Before getting hired at the newspaper, I worked many side jobs including bartending at various local bars.
I enjoyed bartending. You just pour someone a drink and chat with the guests. Sure, it could get interesting some nights. Sometimes people want to go at each other’s throats or begged to sell off sale after 10 p.m. So many fun times....
While working at the Verndale Municipal Liquor Store I heard many stories about the town, the bar and the people in the area. I heard stories about guys riding their horses into the bar, and another liked to drive in on his motorcycle.
I remember stepping out of the bathroom and catching a bunch of people dancing on the bar. Why? I have no idea. And when the old cooler was replaced they found several layers of tiles from years past. If I remember correctly there used to be a door to the basement between the front and back bars that was sealed up when they put the stairs in for the basement. I couldn’t imagine trying to carry liquor bottles or getting a keg down that ladder.
I had always heard the back bar is the original one in the Muni. The four pewter ladies that adorn that bar is what make it special. Many of us believed they each represented a different season. While I doubt that back bar is going anywhere anytime soon, I know regulars would do whatever it took to keep it in one piece... buy it, take it home, or, my hope, it would be preserved in the museum.
The origin of that antique back bar is a bit of a mystery. The common belief is one of the beer companies brought it in back in the day. It’s quite possible. Maybe it came in second hand from somewhere. It could have also been in the building already. After learning about the history of the building, it’s possible that was there when it was the restaurant. The manufacturers seal on the bar is from a soda company, so it’s possible it was used in the restaurant, but there is really no way to know for sure. Who knows? What we do know is that back bar is unique and no other bar around has something like it— a preserved and still in-use piece of history.