Kim Bartmann is selling Bryant Lake Bowl to a longtime employee

Kim Bartmann is passing it on to Erica Gilbert.
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As Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis celebrates its 25th birthday under the ownership of Kim Bartmann, she's announced she's selling up.

Bartmann, the owner of Twin Cities restaurant company The Bartmann Group, has confirmed that her time with the popular Lyn-Lake restaurant, bowling and theater venue is over.

But don't expect any radical changes as the venue will stay in the family, so to speak. That's because the buyer is longtime Bryant Lake Bowl employee Erica Gilbert, who started as wait staff at the venue in 2006.

The sale will be completed in early November, with Bartmann saying Gilbert is the "right person to steward Bryant Lake Bowl into the future."

Gilbert said: "I’ve got a real love for this place, and a lot of energy. I’ve been working at BLB for twelve years and I have known the Bartmann family for much longer than that – I met them in Appleton Wisconsin not long after the Bowl opened, so I not only know the place, but the ethos behind it."

Bartmann took over and reimagined the Bryant Lake Bowl in 1993, and says she'll always have fond memories of it, not least because it's where she met her wife.

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Her food empire now accounts for 10 Twin Cities establishments (soon to be 9 when the sale is completed), which include The Tiny Diner, Pat's Tap, The Red Stag Supperclub and Barbette.

Among the notable moments from Bartmann's 25 years in charge of the Lyn-Lake favorite was hosting the Coen Brothers for their wrap party for the Oscar-winning Fargo, which legend has it provided the inspiration for their bowling-related comedy, The Big Lebowski.

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