Mortimer Kegley's Bar & Grill to close for good

Mortimer Kegley's bar in Jefferson City will close Friday, March 21.

A well-known Jefferson City bar will close its doors for good after over three decades of operating.

Mortimer Kegley's owner Jason Jordan announced that he will be closing the bar to pursue other opportunities. He said he didn't make the decision easily, that he will be taking with him countless memories.

"The environment in this bar was the funnest thing I've ever seen," Jordan said. "The neighbors across the street said it woke them up."

Jordan said since he took ownership of the bar in 2003, he has seen a lot of chances in clintele and state laws that ultimately led him to make the decision.

"Number one is social media," Jordan said. "People don't have to go to the bar or the tavern to talk to each other anymore. They can talk to each other over the telephone or through Twitter or Facebook."

Jordan said regular customers who have left have not been replaced by as many younger people.

"The other thing is the smoking ban. The smoking ban hurt a lot," Jordan said. "When that smoking ban went into effect, I lost 30% of my customers straightaway."

Customers who learned their favorite bar will close said they were upset by Jordan's decision. "This was actually the first bar me and my friends ever went to in Jefferson City once we moved here," said patron Robbie McGarry. "It's unfortunate."

"This is a terrible loss for Jefferson City," said patron Mary Mulhearn. "It's a great bar, teriffic food and wonderful owners."

The bar has operated under the name "Mortimer Kegley's" since 1980. Jordan said although he isn't sure when the bar actually opened, that the building has existed for more than 100 years.

Jordan said he has not put the bar up for sale, but anyone who is interested in purchasing the business should contact him before Kegley's closes up shop.