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Cribbage players count their points under a canopy of vintage album covers at Hugo's in Brimson. Photo submitted by Jody Hepola.

It's always hopping at Hugo's

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The name of the place is Hugo's Bar, but the establishment is much more than just a place for patrons to bend their elbows. In fact, its list of recent events gives the impression that Hugo's has something for everybody.

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In February owners Jody and Gary Hepola and the Brimson Sportsman's Club sponsored an ice fishing contest that brought over 200 anglers to seven local lakes for fun and $1800 in prize money. There was also a cribbage tournament and hot dish cook-off, and live music by local singer, Hannah Rey, just to name a few items on the Hugo's calendar. According Jody Hepola , the variety of activities is intentional.

"We always have a lot of things going on. I want people to think of this as a community center not just a bar," she said. "We have basket making and snowshoe making classes, and a flint knapping class coming up. The permit to carry (handgun) classes have been very popular, too."

The cribbage tournaments and cook-offs are held each month from Dec.-April and are well attended. In fact the roster of card-players is almost full for March's tourney. The day's cooking contest will feature that Minnesota-made stand-by, Spam, and there's still time to enter.

"We just do it for something different to help pass the winter and it also gives the cribbage players something to eat when they're playing," said Jody Hepola. There are usually about a dozen contestants for the cook-offs, all vying for the $50 prize. After the Spam show-down on March 9, April will be an opportunity for local cooks to show off a favorite Mexican entrée.

With spring around the corner, Hepola has already begun encouraging her Facebook fans to look forward to summer. A Feb. 24 post said : "Excited that the Brimson Farmer's Market will be at Hugo's this summer! Saturday mornings in July & August!"

Hugo's is located at 1898 Highway 44 in Brimson. Call them at 218-848-2220 or visit their Facebook page.

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