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Old Falks Drug Store recently purchased

The Falk Drug store formerly occupied the building at 601 First Ave. in downtown Two Harbors. Shown is a picture of the drug store in 1910. (Minnesota Historical Society photo)1 / 2
Dale Osby and Patty Rutka recently purchased the building at 601 First Ave. in downtown Two Harbors for the apartment rentals on the second floor. (News-Chronicle photo by Adelle Whitefoot)2 / 2

The old Falks Drug Store and New Life Café building on the corner of Waterfront Drive and First Avenue in downtown Two Harbors was recently purchased by a couple.

Patty Rutka of Duluth and Dale Osby of Moose Lake recently purchased the building for the six rental units on the second floor. Osby is a registered nurse at Mercy Hospital in Moose Lake and Rutka is a respiratory therapist at St. Lukes and works in a sleep lab.

"I've been looking for apartment buildings for a long time. I even thought about building one but that wasn't really feasible, so I started to look at ones to buy," Rutka said. "This one had some charm to it that caught my eye and it seems like it's well built."

Rutka said the building needs a lot of work and they are just taking it one thing at a time by starting with sprucing up the apartments. The building has a two bedroom apartment, three one bedrooms and two studios. All but one of the studios are taken and the second studio apartment needs some work.

"We are going to renovate that one completely," Osby said. "It needs a sink, a stove and a fridge before we can rent it out."

Three of the apartments were occupied when the couple took over the building and they recently rented two more out. The apartments that were vacant got a fresh coat of paint and the carpet was removed revealing beautiful wood floors that the couple had redone.

"We were pleasantly surprised how well they came out," Rutka said.

Even though the building needs a lot of work, Rutka said the charm and the location downtown was one of the reason they decided to purchase it. She has been doing rentals for 13 years now

"We like the Two Harbors downtown area because you can see the ships coming in," she said.

Osby said another reason they wanted to buy this building was because they wanted to provide decent affordable housing for people.

As of right now Osby and Rutka do not have a plan for the first floor commercial space of the building.

"We want to get the lay of the land and the community and kind of figure out what the community wants or needs," Osby said.

The pair are looking for some input from the community on what they think the city needs. Anyone willing to share their thoughts on what they think Two Harbors could use contact Osby and Ruka at

"We just want to add to the town and make it more attractive," Rutka said.

Adelle Whitefoot

Adelle Whitefoot is a Michigan native who moved to Minnesota in Sept. 2014 when she started as a reporter for the News-Chronicle. She graduated from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Mich., in 2012 with a bachelor's in English writing and has been a professional photographer since 2011. Whitefoot is the beat writer for the Two Harbors City Council.

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