Nutty Bar tradition lives on with new owners

Friday, July 07, 2017

Established in 1945, the Nutty Bar Stand in Arnolds Park has been a tasty tradition in the Iowa Great Lakes Region for over 70 years. The business was sold during the winter, causing generations of faithful customers to become apprehensive: Would its quality change? Would it become something other than the famous shop?

New owners Kira and Michael Jensen bought the Nutty Bar Stand from Doug Frederick with intentions of honoring history.

“We want it to have the nostalgic quality that the Nutty Bar Stand is,” Kira Jensen said.

In early spring the couple began drawing plans for the renovations with a deadline to be open by May 20 with Kira taking on the general manager position.

“We upgraded the menu board,” she said. “The visitors who have never been here before, didn't know exactly what a nutty bar was so we included explanations of our menu offerings on the board.”

The easily-legible menu boards are mounted on the wall behind the counter. Maintaining the high quality of service was an important goal for the Jensens.

“We have 20 employees and only two of them are new," Kira said. “Even our assistant manager is back. We have two sets of siblings too. It is like a family here.”

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