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Country Nites Saloon to open in May

Michael Haatvedt is the owner of Country Nites Saloon. The bar, located at 412 Vermillion Street, will open in May. (Star Gazette photo by Michelle Wirth)

Michael Haatvedt hopes to bring a little Nashville, Tenn., down the street by opening Country Nites Saloon. The new owner said that he has always dreamed of opening a bar with the idea of Country Nites and he is on track to open the saloon by mid-May.

For about two years, Haatvedt said he drove by the for sale sign outside the vacant building on Vermillion Street every time he took his 9-year-old daughter to cheerleading in town. After visiting Nashville about four months ago for his daughter's cheer competition, he was even more inspired to make his dream come true. He finally decided to pursue the building and purchased it at the end of February.

"My passion is food and beverage and here I am today with Country Nites," Haatvedt said.

Haatvedt's passion for the food and beverage industry began with his first job after going to school for a law enforcement degree. He ended up getting a job at the Holiday Inn in St. Paul.

"I just loved the aspect of everything with food and beverage, making them happy to making them satisfied even if it was pizza or a burger," he said.

He continued to pursue food and beverage when he worked for several other hotels in the Twin Cities. He said that he always intended to own a bar with a Country Nites theme, but it wasn't until this year that everything fell into place.

Haatvedt's vision for Country Nites is to bring the Nashville vibe to Hastings so that local patrons feel like they are on Broadway Street in Tennessee. Everything from the salt and pepper shakers shaped liked boots to the stars on the wall will create the feeling of Nashville. The hooks under the bar top will be made of horse shoes and will allow women to hang their handbag or coat next to their seat.

Haatvedt said that Country Nites plans to add that fun atmosphere of Nashville to the saloon through several activities. The bar will have plenty of live music on the weekends, there will be line dancing every other Tuesday, acoustical music on stage, and more. The bar will also have dart boards, pool tables and a pull-tab booth. Some of the proceeds from the pull tabs will go toward CLIMB Theatre.

The saloon will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 1 a.m. The kitchen will close at 10 p.m., but Haatvedt said that they have partnered with the owner of Spiral Pizza so frozen pizzas will be brought in daily for late-night pizza service.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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