Casper won’t know the fate of the Wonder Bar until after it closes Oct. 8.
As rumors swirl on social media, new owner Cole Cercy said he can’t reveal his plans until mid- to late October.
“It would be inappropriate of me to make any comments until all due diligence is completed and the sale is final,” Cercy said in an email to the Star-Tribune.
A public hearing on the transfer of liquor licenses for both businesses to Cercy was set for Oct. 18 during a Tuesday Casper City Council work session.
Cercy’s silence comes as Wonder Bar employees are circulating a petition asking the new ownership to save some of the bar’s historic fixtures.
“Modernize but do not destroy one of the most famous and beautiful bars in the world,” the petition, which had several dozen signatures as of Monday night, read.
“Casper is the only city in the world with a World Famous Wonder Bar, we will be pissed off to lose it,” the petition adds.
Cercy is buying the Wonder Bar and Poor Boy’s Steakhouse from local businessman Pat Sweeney. Poor Boy’s will close Oct. 1.
All employees of both business are being laid off. Sweeney declined to answer whether they would receive severance pay.
Sweeney noted in an interview with the Star-Tribune last week that it was unusual for new business owners to close establishments after their acquisition.
“Usually the business goes on when you buy something like this,” Sweeney said. “That’s not the case this time.”
Cercy told the Star-Tribune last week that he was available for a phone call to discuss his plans for the businesses. But a few days later, an acquaintance of Cole’s father, Tony Cercy, emailed the newspaper to say Cole would not speak to the media yet.
“Cole will not make any announcements regarding downtown business activities until mid-to-late October,” Tim Monroe wrote.
Cole Cercy’s LinkedIn page lists him as an entrepreneur currently working as an area sales representative for his father’s company, Power Services Inc.
Tony Cercy acknowledged to the Star-Tribune that he had helped his son buy the two businesses but could not speak to Cole’s plans.
“It’s his thing,” Tony Cercy said.