Historical Hunter Bar Will Soon Get Rebirth After Fire Destroys It
Managers say to start assembling the building by the end of September
HUNTER, N.D. — It didn’t take long after seven Cass County fire crews put out the flames engulfing the Hunter C&I bar back in April for the community to come together.
“It was the minute. When are we going to rebuild? What are we going to do next?” said Penny Johnson, manager of the bar.
The bar was built by five men from Hunter in 1947. Once they made a profit, they turned it over to the community.
Over the years, it’s become the heart of the town, making the four months it’s been closed seem a lot longer.
“Feels like four years just losing that contact with everybody. We really need that for the small communities to stick together,” Penny said.
The bar was previously two separate parts: the bar and a meeting extension next door. When the bar reopens, community members can expect the 40 by 80 square foot building to have a lot more open space as a way to make up for that lost time.
“(It will) be one big, open area. There will be a U-shaped bar where everybody can sit around and converse where before you sat down at the bar and you faced the back wall, where now you’ll be facing somebody across the aisle from you,” Johnson said.
While being able to catch up with everyone in Hunter again means the world to the bar’s regulars, some are looking forward to the face lift the building will get.
“They were pretty run down. You could visually tell that, not that it bothered me but just a nice new building will be nice. It’ll be nice to see a new building up there, new equipment, new coolers,” said Tim Nelson, vice president of the bar’s liquor board.
The rebirth of the Hunter C&I bar will not only fill the empty space left in its place after the fire, it will also fill the hole it left behind for those who spent over the last decade working there.
“I didn’t own the bar but it was a part of me,” Johnson said.
A part of her that is now healing thanks to all the support the bar has received.
“They’re like a family to you. They’ve been on my back like ‘when are you going to do this’ so the communities excited as I am about getting it back up and running,” Johnson said.
While the bar was able to collect some money from the insurance company, it didn’t cover everything. Hunter C&I is selling t-shirts to fundraise for more bar supplies and it is also looking for volunteers to help rebuild. If you’re interested, click here to contact someone from the bar.