WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — For decades the Wheeling Inn was the welcome wagon for out-of-town travelers.

And this spot will soon take on that role as a new gateway to West Virginia…something the business just across Main couldn’t be more excited for.

You know the Bridge Tavern from the big neon guitar out front.

It’s an addition that Doug Carl and his family made after acquiring the property four years ago.

Since then they’ve kept busy with remodeling the upstairs and opening the Waiting Room Parlor for gaming…while also serving the famous tavern’s customers.

Now that the city has announced their own big plans right next door…Carl says it’s a vision he’s on board with.

“I mean it’s a win-win for businesses and residents and just citizens of Wheeling and the Greater Ohio Valley.”

The reason?
It will draw travelers off of I-70 and into the downtown experience.

With construction taking place right outside his door, he knows new projects can disrupt business—but he prefers to look at the positives.

Wheeling is going under a huge transformation with the Cityscape, the roads, everybody’s complaining, I get it, I understand it, but it’s the necessary evil to get to the other side.

Doug Carl, Co-owner, Bridge Tavern and Grill

When he took over, the Inn was still operational.
But since it was declared a public nuisance and shut down, most of the changes he’s seen have been welcome ones.

There is less traffic on the streets in terms of noise traffic, people screaming, people shouting, some illegal activities that we were witnessing, that all sort of disappeared when the Inn closed.

Doug Carl, Co-owner, Bridge Tavern and Grill

And with a new gateway on the way, he’s looking forward to a business upswing.

Between the Capitol Theatre, the Nailers, and more than a dozen downtown restaurants, he says we have the activities and the nightlife—we just need some exposure.

And a bright new glass building on the edge of town could be all that’s needed to draw some eyes.

Everybody’s looking for patronage, right? So give people a reason to come to downtown Wheeling and all businesses win.

Doug Carl, Co-owner, Bridge Tavern and Grill