More than a year after a fire forced the closure of the Spur Bar in Star Valley, its new owners plan to reopen it with all its cowboy charm within a few months.
Patrons can expect to see the familiar building on Highway 260 with its deep brown and red facade and rustic western touches on the inside.
Owner Steve Hodges, a retired builder, was able to salvage the bar’s original bar top, table and chairs and many of the original finishing touches.
Soon to be bar manager Susie Johnson said she and her brother, Hodges, decided to purchase the saloon after the former owner, Chris Richardson, realized he could not make the necessary repairs to reopen it.
A fire that started in the walk-in cooler on Memorial Day weekend 2008 had done considerable damage to the back half of the bar.
When they learned the historic bar might be torn down, they could not bear to see it go.
“The approach we are trying to take with it is we have lost a lot of our old taverns in Payson including the Pioneer and Winchester and virtually the Oxbow,” she said.
“We hate to see old things go away and we want this to be an old, traditional type of bar.”
Because the building was not completely destroyed, Johnson said she likes to think of the changes as more of a restoration rather than a complete overhaul.
“This bar is important,” she said. “It’s unfortunate that taverns are getting a bad name today, but traditionally they were a gathering place and that is a part of history that has gone by the wayside.”
The bar’s 60-year history is as spotted today as its condition. It was originally owned by the Chilsons and then became the Carl’s Bad Tavern under owners Carl and Patty Blakely.
Johnson is continuing research and plans to create a display to showcase the collection of items and stories from the former bar.
She invites anyone with stories of the bar to drop by when it reopens.