The early History of the B&L Bar in New Ulm is a little vague. Most of the oldtimers have long since gone to the Big Saloon in the sky. The present day building was erected in 1894 as a dry goods store or a butcher shop. I'll clarify that later. About 1897, Albert Steinman opened a saloon in part or all of the building. According to newspaper articles, there were 30+ licenses issued in New Ulm that year. The original bar's name is currently unknown.
This old picture, taken around 1900, shows the mirrored back bar still in use today. The interior was
renovated and not destroyed. You can enjoy the old time atmosphere in modern comfort.
History shows that the establishment changed hands several times between Steinman, Andrew Amann and George Groebner. Anton Bartl purchased the building around 1910. He had owned a beer hall on the same block for many years. He called his new place "Bartl's". During prohibition, the saloon stayed open, serving soft drinks, near beer and food. The cooking was done upstairs and a dumb waiter was used to transfer food down to the patrons.
In 1945, Frank Lamecker joined Tony Bartl and the name was changed to the "B&L Bar". The Bartl's family continued to run the saloon long after Mr. Bartl and Mr. Lamecker passed. Again, the bar changed hands several times from the 1970's with the Thom family the longest owners. During this time, the bar continued to be named B&L. It was often referred to as the "Beautiful Lounge" or "Braggers & Liars". Many other names have been used to describe the esthetics and old bar atmosphere. Rick Kamm and Jeff Gulden bought the business in 2002.
When in New Ulm, come in and say hello!
The names and events may be corrected as more information is passed on to us.