Renovations underway to Old City Hall in Sun Prairie

The building is being restored to its original historic state.
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 3:57 PM CDT
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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV) - The Old City Hall in Sun Prairie won’t sit vacant for much longer. In just a few months, it will reopen as a wine bar and event space.

Property Owner David Wilder and his business partner purchased the building two months before the deadly gas explosion rocked Main Street.

“The explosion expedited that time frame quite a bit for us,” said Wilder. “For the past two years we’ve been doing all planning. We’re finally getting to a point where we can start the renovations.”

Originally built in 1895, the building once housed the jail and the fire station for Village of Sun Prairie, public meeting spaces, and a public auditorium.

“We have a huge sense of responsibility in maintaining this building as close to how it originally stood for the community,” said Wilder. “It’s a landmark building.”

A look inside the Old City Hall in Sun Prairie. Renovations have officially begun to turn the inside into a wine bar and...

Posted by Gabriella Rusk NBC15 on Friday, July 31, 2020

Wilder and his team worked with the Sun Prairie Historical Library and Museum to ensure the building is properly restored. The district of Sun Prairie is on the National Register of Historic Places which means certain rules and

“The last thing that we would want to see happen is have it torn down, cut up, or not preserved in a way that meant it wasn’t going to stick around for another 150 years,” Wilder said.

Flavors Wine Bar and Event Space will be the first tenant in the property. Owner and manager Leighanne Dockerty says she’s looking forward to opening up a space at a popular downtown intersection.

“Sun Prairie already has a big community feel to it,” said Dockerty. “I think to see this part of the city come back to life and really vibrantly will be an amazing asset to our city.”

Dockerty says making plans for a new business during the age of COVID-19 has provided it’s unique challenges.

“It’s been a long time coming and I think now that we’re kind of seeing how to manage the pandemic a little bit better, this will start to move quickly,” she said. “You’ll see a lot of change over the next coming weeks.”

While Dockerty expects to use her new business to provide areas to safely social distance, she’s hopeful that in the future her business will be a place for weddings, family gatherings, and friends enjoying a night out.

“For locals to have just a sense of togetherness that everyone is longing for right now,” said Dockerty.

The renovations are expected to finish up in mid-late October and Flavors Wine Bar and Event Space plans to officially open in early November.

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