It wasn’t that long ago, the locals will tell you, that the only stop sign in town was the intersection that included the St. Michael Catholic School, the St. Michael Catholic Church/Rectory, the St. Michael Cafe (and other businesses) and The Corner Bar.
Now, that historical intersection has taken on a few renditions since the teardown of the cafe and other structures during the construction of the “One-Way Pair” through the heart of St. Michael. It’s seen stoplights, crosswalks, widening, turn lanes and so much more.
But the mainstay has been the church, the school and the bar.
That won’t be for much longer.
Co-owner Dorothy Braun notified staff this week that The Corner Bar will close Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020 to make way for the widening of Wright County Highway 19. The county and business had reached a contract agreement.
Braun then shared the news with patrons and longtime karaoke crooner Lyle Munter, who began to spread the word via social media on Tuesday, Dec. 3, making it “official.”
The Corner has been – for better or for worse – at the center of much St. Michael history. The local watering hole was the epicenter for celebrations after weddings and funerals (and almost anything else) at the St. Michael Catholic Church – which moved down the road to Frankfort Parkway more than a decade ago.
It was also the spot to be for community celebrations – including the Fourth of July Parade, Catholic Church Fall Festival and homecoming.
Most Wednesdays prior to Thanksgiving, it was so full one couldn’t move from one end of the bar to the other. This past Wednesday was no exception to that rule.
It was also – on bad days – the location of more than a few fights, arrests, and one well-known fatality.
Wright County will announce its plans for the intersection prior to the start of the next construction season. The project was targeted for 2021, according to the county’s five-year plan. However, the Wright County Commission passed a sales tax in 2018 to fund multiple roadwork areas throughout the county, and the schedule has seen some adjustments since that new revenue stream was put into place.
North Wright County Today will have the details on the road construction project when that is made public.