ST. WENDEL -- A longtime bar in St. Wendel that has been closed since the start of the pandemic in March of 2020 is reopening with a new name and a new owner.

St. Wendel native Tom Opatz says he bought the former Luethmer's Bar back in May. He says the plan is to open it up to what it was before, a simple small-town bar.

What I think people like about it is that it has been here since the 1960s and they like its simplicity and not part of a big chain system.

Optaz says, while there won't be any big changes right away, he welcomes feedback from the local residents.

It's really their bar and their community, so we're going to work with them to make it what it will be in the future.  It's more about keeping it local and maintaining the localness of it.

Opatz says the old owner, who just turned 79 years old earlier this month, will still be living next door to the bar.

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The bar's name will be changing to St. Wendel Saloon. He says he chose the name because if anyone knows where St. Wendel is they can find the bar.

The Stearns County Board of Commissioners will be asked to approve its liquor license during its meeting Tuesday. If approved, Opatz plans to be open for business sometime early next month.

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