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The Verse managers handing bar back to original owners, who hope to keep it open

Kaitlyn Riley

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Another local business is suffering because of COVID-19.

Ryan Torgerson, manager of the Verse Lounge and Grill posted on Facebook, “It is with great sadness as of November 30th Melissa and I will be closing the bar and turning it back over to Jeff Connelly and Julie Lynn Connelly.”

Torgerson said the COVID-19 pandemic has wiped them out financially and mentally.

Julie Lynn Connelly said on her personal Facebook page, “(The) goal is to keep all employees working and to continue to operate. The only reason we would need to close temporarily is to transfer the Liquor License back over to me. THE VERSE IS NOT CLOSING!”

Torgerson said they will operate the bar at normal hours and serve food and drinks until it runs out.

“As the COVID cases spiked, we are forced to shut down due to lack of business,” Torgerson added. “Anybody that owns a small business knows customers pay the bills. Coronavirus has essentially wiped us out financially and mentally.”

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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