Rugby Hub closing its doors
On a weekday, folks living in or passing through Rugby can stop in the Hub restaurant to grab a bite to eat. They can also walk to the Hub’s convenience store to buy gas and drinks for the road, or get a haircut. . On Wednesdays this past school year, area youth congregated in the old bar area for Calvary Evangelical Free Church’s youth group meetings.
But all that is about to change. On June 30, the restaurant, store and 17-room motel will close its doors for good.
Owner Dennis Fred put part of the building, once occupied by Subway, up for rent. (Prior to Subway, the building had been part of the Hub complex as an off-sale liquor store). He received a call from Basin Brokers – a real estate brokerage firm based in Williston and Watford City – inquiring as to whether he was willing to sell the property.
“I said ‘Well, I can’t because it’s connected to my building’. They said, ‘Well would you consider selling the whole thing?'” Fred said. “They came in the next day and started discussing it.”
According to Fred, the brokerage firm told him they had an interested buyer, who has yet to be named.
The brokerage firm also handed Fred a list of contingencies, which included two environmental studies, razing the old visitors’ center across the road, approval from the city, and a demand that everything in the building must go.
“As far as I know, it’s gonna come down,” Fred said. “They haven’t said that directly to me but I had some stuff I needed to fix and they told me ‘Don’t fix it.” That usually means we don’t need a fix because we’re taking it down.”
An auction is expected to take place sometime in July. Fred also added another party might use the building after it is closed.
“The Fire Department asked if they could use it for some drills. I asked the broker about that and they said they don’t have a problem with it,” Fred said.
Fred and his wife, Candie, have operated the Hub since April 2003. At that time, he and his brother, Don, purchased the complex from Ken and Betty Hillman, who owned and operated it for many years. Prior to owning the Hub, Dennis had worked for Eastman-Kodak in Colorado for more than 20 years.
Both Dennis and Candie have not yet decided to move. Their daughter, Shanaya, is a recent graduate of Rugby High School and has moved to Bismarck to get a job in nursing.
“We’ve even talked of the possibility of opening up something else eventually, too. We have had some job offers already,” Dennis said. “I’m actually looking forward to seeing what’s actually coming in here, I think it’s going to be good because someone obviously wants the land very much to develop something nice for Rugby.”
(In the print edition of this story, Tim Chapman was presented as the writer of the story. The Tribune regrets any and all errors.)
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