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The Library Bar Making Grand (Ave) Exit

Kari Eakins, Townsquare Media

Don’t lie to your mom, tell her The Library is leaving.

Lease negotiations between the owners of The Library Sports Grille & Brewery and the owner of the building at 1622 E. Grand Ave. began six months ago. The only agreement reached however, was to mutually part ways. A non-renewal notice was signed on October 31st, meaning The Library will be out of its current location on February 6th.

“They want to own their own building and I can’t blame them for that,” said Dwight Rowell, the owner of the building and original owner of The Library. “I’m a little sad to see it go, but I sold it, so they can do whatever they want. I know they’ll do something good with it and they’ll be successful no matter where their location.”

Tonya Gay, Bryan Gay and Nate Jorgenson took over ownership of the trademarked name The Library Sports Grille & Brewery on February 6, 2007. They had all been serving or bartending at The Library for several years and for the five-year anniversary of their ownership, they’ll be moving The Library into a new era. While they don’t yet know where The Library will be landing, certain things are very clear.

“We’re going to do the same thing,” said Bryan. “We’re going to do everything we can not to leave Laramie. We’re always going to be a brewery and you can’t really be a bar without a restaurant, so we’ve really got to be all three of them profit wise.”

At this moment the owners of The Library are waiting to hear back from banks on financing so they can look at locations to purchase, saying they will probably never rent again. They’re basically looking for a place to purchase in Laramie where they can bring the same spirit that The Library has had for the past 17 years.

“It’ll look a lot the same,” said Bryan. “We own all of the equipment. The same tables and chairs that are here are going to be in the next place. It’s still going to have the TV’s, we’re still going to get the sports package, we’re never going to be fine dining, nothing is ever going to change there. And it’s not like this place is going anywhere. Someone will come and open it up, even if it’s the owner’s that used to own it before, they’ll run it again. It’s not like it’s not going to be here, it’s just not going to be The Library.”

As for Rowell’s plans for the building, he says he is just beginning to entertain offers from possible renters.While he knows the building and location are well-suited for a restaurant, he says he wouldn’t reject other ideas such as a clothing store, he simply wants a tenant.

“Hopefully someone will jump right in and pretty soon after The Library closes, someone new will open.” said Rowell.

While most of the building will be playing host to a new party, some of it will stay the same. Rowell owns the liquor store and the retail liquor license, so the store will stay open under a new name.

The building was constructed in 1976 and housed a food court, the mini-dome mall and even a teen dance hall before Rowell purchased it in late 1994. They closed down the building for about six months and held the Grand Opening for The Library on April Fool’s Day of 1995. The Library claims (along with Snake River Brewing Company) to be the first brewpub in Wyoming. It got its name from a similar establishment in Arizona, where Rowell’s sister went to college. When his mom went to her graduation, his sister took her to “the library” and his mom discovered it was a bar, not the place she thought her daughter had been diligently studying at.

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