10 charge on Saturday, June 27. But even latecomers will be able to enjoy 69-cent glasses of Grain Belt premium beer, which will be on sale throughout the celebration.

Regular customers may notice something a little different about the setup for the celebration, Jansen noted: The fence separating the restaurant from the back parking lot will be removed, and there will be temporary fencing placed around the parking lot, surrounding a large tent. The performance stage will be set up underneath the tent, Jansen said -- which will allow the music to go on regardless of the weather.

Even though customers won't have the convenience of parking behind the restaurant, there will still be plenty of spaces available at the nearby People's Park and county fairgrounds, Jansen added.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454