By Starrla Cray
WAVERLY, MN Uptown Bar and Grill in Waverly has been upping its appeal in recent months, with major renovations to its 1890 building.
“We wanted to maintain the integrity of the old building, and make it into the old-time pub it used to be,” owner Jud Meyer said.
Improvements started about two years ago, after Jud peeled off part of the wall-covering and discovered antique brick hidden underneath.
“That was the inspiration,” he recalled.
From there, an assortment of remodeling projects began, including walls, ceilings, seating, patio, restrooms, and more.
“It has been a great deal of work and sacrifice for a lot of people, and I could not be happier with the end product,” Jud said.
“We hired all local people,” added Jud’s wife, Natasha “Tash.”
The Meyer family’s local mindset extends to the building materials they used, too. Uptown’s tin ceiling, for example, was created with tin from an old pole barn on Highway 12, and the walls feature reclaimed barn wood from southeastern Minnesota.
“All of it is at least a century old,” Jud said. “Since this building is a century-and-a- quarter old, we wanted to preserve its history.”
Tables made out of the former bar countertop are another reminder of the past, along with black-and-white photos of historic Waverly.
A blend of new and old
A new room was added at Uptown this year, and it carries the same traditional ambiance as the rest of the establishment including matching brickwork, done by Roger Remer of Waverly.
The addition offers space for live bands and other small events.
“We’ve already had inquiries for small wedding receptions and bachelorette parties,” Jud said.
The patio outside the bar and grill has also gotten some TLC lately. Jud had a pergola installed in summer 2012, and vines were later planted to give the area a garden-like setting.
“The ultimate goal is to make this a family, hometown place,” Jud said.
Part of the community
Jud, who has an Army background, purchased the Uptown Bar and Grill in August 2006.
“I was just finishing a deployment at that point,” he said, adding that he was called out again in 2008.
While Jud was away, Natasha took care of Uptown’s day-to-day operations, while earning a degree in social work. Today, Natasha works full time in Buffalo, and she and Jud have a 3-month-old daughter, Adalynn.
Jud is originally from Coon Rapids, and has enjoyed getting to know the residents of Waverly.
“As much as we possibly can, we try to be involved in the community,” Jud said. He currently serves on Waverly’s economic development authority, and has contributed financially to improvements within the city, such as purchasing lighting for the volleyball court.
Uptown Bar and Grill sponsors volleyball and softball leagues in the summer, and beanbag leagues in the winter.
As fresh as it gets
Another local aspect of Uptown Bar and Grill is its menu.
“All our beef is from Wright County,” Jud said, explaining that by partnering with French Lake Butcher Shop north of Cokato, they’re able to serve extremely fresh burgers.
“Our saying is ‘from pasture to patty in 48 hours,’” Natasha said.
“It is literally 48 hours,” Jud added.
In addition to flavorful burgers, Uptown has been expanding its menu options to include wraps and salads, as well as breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays.
In the future, a weekend dinner menu will be available, as well, offering selections like fish, prime rib, and steak.
Uptown Bar and Grill (203 N. 5th St) is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to midnight, Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.
To learn more, call (763) 658-4838 or check out the bar’s Facebook page.
Did you know?
Owner Jud Meyer shares a few tidbits of Uptown Bar and Grill’s history:
The building’s original owner (in 1890) was J.F. Kevin Selsky, who immigrated to Waverly from Bohemia. Selsky owned several buildings in town at the time.
When the building was first constructed, it functioned much like a convenience store, and also offered beer and liquor.