DENVER -- It was the end of a long run for one of Denver’s most iconic neighborhood bars on Sunday.
It was standing room only for fans who came to cheer the Broncos and the man who has been their host here for 40 years.
Jim Wiste took over the Campus Lounge in 1976 after playing hockey at the University of Denver and the NHL.
"I knew Jim. We went to school together at DU,” said Joe Blackman who was sitting with friends and family, “I opened a restaurant myself in '73. He opened this place in '76 and we've been friends ever since.”
"I wouldn't be here for 40 years if it wasn't for the people and the people that work here,” Wiste said, “I want to thank all the people that have made life enjoyable and we've hoped we've made it fun for everybody else too. "
"I started working here when I was 12 years old if that's safe to say,” said Mike DeBolt, who was watching the game with friends, “Then my friend Ronnie, we worked, we lived on the next block, and Jim was like a second father to us growing up he was an incredible man still is today."
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"Jim Wiste is a great guy,” said Jack Teutsch, who started coming after baseball games as a kid. “Every Thanksgiving, he always does kind of a Thanksgiving thing as part of the community always. "
"It is kind of insane,” said Dallas Bradbury, who was squeezed up against the bar with her friends. “But Jim's been a big part of my life forever and ever."
The bar opened at the same location in 1946 as the Bel-Aire, and lifelong patrons just wanted one last hurrah.
"Just to say good bye to everybody that we know,” Jim Teutsch said. “And to look around at the all the familiar faces and to just take it all in enjoy it one last time.”
The new owners will close for remodeling, but their exact plans for the future are still unclear.
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