Long time Lander staple business, the Forge Bar and Grill closed under mysterious circumstances this past February. But as with what’s happened when other businesses have closed in and around Lander, this doesn’t have to, and shouldn’t be the end. And local students at Wyoming Catholic College (WCC) are aiming to make sure of just that.
When Abe’s Coffee closed, WCC bought up their unused equipment and established Crux Coffee. Similarly, when Ken & Betty’s closed, the school bought up their equipment and established Dolce Ice Cream. So just judging by trends it would seem that the school should be buying up all the equipment and furniture of the Forge and maybe even their building and establishing a bar and grill of their own.
“So I realized this trend one day and thought to myself, why hasn’t this happened yet,” IIT president Everett Polinski and a junior at WCC comments. Getting some of his friends together and using the trusty aid of technology and the internet, he found a way he thinks the “much needed reality of a WCC-owned bar can be brought about.”
While of course the school technically already runs a bar, “Crux After Hours”, the times and offerings of this are too premium and high end to really meet Lander’s thirst, which other bars in town likewise can’t meet. “It’s leading to lots of dangerous and unnecessary driving of locals all the way to Riverton to quench their thirst. And that’s a problem. Why can’t we at WCC offer something to meet the community’s demand all week long and not just on Friday and Saturday nights. People eat every night. Shouldn’t they likewise have a chance to drink, or as some call it, ‘have opportunities to legitimately practice the virtue of temperance’, every night?”
And so the solution is live now, a community organized fundraiser to pay for a down payment on the old-Forge Bar building, which now sits vacant and seems increasingly unlikely to ever be sold, “unless we go out and help do it ourselves,” Everett adds.
While no one has yet contributed, the goal of $20,000 is “actually pretty reachable if students pool their room and board partial refunds from last semester” according to IIT business analyst Marcus Gardner, a senior at the school.
See more about the campaign for yourself at buytheforge.com