Town renews liquor license for bar that burned

Officials say owner of Iron Hog is toying with idea of rebuilding bar that was destroyed in February blaze

ESSENTIALLY ALL THAT was left of the Iron Hog Saloon after a Feb. 2 fire was its sign. Town of Port Washington officials recently renewed the liquor license for the bar because the owner is considering rebuilding. Press file photo
Ozaukee Press staff

Town of Port Washington officials recently renewed the liquor license for the Iron Hog Saloon for another year, even though the tavern burned to the ground earlier this year.

Town Chairman Mike Didier said that town ordinances give the Town Board the right not to issue a license if an establishment hasn’t been in operation for 120 days.

“It doesn’t say shall not (issue the license),” he said. “And we’re still in the waiting period.”

Iron Hog owner Chad Arndt “is still entertaining the idea of rebuilding” the tavern, Didier added.

The situation might be different if someone else in the town was seeking a liquor license, Clerk Heather Krueger noted.

The Iron Hog, 4885 Hwy. LL, was one of four town establishments renewing their liquor license on June 6. The others were the Shipyard, Memories and Plier’s Full Circle.

The Iron Hog, which was at the corner of Dixie Road and Highway LL, had been a part of the town landscape since it was built in 1920 as a gas station along what was then Highway 141, a major route in the state.

The bar and restaurant were added later and the Dixie Inn, as it was known then, flourished. Its name changed in about 2010, most recently as the Iron Hog after Arndt purchased the building in 2018.

The bar and restaurant burned on Feb. 2 in a  blaze that started in the basement of the building.

Sixteen area fire departments responded, but they were unable to stop the blaze from consuming the structure. The next day, the fire reignited, and firefighters were again called to the scene.

The fire began in the basement of the building, where Arndt and an employee had been disassembling a cooler using a saw and grinder before leaving to pick up some things at Home Depot. An employee  later noticed smoke and called the fire department.

The fire was not considered suspicious, Port Washington Fire Chief Mark Mitchell said.

Mitchell said Tuesday that neither local nor state fire officials were able to pinpoint the cause of the blaze, only that it began in the basement of the building.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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