On Wednesday, April 30, the Preston Chamber of Commerce and other members of the community gathered for the ribbon cutting and open house at B & B Olympic Bowl in Preston to celebrate the completion of renovating the restaurant. Shown, from left, are Jason Sethre, Bryan Ostby, Sarah Wangen, Kathy Dahl, Lindsi Poppe, Beau Poppe, Lisa Stensrud, Shelly Hanson, Tim Kiehne, Paul Hanson, Shawna Poppe and Kurt Reicks.  BRETTA GRABAU/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
On Wednesday, April 30, the Preston Chamber of Commerce and other members of the community gathered for the ribbon cutting and open house at B & B Olympic Bowl in Preston to celebrate the completion of renovating the restaurant. Shown, from left, are Jason Sethre, Bryan Ostby, Sarah Wangen, Kathy Dahl, Lindsi Poppe, Beau Poppe, Lisa Stensrud, Shelly Hanson, Tim Kiehne, Paul Hanson, Shawna Poppe and Kurt Reicks. BRETTA GRABAU/REPUBLICAN-LEADER
After several years of hoping and dreaming, Shelly and Paul Hanson, owners of B & B Olympic Bowl in Preston, proudly presented the community with an interesting and exciting look within their restaurant.

As the restaurant had not been renovated since the 1980s, the Hansons were eager to incorporate a new and refreshing look to the business. Though they had replaced the carpeting and chairs previously, they realized the necessity of a complete change in style and variety.

Having started the improvements in January with new insulation, the restaurant kept its doors open as much as possible. While the renovations were being done, they still served food to their customers in that portion of the building.

"It was hard on the customers and the workers, but we had to keep in business," Shelly stated. "We really only closed off that room for three days while the floor dried."

After living with carpeting on the floor for many years, Shelly expressed a desire to install a hardwood floor. Rather than having to clean the carpet and see it just as dirty within a few days, she opted for a durable hardwood able to take the abuse from the chairs and tables being moved.

"I was sick of the carpet. Marty Sveen at Root River Hardwoods told us ash is one of the hardest woods that could withstand a lot of abuse. All our wood came from there," she related.

In addition to an ash wood floor, the room sports a high hackberry ceiling with two skylights allowing in more natural light, an alder wines coating and a poplar trim. To add to the variety of wood, the floor also exhibits a new style which Root River Hardwoods had not put in before. Looking at the wood, one can see three different types of cuts such as a circular cut and a band saw cut, to name two.

"This was the first type of floor they put down, so we were waiting to see how people reacted to it. Actually, we have received a lot of compliments on the floor and ceiling and one gentleman has put in this style of floor in his cabin after seeing ours," Shelly commented.

In order to utilize the space in the room more effectively, the Hansons did a little remodeling of tables, windows, fireplaces and doors.

"We had a table next to the door before, and during the winter it was really cold for those eating there. We wanted to keep the same amount of seating or even get more, but we also needed to get rid of that table," she described.

Stemming from this problem came a number of modifications. Previously the fireplace heating up the room during the winter consisted of a unit and wood cabinets surrounding the area. In the corner next to it was a table, but no one could use the large amount of space between the furnace and the outside walls. To deal with this problem, Shelly's father and Brian Ostby put in a longer and shallower stone furnace.

Since that furnace is the sole means of warmth during the winter and children love to go and look at the fire, Shelly resolved to have a protective glass installed in the furnace.

"I touched the old furnace to see how hot it gets since that is often what kids want to touch," she added. "I burned the hide off my fingers simply touching it. Then I knew we had to get a protective glass so the kids could touch it and would not get burned."

At first, Shelly wanted to have the fireplace completely in the corner, but it would not fit unless they removed a front window. This she did not want to do, so it remained in the same area the previous furnace sat. Still, the question was how to best utilize the space given.

With the extra space left from the old furnace and the corner they had not been able to use previously, Shelly bought high tables and chairs for areas such as that and to solve the problem of the table next to the door.

A few other modifications involved moving the door to the kitchen down a few feet for a booth in the corner next to the bar area. Where the booth now sits, the cash register counter had been before the renovations began. Behind the counter was a nice looking window for one to see through to the bar. However, with the counter there, the window could not be seen. Thus, they moved the counter closer to the main door and put a booth in the old area.

At first, Shelly hesitated about getting the booth, but is now happy with it.

"I am very happy that people are using both the booth and the high tables," she related.

The restaurant portion of the business seems much bigger now than before. With the improvements, two large windows looking into the bowling alley have been opened up. Additionally, after moving the door to the kitchen a few feet, the kitchen itself seemed a little small. So, Shelly had a small window looking into the restaurant cut out.

"I wanted a window so I could see the people sitting down and sometimes talk to them," she said.

Though they wanted a new look in the restaurant, the Hansons wanted the style to be a little rustic in nature while at the same time being more modern.

"I wanted to keep it so the regular farmers and workers could come in and feel comfortable eating here, but I also wanted to attract tourists," Shelly added.

The new look certainly does its job. As previously stated, the floors and ceiling have already generated comments from the public. They even added a few beams and a ceiling fan to the taller ceiling. But comments are not limited to that, but also are directed to the granite tops on the counters and the granite covered centerpieces holding salt, pepper and napkins at the two large round tables.

Rather than keeping off-white colored walls, Shelly investigated adding brighter colors to the walls. After scouring stores and magazines, she finally found a photo of a style she liked.

"It was really stressful picking out colors for the walls and the types and colors of the wood since I am not an interior decorator," she commented.

"But I am really glad to have bought everything locally, except the tables and chairs. I bought the tables and chairs online, which was also difficult since I was just seeing a picture," she continued.

After all these improvements, replacing the lower ceiling's tiles and putting in LED lights as well as installing cabinets built by Shelly's husband, Paul, and Ron Schroeder, B & B Olympic Bowl's restaurant boasts an exciting new look that gratifies customers' eyes while making them feel comfortable.