Red Dog digs up new retail space

Time to update your Red Dog Saloon apparel? Just follow the fresh sawdust past the live band, under the glassy-eyed moose and into the saloon’s fresh-for-this-season retail store.

The Red Dog got its start in the early 1900s. After bouncing around from rented venue to venue it settled in 1988 in a building built for it.

“It’s been here the longest,” co-owner Eric Forst said, here being a building on South Franklin Street.

The retail space used to be home to the Cookhouse Restaurant in the 1990s. When the third floor was added in 2000, the owners at the time closed off the space and leased it for retail, Forst said.

Five years ago, Forst said, he and the bar’s eight other owners started to realize there is a lot of potential in the sale of Red Dog Saloon merchandise. And with the bar packed full in the summers, Forst said the owners wanted to add a bit more space.

They moved the stage to another spot in the bar to open up the space. Now customers can see the band through the swinging front doors.

“It’s also raised up there to give it more stage play,” Forst said.

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