MARSHALL - A trio of local business owners have plans to bring a Pizza Ranch franchise to Marshall, a co-owner of the Varsity Pub said Tuesday.
Matt Schnoor of the Varsity Pub said he, Kevin Niemann and Mike Sweetman have agreed to buy land along Boyer Drive near the site of the new Menard's to build a restaurant, and they have a franchise agreement with Pizza Ranch.
Niemann and Schnoor are the co-owners of the Varsity Pub, and Sweetman is owner of Extra Innings in Marshall.
The decision to bring a Pizza Ranch to town came partly from a need for more family dining options in Marshall, Schnoor said. There weren't really any places where kids could run around or play while adults socialize, he said. Pizza Ranch seemed like a good fit to fill that need. The chain has recently expanded into bigger markets like the Mankato and Sioux Falls areas, and has added features like indoor basketball courts to its restaurants, Schnoor said.
It's not yet certain how soon a new restaurant would open, but Schnoor said in the "best-case scenario," construction could start in spring.
Schnoor said the new business venture doesn't mean changes in ownership are ahead for the Varsity Pub and Extra Innings.
"Our success at the Pub is what makes it possible to do this," he said.