Pirates Den now open: Convenience store to open January 15

by Trinity Gruenberg


The Pirates Den has brought a unique dining experience to Verndale and will soon open its convenience store.

Owner Brian Hagen took possession of the former Maasconi’s on October 19 and quickly got to work to install gas pumps and tanks before winter took hold.

Hagen explained he had looked at the location when it was Bullseye and briefly discussed it. Approximately a year ago, Jim Maas approached Hagen to see if he was still interested in purchasing the restaurant. Mass and his family wanted to move closer to his kids and grandkids in Whapeton and has taken a catering position.

When Carr’s Convenience closed in Verndale it left a hole in the community that Hagen wished to fill. The remodel for the convenience store and gas station quickly took shape. He is working with Cenex for the convenience store and supplies coming from Mason Brothers to keep business local.

Opening a restaurant during the ongoing pandemic was another hurdle they had to overcome. Hagen partnered with Jason Geis for their Black Hole Ice Shack company that Geis builds in Hagen’s shop in Verndale. These fish houses are light and portable and have been sold to customers all over the U.S. and Canada.

The day after the latest bar and restaurant shut down by Governor Walz, Hagen looked at their current inventory of Black Hole Ice Shacks and wondered if they could fit tables and people comfortably inside. He brought some of the fish houses down to the restaurant to see if the idea was feasible. With the addition of Buddy heaters, the idea seemed to work. Approximately seven fish houses were initially set up and notified the public on their Facebook page. That night, reservations came in. Hagen brought one of his old fish houses in and Kal’s Motorsports brought in Glacier fish houses for them to use. . .

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