Ormsby House owners buy Jack’s Bar
The new owners of the historic Jack’s Bar at Carson and Fifth streets aren’t sure what they’re going to do with it.
“We’re still thinking about that,” said Don Lehr who, with partner Allan Fiegehen, purchased the bar at Carson and Fifth earlier this year.
“There’s no great rush. We’re still sitting on it.”
Lehr and Fiegehen, partners in Cubix, a Carson City computer equipment and software manufacturing company, purchased Jack’s Bar along with the neighboring Capital Motel on April 30. The price for both properties was $625,000.
“In the long-term, the motel will be taken down,” Lehr said.
In 1999, the partners purchased the Ormsby House, which is to the south across Fifth Street from Jack’s Bar.
“We’re putting all our energy into getting the Ormsby ready,” Lehr said, adding that extensive outside work needs to be completed before winter. “It’s slower than we’d like.”
The corner of Carson and Fifth streets has been a popular entertainment site for nearly 150 years. In 1859, just two years after the founding of Carson City, a dance hall opened on the corner, according to Nevada State Archivist Guy Rocha. Later it housed a hotel. That building was torn down in 1892.
The current building, composed principally of sandstone quarried and chiseled at the State Prison, opened Aug. 19, 1899, as the Bank Saloon, owned by John Meyer and Elizabeth Sanger.
“Today Johnny Meyer will open his new saloon and he deserves all success in the new building,” reported the Carson Appeal. “The
place is without exception the handsomest building in this city and is an ornament that will remain for years to come, as it is built of stone and in a substantial manner.”
The bar operated under several ownerships and names — even during Prohibition, when it was a bootlegging front — until becoming Jack’s Bar in 1966.
A fire next door to the bar in April 19, 1998, burned three neighboring shops but not Jack’s. The bar’s last owner was James Doug Addison, who closed the bar in April 2001.