Founder of popular lakeside restaurant chain Zorbaz dies at 70


The founder of Zorbaz, a popular chain of Minnesota lakeside restaurants, has died at age 70.

Tom Hanson, a former teacher, opened his first Zorbaz in Detroit Lakes in 1969 when he purchased a failed candy store on Detroit Lake, KFGO says, eventually expanding the chain to 11 locations across Minnesota, Zorbaz website notes.

Hanson, who wasn't a smoker, died Friday after being diagnosed with throat cancer nine years ago, DL-Online reports.

He was known for being a teacher, a man who rewarded hard work and company loyalty, and giving back to the community – helping Detroit Lakes become the destination it is today, those who knew him told DL-Online.

"He never let a day go by where he did not take advantage of his waking hours. ... Tom's passion was family, travel, golf and an occasional wager," Hanson's longtime friend and business associate Mike Gunderson told the website.

A celebration of life is planned for Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Detroit Country Club in Detroit Lakes, Valley News Live reports.

Many have taken to Twitter to share their condolences:

Next Up

TCF Bank Stadium

Reports: Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

coronavirus, Iowa

MN health officials don't think downside of COVID-19 peak has arrived

We could be in a trough between a series of waves, Jan Malcolm said.

covid-19, coronavirus

Wisconsin reports record 104 deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday

That's roughly 10% of the total in the nation in a 24-hour period.


Husband and wife sentenced for fraud scheme through their drywall firm

The Annandale pair bilked an insurance company out of more than $300,000.


4 pedestrians suffer life-threatening injuries after being struck by vehicle

Two vehicles crashed into a car that was on the side of the road after striking a deer.

Marcus Carr

Gophers season preview: New lineup, deeper bench, more questions

Mathew Goldstein takes a deep dive into the murky waters of the college hoops season.


Photos: ViV!R, Minneapolis' new Mexican cafe and shop, is now open

The team behind the acclaimed Popol Vuh have opened the cafe in the same space.


At Wiscoy Township's sole precinct, election judges ditched masks

Voter and Wiscoy resident Kaitlyn O'Connor took a photo of the judges after asking them to wear masks, she said

paisley park

Paisley Park to open pop-up shop at Mall of America

The new store is set to open on Black Friday.


COVID-19: Here's what Gov. Walz, Republicans are proposing to help businesses

Once they come to an agreement, Walz will call a special session to pass the legislation.