Time Running Out for Iconic Corral Bar - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Time Running Out for Iconic Corral Bar

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GALLATIN CANYON - Time is running out for an iconic bar, inn and restaurant in Gallatin Canyon, which after nearly seventy years of business may be forced to shutter its doors.

Fliers for the Corral's last dance are strung up around the bar.

While customers smile over the burgers and beers that have made the Corral a favorite since it opened in 1946, the atmosphere in what could be the last three days of the bar's business is somber.

"It's always been the Corral Bar, Dave and I have owned it longer than anybody, we're in our 27th year. It's always been a Canyon favorite, a place for people to come and socialize, dance, eat, have libation."

Owner Devon White says the Corral is set to close after a lengthy land dispute with Wisconsin business man, Larry Burcalow.

"He owns about 1,800 acres here and he used to be one of our best customers before the land deal, then things just went sideways after that."

The land deal White is talking about took place in 1998, when the U.S. Forest Service decided to swap land surrounding the Corral with the Big Sky Lumber Co.

After Congress approved the Gallatin Range Consolidation Act, Big Sky Lumber sold a chunk of the property adjacent to the Corral to Burcalow.

Following his purchase, Burcalow threatened White and his partner, co-owner Dave House, with lawsuits over where their property lines were drawn and that the Corral was crossing onto his property.

In 2010, Burcalow sued White and House for trespassing, the point of contention being the Corral's septic line and well out back, which cross onto Burcalow's land.

"We're trying to figure to out if we can put the septic into our ground, but we have very, very limited amount of land," White said.

Burcalow offered to sell the 3-acres of land to the Corral for $400,000, almost five times the amount the land was appraised for.

If White and House don't move the septic and well off of his land by June 15, Burcalow says it will be removed at their expense or the Corral's water may be shut off.

"We're still hoping that we could come to some kind of agreement, but we have not heard from him or his attorneys in the last week," White said.

"We'd love to stay here, everybody would love to have us stay here. And I want to thank everybody, we've had incredible amount of local support, regional all over the country. I've had phone calls from people that worked for us 20 years ago 'do I have to buy a plane ticket and come out there?" That's a good feeling to definitely know that we've got the public behind us."

ABC FOX Montana did attempt to contact Larry Burcalow but no calls were returned.

Trever, Quinn and Griffin House, 17, have grown up in the Corral which to them is a second home.

"We grew up here since we were babies, you'll see pictures of us if you walk around," Trever House said, scanning the bar around him.

Sitting side-by-side at the lunch counter they have been eating BLT's and burgers at since they were kids, the triplets say to save the Corral, they've started an online fundraiser to keep a piece of Big Sky alive.

"We've always had the Corral and Big Sky has always had the Corral and Big Sky was built on the Corral. To have it go would be awful," Griffin said.

The "Save the Corral Bar and Grill" fundraiser on Fundly is aiming for $400,000 and has more than 100 supporters. So far, the page has clocked nearly $10,000 and the brothers hope that number continues to rise as June 15 grows closer.

"We've grown up here and this has been a big part of our family's life. I mean this is Montana, this is how we grew up."
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