- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

AVON, Minn. (AP) - Even if you didn’t know the bar’s name, you could figure out the theme pretty quickly.

There is a picture of a lion. Heads of lions come out of the woodwork. There’s a stuffed lion against the wall. And if you look closely, you’ll see black illustrations of lions in the wainscoting, the St. Cloud Times (https://on.sctimes.com/1pxEhR8 ) reported.

The Lion’s Den was rechristened four years ago when owner Sandy Brutger bought the bar after working there for years. (It’s officially The Lion’s Den of Avon LLC.) The bar was a popular hangout for the Avon Lions, and Brutger is a Leo.

Brutger is proud of the history that comes with the bar: Historical photos from the city show it dates back to the early 1900s, although it did change locations after the city was no longer a railroad town. The lions in the woodwork are a particular attraction for many customers, she said.

Walk in around 11 a.m. on a Friday, and there will be about 10 people next to the bar that goes almost the length of the building.

“Bars like that, you don’t make any more,” said Gary “Hippie” Harren, who said he loves small-town bars. He said he likes The Lion’s Den because it’s a friendly atmosphere. “That makes a difference. There’s no rough and rowdy people.”

Blaine Hennek said he comes to The Lion’s Den to relax. He was enjoying a Bloody Mary, which he was said wasn’t typical for him (he usually prefers whiskey).

“It’s where my friends hang out,” he said, later adding that many people who come in there went to school with him.

Brutger has tried to diversify the bar by bringing in live music in the winter; bands play in the corner.

Patrons can order food brought in from PJ’s and the Avon Cabin Cafe, Brutger said.

There are four bar employees, not including Brutger. Tabitha Schuster fills in as a bartender and has been bartending for about 15 years.

“I love bartending. I love the people,” said Schuster, who said she’s only missed two days of work in her whole career.

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Information from: St. Cloud Times, https://www.sctimes.com


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