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Wheel Bar Celebrates 65 Years In Business

This weekend the world famous Wheel Bar in Estes Park celebrates 65 years of serving Estes Park.

To thank the community and all of the guests who have visited “The Wheel” throughout the years, the Nagl family invites everyone in for $1 well drinks and $1 domestic draft beers at their 65th Anniversary Party! The party takes place at The Wheel Bar, 132 E. Elkhorn Ave. on Sunday, August 29th from 4-8 p.m.

The Wheel Bar has a long and friendly family history here in Estes Park.

In August of 1945 Mike (O.M.) Nagl while on a trip through Estes Park, purchased the Estes Park Beer Parlor from Ted Jelsema. Little did Mike and his wife Lee (Leola) know at the time that this purchase would lead to 65 years of hospitality, dining, lots of laughs and community service.

Early into business ownership, the Nagls knew that they didn’t want The Wheel to be just another watering hole. They quickly became much more than that by becoming an integral part of our community with their many events they sponsored.

They started many traditions like the Wheel Bar Open Golf Tournament, the Abalone Hunt, The Case Family Reunion and Bastille Day Ceremonies. They also came up with the Wheel Streak, a foot race sponsored by The Wheel to help fund construction of the Estes Park Visitors Center. The Estes Park Duck Race was also inspired and started by Steve Nagl.

The name The Wheel Bar came from a contest that Mike held to name what was then, Mike’s Tavern. After the bar was renovated, a contest was held to “name the place.” Lee reported that they received every name in the book as a suggestion, but when the name “The Wheel” came about, it seemed a great fit because of the fact that it was a local hangout for everyone who was anyone. Ty Nagl said, “If you needed a business license, needed to talk to anyone about your light bill or anything like that, chances are they would be found here.” This place was the hub of the town so calling the bar ‘The Wheel’ just fit.

Mike and Lee ran the business for 32 years until they transferred ownership in 1977 to the couple’s son, Steve and his wife Gay.

Steve and Gay kept the family tradition of the many activities and fund raisers that Mike and Lee had started so many years before.

The Nagl family has a long history of donating their time, money and resources to the community of Estes Park. In addition to running their bar and restaurant, the Nagl family has been a motivating factor in more than their share of important community fund drives. Steve’s philosophy is “If you help build the community, its going to come back to you.” That is a family value and belief that has been passed from generation to generation.

The Nagls attribute their success to the devotion of their guests over the years. The Nagls know how important it is to make everyone at their establishment feel welcome. That is imperative to assure their return customers. As a matter of fact, people return year after year from all corners of the world to enjoy a drink and a laugh at The Wheel.

The Wheel Bar gets locals and tourists alike in their bar and is a very popular place to stop, have a drink and enjoy the Nagl family hospitality.

Join the Nagls as they celebrate their 65th anniversary on August 29th. This will be a very special celebration at the world famous Wheel Bar, right here in Estes Park, CO.

Photos EP NEWS/ Gary Hazelton

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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