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Hundreds attend auction of Tarentum beer distributor's equipment

| Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, 12:02 a.m.
Valley News Dispatch
Rick Paar of Beaver Falls looks over some of the beer taps up for bid before the LaRusse Distributing auction at the warehouse in Tarentum on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Bidders surround auctioneers Fred Peters and Lenny Davis as they search out specific bidders during the LaRusse Distributing auction at the warehouse in Tarentum on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Michael Bowser of Harrison looks over some items up for bid before the LaRusse Distributing auction at the warehouse in Tarentum on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Auctioneer Lenny Davis reads the terms of sale before beginning the auction at the LaRusse Distributing warehouse in Tarentum on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch
Valley News Dispatch
Prospective bidders look over a line-up of sport-utility vehicles before the LaRusse Distributing auction at the warehouse in Tarentum on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch

Nick Manu drove in from Cleveland in hopes of buying one of the four forklifts up for auction Saturday at LaRusse Distributing in Tarentum.

In the end, the bids were higher than was he was prepared to pay.

“I can get them cheaper in Ohio,” he said, disappointed with the outcome. Manu said he attends a number of auctions looking for good deals on supplies for his restaurant, equipment and heating, ventilation and air conditioning businesses. “Maybe I'll buy one of the cars instead,” he joked, pointing to a row of seven SUVs up for bid.

LaRusse's holdings, including office and warehouse equipment and Anheuser-Busch products and memorabilia, were auctioned off Saturday. The master distributor of Anheuser-Busch products was sold in September to Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale.

Auction attendees ranged from business owners to collectors to people just looking for something unique. A few hundred bidders gathered in the LaRusse warehouse for the auction.

Christian Fyke, of Rivertowne Brewing in Murrysville, said he was surprised by the number of people who came out.

“Things are going for a pretty high price,” he said.

Fyke said he planned to bid on a pallet wrapper and golf cart that he hoped to use once the brewery operation is up and running.

Others at the auction said they attended because of the LaRusse company's standing in the community.

The business opened in 1941 and was located in various spots in Tarentum before settling at its current location at the corner of West Sixth Avenue and East Street in 1988.

“They've been good to the town,” said Bill Bolt of Upper Burrell, who was interested in some of the wine racks up for sale. “It's disheartening to see this place go.”

Also among the items up for bid were Budweiser holiday beer steins from 2006 to 2009, and 2011.

New Stanton resident Rob Quinn, 47, bought about 40 beer steins from 2011 for $260. He said it's a good price, but he really didn't need all of them.

“I just like them,” Quinn said.

What doesn't end up on eBay, an online auction website, could go to friends and relatives as Christmas gifts.

“I've got to get rid of them somehow,” he said.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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