Last call at The Nestor Tavern uncovers history and memories

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FARGO, ND (Valley News Live) After nearly 100 years it's the very last call for one Fargo bar. The Nestor in North Fargo is set to close at the end of this month, but that may not be the end of the story for this long-time Fargo hangout.

Sunday morning seemed like any other at The Nestor Tavern, but it would be the last Sunday locals could shoot a round of pool or take in an Eagles game at the bar. The doors close for good November 30th.

But the memories made at The Nestor run deep for many.

"Originally I came back here to meet my wife," Ken Roland said. Roland had traveled from California to Minneapolis and was picked up from the airport by friends, with his future wife sitting in the backseat. The two had never met, but when the group arrived in Fargo, they made their way to their favorite hangout spot.

"When we got to talking and stuff, it was here at The Nestor," Marlene Roland said, gesturing to the brick building. Ken later made North Dakota his permanent home, frequenting The Nestor with Marlene.

Back in the 90's the couple sang karaoke at the bar, making great friends and great memories along the way. But they weren't the only musical entertainment. "The music was good, I loved the music they had here," Marlene said of the bands that would pass through.

Over the years, multiple musical performances and groups would grace The Nestor's stage. One stand out favorite was Old Dog New Trick.

And those in the bar made their time spent there that much better. "It was like the people here were like family," Ken said. Both described the bartenders and staff as friendly and a special part of the experience. Marlene even said one current bartender, Dan, has been there since she first started frequenting nearly 30 years ago.

Overtime, the clientele of The Nestor has evolved to include generations of students, locals, and those just passing through. Denise Anderson now lives in West Fargo, but was a frequent visitor to the bar during her college years and couldn't pass up the chance to visit one more time.

"I'm 50 years old and I'm thinking about when I was 21 and and I want to just reminisce with my old friends that were here," she said with friends standing by her side. "The Nestor... they're just one of a kind so I just thought they'd always be open."

And so did many others.

The land The Nestor Tavern has sat on for the last 47 years was bought by the Kilborne Group in 2015 for around $1.5 million dollars - nearly triple the amount the land and structure on it was valued at. A source close to The Nestor said rent jumped about 300 percent after the purchase was finalized.

The owner of the business, Doug DeMinck, was given the option to extend the building's lease until March 2018, but would have to hand over an extra $3,500 or so a month, raising the rent to around $11,000.

With the raise in rent and decisions to be made, DeMinck sold his liquor license to the owner of Tailgators Sports Cafe, Rick Nymark. The transfer of license ownership will take effect on January 1, 2018.

What DeMinck still owns is the naming rights of The Nestor Tavern.

Many came to the conclusion that the Kilborne Group would wipe the building off the lot and rebuild commercial space or lofts. But not so fast.

A search of The Nestor Tavern's address brings up an EventBright page listing the establishment - though not by it's current name - as the venue for a multi-artist, hip-hop show on December 15. The show is produced by KD Productions, a Fargo based company producing music production services for private events.

The future of The Nestor Tavern's current building is unclear. But one thing is clear - those who know The Nasty will hold onto fond memories made inside of it's walls.