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BBQ joint popular with lake-goers burns down overnight

It's a blow for visitors to Otter Tail and Battle lakes in Minnesota.

A barbecue restaurant popular with visitors in west-central Minnesota has been destroyed by a fire overnight.

Pictures shared on social media by passersby show the blaze taking hold at Elmer's Texas BBQ on Thursday night and its aftermath on Friday morning.

The fire destroyed the building, leaving a smoldering husk behind.

The barbecue joint was a much-loved stopping off point for visitors to the busy Otter Tail and Battle Lake area, and was found along Highway 78 between the two resort lakes.

WDay reports that scant details about the fire are available Friday morning.

According to its website, Elmer's was founded by BJ and Elmer Newman after they relocated to Minnesota from their native Texas.

After initially selling ribs out of a concessions trailer along Hwy. 78 during the holidays and local area celebrations, they built their restaurant in 1995.

A pavilion was added in 2010.

The "star of the show" at the restaurant was its 7-foot-tall, two-ton meat-cooking pit, with the restaurant only cooking "premiere meat" as lower quality meat has "tissue and fat that spoil the smoking process."

The restaurant has for the past few years host dinner theatre events throughout the summer season.

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