Excel Sportswear’s Interview with our Featured “Design of the Week.”
Founded in 1910, the Bellechester Tavern has been a consistent presence on Main Street in Bellechester, Minnesota for over 100 years! Current owners Brian “Gordy” Gordon and his wife Jody have been continuing the tradition of serving the area the finest beer, mixed drinks, pizza and sandwiches since 2010.
Inspired by Gordy’s affection for the classic “Rat Fink” and “Wild Child” artwork he remembers from his youth, their shirt features a “Rat Fink”-styled monkey eating a slice of pizza while riding on an exploding bottle of beer. On the back of the t-shirt, “Where faded memories begin…”
“Our favorite detail of the design is the wildness of it,” says Gordy. “The design shows the fun and wild times had at the bar. We like to blow off a lot of steam!!” he laughs. “This will set us apart from our competitors, hands down.”
When the previous owner of the Bellechester Tavern was needing to retire, she turned only to Gordy and Jody. “We were the only ones she offered it too,” says Gordy. “If we would not have bought it she was gonna shut it down.” Jody’s parents were frequent customers, so the Bellechester Tavern has been in her life since she was little, basically family.
Gordy and Jody have embraced that welcoming, family environment with their regulars as well, showing special attention to their older demographic. “They are a big part of why we can keep the doors open, plus no one else caters to that specific customer,” explains Gordy, adding, “Yes they can still drink… A LOT! With no drama!!!!”
Gordy and Jody pride themselves on hosting regular events for their loyal customers, and also providing entertaining events throughout the year, including live music, karaoke, and bingo. Tournaments are also a big draw, their customers enjoy pool, darts, cards, checkers, bean bags, kick ball, and more!
The Bellechester Tavern has recently added a pavilion and a some water park umbrellas last summer to give the customers more shade, plus to bring in more business like outdoor parties and events.
While their in-house food menu is currently limited to pizzas and sandwiches, the tavern loves collaborating with local Delila’s Cafe & Catering for larger events when larger menus are needed. “The best!” boasts Gordy. “We don’t screw around here. It’s all about quality, not quantity!!! That’s what sets us apart from the others!!”
Gordy is already coming up with new shirt designs for the future. “We are very grateful to the whole Excel team and the effort they put into this design, everyone who we have been in contact with has been awesome and helpful. Thanks.”