Bargain Nook fire in Spring Green

Crews battle a fire Oct. 21 that destroyed the Bargain Nook along Highway 14 in Spring Green. The business, which helps fund programs for Hodan Community Services in Mineral Point, has been a staple in Spring Green for 20 years. A temporary location could open in March in downtown Spring Green, while a new facility is constructed on the same site as the old store.

The Bargain Nook in Spring Green could reopen in a temporary location in March.

The resale shop along Highway 14 that specializes in clothing was destroyed by fire in October, but store officials said they are close to signing a lease for a smaller location in the village's downtown. Meanwhile, Marty Prem, who owns the Bargain Nook property next door to his Prem Meats & Catering along Highway 14, said construction on a new $1 million retail building for the Bargain Nook and two other retailers could begin this spring, with the building completed this fall.

"It’s a great draw for the community," Prem said. "They're a pretty incredible organization, and they do a lot. I felt like they really brought a lot of value to Spring Green, and I want them to have the same opportunity as they had before."

The Bargain Nook is owned and operated by Hodan Community Services, a nonprofit organization in Mineral Point that helps provide those with developmental disabilities job skills and training. Hodan, founded in 1972, operates other stores in Mineral Point, Darlington, Mount Horeb and Platteville.

The new building along Highway 14 would increase the space for the Bargain Nook by about 400 square feet to approximately 3,100 square feet. The building will also include two other retail spaces, each at 1,800 square feet, while the back of the building will be used for meat processing for Prem's growing business. His parents founded the company out of their home in Spring Green as a deer-processing facility in 1984. The existing market on Highway 14 was built in 2012 and expanded last summer. Prem is also building a second, 11,000-square-foot location in Dodgeville, scheduled to open in 2019.

As for the Bargain Nook's temporary location in downtown Spring Green, it's about half the size of the old location and will likely have reduced hours compared to the former store. Staffing is playing a role in the reopening. Many of those who worked at the shop have moved on to other jobs, and it's been difficult to find workers, said Tom Schmit, Hodan's executive director.

"We’ve got to have people to run it. We're working on that right now," Schmit said. "We just want to get our presence back so that people know we're intending to come back."

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Send retail-related tips and story ideas to badams@madison.com or call Barry Adams at 608-252-6148.

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Barry Adams covers regional and business news for the Wisconsin State Journal.