Sportsman's Bar in Monterey collapses

Jeff Kenney
Citizen Editor

The site of a longtime Monterey business collapsed unexpectedly Thursday evening, drawing a sizable crowd and hastening crews towards safety-oriented cleanup efforts.

Sportsman’s Bar and Grill at 501 North Main in downtown Monterey began to collapse between 5 and 6 p.m. April 24. Witnesses reported the building's outer wall had been bulging for some time before the incident.

According to Doug Denton, a Monterey resident active in a variety of community endeavors there, the building was empty and there were no injuries. Zehner Excavating handled some clean-up to facilitate public safety at this time. Denton adds that the building had recently been purchased but was "still in the transaction stages" Monterey's fire department and Pulaski County Sheriff's Department also assisted at the scene.

Sportsman's dates back to at least 1935, when Burwell Woodward and Fred Bauer opened a tavern which would become part of what would later become Sportsman's, according to historical sources available in the Monterey library. Walt Kelsey would eventually buy the tavern and name it Sportsman's Bar. It changed hands several times since then, and closed in 2011.