Moosehead Inn owner reflects on losing business after weekend fire

A devastating loss for the Resort Village of Kenosee Lake over the weekend as the Moosehead Inn burned to the ground.

The fire was first noticed at about 11:30 PM on Friday night. By Saturday morning, nothing was left of the building.

Owner Dale Orsted says this is a tremendous blow for his family and the community.

“That was our livelihood and the source for all of the family jobs,” Orsted said. “Just losing the restaurant and the bar, it was a good service for the lake, so it’s pretty devastating.”

Orsted says it was more than just a business for him.

“When I bought it in 1989-90, the original owners had it for 10 years, and we kept it almost identical to how they had it, so we just kind of carried the torch on,” Orsted said. “Everybody was like family — the customers turned into best friends and staff turned into best friends — and for me, DJing was the highlight of my week.”

Orsted says this comes after basically being closed for 22 months up until they opened up at midnight the day the restrictions lifted on July 11.

“There was a lineup for at least two hours before midnight, and that was one of our busiest nights of the summer,” Orsted said. “People would come in, have their masks off, and it was so much fun.

“It carried over every Friday-Saturday all summer, as soon as you opened the doors there was people rolling in. In the years previous, they would show up at 11:30-12:00, they’d stay at home maybe and come out late, but now they came back early,” Orsted added.

Orsted says the next steps will be to remove the burned material, fill in the site and try to sell the property, adding he believes it’s his turn to “pass the torch” to the next generation.

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