Bartender keeps local saloon in business after it went for sale during pandemic

TAMPA, Fla. — A popular South Tampa neighborhood bar was in limbo during the pandemic, leaving the patrons and staff with no clear future. That’s when one of their own decided to step up and buy it.

For the past three years, Katie Haggerty has been stocking cold beer and pouring stiff drinks as a bartender at the Bel Mar Saloon.

“This neighborhood is amazing, it would break our hearts if this place closed down, we actually met here,’” said Haggerty, referring to her boyfriend and bar regular Daniel Foltz.

So Haggerty and Foltz put their hearts and finances on the line and purchased the saloon in September.

“I think everybody was pretty shocked but it’s been nothing but excitement, always positive, nobody has been like, ‘what are you thinking,’” said Haggerty.

They said their first order of business was to keep the status quo.

“The previous owners and management,

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