Closed Cedar Rapids bar reopens each year for St. Patrick's Day - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Closed Cedar Rapids bar reopens each year for St. Patrick's Day tradition

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With St. Patrick's Day falling on a Saturday this year, many area restaurants and bars are preparing for a busy day tomorrow, but one Cedar Rapids bar will do all the preparation for only one night of business.

Inside The Tycoon bar in Cedar Rapids, the ceiling is decorated with streamers, four-leaf clovers, an array of St. Patrick's Day posters; all the makings and trimmings for a St. Patrick's Day celebration.

It's a holiday not taken lightly by the bar and its owner, Kurt Luedtke.

"This is where it all starts. This is the starting point of the day," Luedtke said about The Tycoon.

After all, signs around the bar label it as the "St. Patrick's Day Headquarters" -- but with reason.

"It's on the parade routes and with the number of windows it's been an appropriate place and very popular," he said.

On Friday, the bar was putting the final touches of preparation for Saturday, the one day of the year the bar is sure to open. The other 364 days the bar is closed, give or take some big events.

"I'm getting old and I just feel too much for me to handle on a daily basis anymore," Luedtke said.

Luedtke also owns the bar below The Tycoon, Fat Wally's, but he reopens The Tycoon each year to carry on the St. Patrick's Day tradition. In April, it will be 35 years that the bar has operated, though years before it was open year-round.

With its location, size, and its famous glowing leprechaun drinks, people continue to flock to the bar every year.

"It's a very big deal. It's our way of welcoming spring. The people that are participating, do a very good job at it," he said.

Luedtke said they expect to see a line ready to come in when they open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, of people trying to get a good window view for the SAPADAPASO Parade that starts at 1 p.m. The bar will stay open until 2 a.m..

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