'Two beautiful angels': Elkhorn bar reopens for the first time since Feb. 1 homicides

NOW: ’Two beautiful angels’: Elkhorn bar reopens for the first time since Feb. 1 homicides

ELKHORN, Wis. (CBS 58) -- On Friday, March 1, regulars returned to an Elkhorn bar for the first time since a bartender and her husband were shot and killed there Feb. 1.

Gina and Emerson Weingart were found dead Feb. 1st at the Sports Page Barr.

After contemplating shutting down for good, the bar is now open again.

Regulars described Gina and Emerson as family.

Friday's reopening was bittersweet, but an important step for many.

Co-owner Jordan Barr told us, "Oh man. It's been both heartwarming and overwhelming."

It was an emotional first day back, filled with hugs and more than a few tears.

One month prior, bartender Gina Weingart and her husband Emerson were shot and killed in what authorities allege was a robbery attempt.

Jessica Johnson said, "It's bittersweet. Things will never be the same, that's for sure."

Gina and Emerson were a part of the Sports Page family. They threw in a Thursday night dart league, and on nights when Gina worked, Emerson would keep her company.

Barr said, "They were always together. Their love for each other, there was no denying it."

There were visible reminders of the Weingarts inside the bar: their photos were behind the bar and a heart with their images on it hung on the wall.

Barr said there was a mix of excitement and nerves as they welcomed people back for the first time since the tragedy.

He described them as "Truly goodhearted people. Gina had one of those personalities that when she came into a room, bubbly, she could make friends with anybody."

The month after the shooting was filled with uncertainty as the Sports Page remained closed. Barr wasn't sure if it would ever reopen.

But while that family lost its home base, other places in town stepped in to help by providing money, comfort, and places to gather.

Barr said, "I can't say I've ever been prouder to say I'm from... a part of this community."

When they reopened Friday, there were a lot of laughs despite the loss, an important part of the healing process.

Scott, another patron, said, "You have to get on with life. As sad as this tragedy was. We lost two beautiful angels."

Jordan said they've gotten a lot of support from the Elkhorn community and beyond. In a recent social media post, he singled out the Elkhorn Saloon and more than two dozen other businesses he said, "Extended their arms and helped us through our darkest days."

Thomas Routt is the man charged with the shootings.

He's scheduled to be back in court Friday, March 8. His attorney said they plan to plead not guilty to all charges.

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