Roger Walker prepares to make a drink at the HiWay Bar. The bar's grand reopening is planned for 5 p.m. Saturday.

Photo by Scott Franz

Roger Walker prepares to make a drink at the HiWay Bar. The bar's grand reopening is planned for 5 p.m. Saturday.

Hayden's HiWay Bar prepares for grand reopening

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— Hayden’s HiWay Bar will make a lot of noise on Jefferson Avenue on Saturday night when it hosts a grand-reopening party.

Owner Fawna Odom said the festivities start at 5 p.m., when revelers will celebrate the revival of the historic bar that was closed suddenly in December.

“I see a big improvement every day, and more and more people are coming in,” Odom said. “I am just so blessed.”

The bar that first opened in the mid-1930s was shuttered Dec. 22 when the Colorado Department of Revenue seized the business to recover nine months’ worth of unpaid sales taxes and wage withholdings from Andrea and Kendal Wheat, the bar’s previous operators who planned to close the bar because it wasn’t making a profit. Hayden residents quickly rallied in January to raise $10,000 to pay off part of that debt and reclaim the bar from the state. Odom said she still is paying off part of the debt.

On Jan. 12, Odom and a small group of volunteers reopened the HiWay Bar and worked to restore it to a Western theme. In a matter of weeks, a full menu, live music and a Friday karaoke night were added.

Odom added she is working with a potential investor from Steamboat to have her business become an LLC, a move she said will allow the HiWay Bar to expand its services. As part of that process, Odom said the bar temporarily will stop serving alcohol Monday through Wednesday while it waits to receive a new liquor license from the town of Hayden.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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