STERLING – It’s an udderly enormous undertaking.
On May 7, a two-story dairy barn now situated on the former Wahl Equestrian Center/Double G Arena site will mosey a mile down U.S. Route 30, to replace most of the building that now houses K’s Korners, a popular bar in rural Whiteside County just west of town.
Wires must be moved to accommodate the 39-foot-tall structure. It’s wider than the railings on the bridge over the Elkhorn Creek, and so must be lifted high enough to clear them. The odd odyssey will take about 4 hours.
“This is not something you are going to see twice in your life,” said Marion Younger. The one-story bar has been in her husband Andy’s family since 1972. Andy bought it from his dad, Marv, in 2003. Marv still lives on site; that part of the building will remain.
In June, the Greater Sterling Development Corp. bought the equestrian center at 24236 Lincoln Road, near an Interstate 88 interchange and the Wahl Distribution Center, for $479,600. It wants the site to be available for development.
In the fall, it sold all the buildings on the property at auction. The old dairy barn housed the center’s clothing and tack shop.
Andy, who knew the man who built the barn and the grandson who used to milk there, bought it for a grand. It’s going to cost 100 times that to move it.
So, why tear down one building just to plant another in its place?
“Because he bought the barn and then he had to figure out what to do with it,” Marion said with a laugh.
Turns out the equestrian center put about $100,000 into the barn not too long ago, and it’s got good steel siding and reinforced rafters.
“It’s beautiful, and it’s well-constructed. It’s a whole lot nicer building,” Marion said.
The Youngers plan to use the second floor, which will be dubbed The Loft, as a rental venue for weddings, reunions, birthday parties, you name it.
The first floor will house the bar, which also serves food and features live entertainment.
Demolition on the old brown building began this weekend, but a portion of the bar will remain open all during construction, she said. In light of the dust it’s kicking up, though, the kitchen is closed for now.
There’s no timeline for completion. At 100-by-35-feet, though, the barn is only about 2-and-a-half feet wider on either side than the bar, so they can use the old foundation, and because it’s in such good shape, the work shouldn’t take too long, she said.
K's Korners is at 13030 Galt Road, at the intersection of Galt Road and U.S. Route 30 west of Sterling.
For more information on the bar or its new venture, The Loft, call owners Andy and Marion Younger at 815-626-2988 or find K's Korners on Facebook.