Having established itself more than 75 years ago, Bud’s Bar has been a West Side neighborhood staple for generations.
That’s why when it was listed for sale, new owner Shelley Steiert said she had to act.
“I just felt like there was a need to keep a neighborhood bar,” Steiert said. “It’s kind of iconic; there are not too many bars like this left with this history, so I just felt like that was really important.”
The neighborhood bar definitely has a long history; it started as a home for Floyd and Pearl Howe around 1922. The couple lived there until 1925 when it became an ice house business, followed by a root beer and malt shop. Once Clem “Bud” and Bethine Satter bought the place in 1942, it was officially called Bud’s Bar.
In 1960, the Satters sold the property to Joe Falgien and Ralph Benintendi, and Falgien bought out Benintendi in 1963.
Recognizing its longstanding status as a resident of the West Side neighborhood, Steiert said she’s not planning to change anything about the bar — except, maybe, the old, blue, wall-to-wall shag carpet.
“They don’t want a big change,” Steiert said. “A lot of the rumors that I heard was (customers) were really nervous the liquor license was going to get sold out to a big corporation, so I think it’s important to keep things the same for the patrons.”
Trying to keep a smooth transition for the regulars, the bar has remained open its normal hours during the ownership change, something Steiert said has been more than a little hectic.
Steiert, who is part-owner and broker of the ACRE company in Laramie, has lived in Laramie eight years, citing its outdoor recreation opportunities and family-friendly atmosphere as reasons she’s wanted to stay.
She said she felt the bar, too, “feels like a family place to everyone.”
“It feels like home,” she added. “There are not many places with this history.”
Having a long history also means rumors and urban legends, and Bud’s Bar has its own. Steiert said she’s found in her research evidence to suggest the bar received the second liquor license in Wyoming after the national prohibition ended in 1933.
While a bar could’ve been operating at that time, Wyoming Liquor Division told the Laramie Boomerang the records don’t go back quite far enough to determine for sure. The records with the City Clerk’s office, too, don’t go back quite that far.
Another urban legend is the bar is the inspiration behind the interior of the famous Moe’s Tavern in the longtime animated series “The Simpsons.”