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More change is coming to downtown Grand Marais. 

The building Sven and Ole's Pizza has called home since it opened in 1982 is for sale for $499,900.

But owner/co-founder Sid "Sven" Backlund is only selling the building at 7 W Wisconsin St., not the business, he wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. The business is also selling its nearby Inga and Lena's Building at 5 N Broadway Ave. 

"We won't be going anywhere until the building is sold," Backlund said. 

And once it's sold, the business has other property where they can operate Sven and Ole's, he said. 

"After much thought, number crunching, the business and staffing nightmare of almost the past two years and 40 years of being in business, we decided it was well past time to revise the business operations of Sven and Ole's," Backlund said.

The business was "seeing some of these things coming for most of the last 10 years, but it took a pandemic for us to finally have to make some moves we had previously balked at," he noted. 

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Sven and Ole's reduced its hours and days of operation amid the COVID-19 pandemic and severe staffing shortages, as well as stopped indoor dining and delivery service. 

Some things have worked well for the popular pizza business, but "with some more revision and tinkering we should be able to have a much better version of Sven and Ole's," Backlund said.

Backlund didn't share any details on what the "better version" of the pizza shop would entail, but the Star Tribune says it will include Sven and Ole's existing frozen pizza brand, at least for now. 

Whatever the future may hold, Backlund says although they like the space on Wisconsin Street the business doesn't "need that much space for our business." The building is 3,700-plus square feet. 

Plus, Backlund says leaving the spot in the heart of downtown Grand Marais "gives someone else a chance to start their dream in a stellar location in a great little town." 

"This spot has been very good to us and we hope it can do the same for someone else," Backlund said. 

Backlund's brother, Terry Backlund, who co-founded Sven and Ole's, is the real estate agent for the restaurant building and the nearby Inga and Lena's building, which is on the market for $389,000. 

This is the latest change for the popular town on Minnesota's North Shore. 

Last week, after 80 years, a new family took over Joynes Department Store and Ben Franklin. Last summer, the U.S. Coast Guard said it would close its seasonal station "before the 2022 summer season," with officials saying the building on Artist Point on Grand Marais Harbor could eventually be used by the local community. 

And in 2020, a fire destroyed three businesses — the Crooked Spoon Cafe and two gift shops — on Wisconsin Street. (The owners of the buildings have reportedly decided not to rebuild, with one of the three owners buying the Ben Franklin store.)

This is in addition to other business closures in the past few years, including the Firewood Bike Cooperative closing, as well as the Wunderbar Glampground

This all comes after a massive construction project to improve Highway 61, which runs right through the town.

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