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BROOKINGS RESTAURANT WIRED, READY FOR CHRISTMAS

By Marjorie Woodfin

Pilot staff writer

It's only August, but Rodney and Eileen Minnier, with the successful grand opening of the newly reconstructed O'Holleran's Restaurant and Lounge behind them, are already looking forward to Christmas.

Rodney's dream of Christmas began about 10 years ago when he was in the business in Ventura, Calif., and he noticed the published list of the 10 best Christmas-decorated restaurants in the area.

With that in mind, the reconstruction of O'Holleran's, or O's Steak House, as it's familiarly called around Brookings, included independent wiring in the dining room, with special circuit breakers to light the 9,000 lights on the garland that is to festoon the ceiling.

"The electricians thought I was crazy," he said. "It's going to be the most decorated restaurant in the country. It's going to be a Brookings tradition."

He said that for the last three years he has been buying decorations and lights at every after-Christmas sale within 100 miles. In addition to the 9,000 lights, he currently has 1,600 feet of garland, 12,000 ornaments, plus Christmas villages for the backs of the booths in the bar. "The bartenders assembled them while we were closed," he said.

"My mom worked at Disneyland and I was inspired by Disney decorations," Rodney explained. "It will be the most lights of any place in the area except Azalea Park lights that I think are the greatest thing around."

The lights and decorations will be up from November 15 to January 15. "The only day we will be closed is Christmas. I had lots of complaints when we closed on Thanksgiving," Rodney said.

When he talks about the Christmas decorating being planned, the adult restaurant businessman sounds like a little kid waiting for Christmas Day.

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