Collie’s Sports Bar owner purchases The Notch in Samak |

Collie’s Sports Bar owner purchases The Notch in Samak

Caylan Rinck, left, and Dave Wakeling are the new owners of The Notch in Samak. Wakeling also owns restaurants in Park City and Coalville.
Carolyn Webber Alder/Park Record

The Notch bar in Samak has seen a lot. Since opening in the 1940s under the name Beaver Creek Inn, thousands of guests have walked through its doors and multiple owners have claimed the building as their own.

Now, two new owners are adding their names to that list.

Dave Wakeling, who owns Collie’s Sports Bar and Grill in Park City and Collie’s BBQ in Coalville, and Caylan Rinck recently purchased The Notch. They plan to preserve the history of the bar while making updates to liven up the establishment.

Wakeling said he first considered purchasing the bar after hearing rumors that the previous owner, who also owns Samak Smoke House, might be selling the place. He had been frequenting The Notch for a few years and thought running it would be a fun challenge.

Wakeling has a streak of seeking out challenging projects. He purchased a fading sports bar on Main Street six years ago and transformed it into a popular restaurant. Earlier this year, he opened Collie’s BBQ in Coalville with executive chef Rob Holt, who is now heading the operation.

The Notch appealed to Wakeling because of its history and atmosphere.

“It’s away from Park City. It’s a nice little cabin in the woods,” he said.

Plus, it is one of the oldest bars in the state.

So when the former owner put The Notch up for sale, Wakeling pounced on the opportunity to purchase the business. It was then that he partnered with Rinck, a bartender at Collie’s Sports Bar and, coincidentally, also a Realtor.

Rinck and Wakeling spent a year negotiating on a price for the bar. When they were handed the keys in September, they were ecstatic.

They spent two weeks renovating the space, installing TVs and creating a menu that mixed offerings from Collie’s with The Notch’s classics, including the popular chili cheese dog. The Notch reopened a few weeks ago.

Rinck also started making arrangements for more activities, including open mic nights, live bands and karaoke.

Wakeling said in the future, he hopes to do minor construction to allow for a restaurant part of The Notch where families can dine. Currently, minors are not allowed in The Notch because it is registered as a bar.

He and Rinck want it to be a place where everyone is welcome, especially because of their location near the Uinta Mountains. Rinck said he hopes people come to think of it as the place to go after adventuring in the mountains.

“We’re the last thing you see before you go up and the first thing you see when you come back in,” Rinck said. “After a 10-mile hike, all you want is a cheeseburger, and it’s kind of fun to be that place for folks.”

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