The History of Na-tah-ka


Joseph Bender built the original NA-TAH-KA Tavern after prohibition in 1935 in a log building just across the road from the building now used.  The name NA-TAH-KA was taken from the word “Natahki” which was the name of Big Bass Lake at one time.  As rural electricity didn’t come to the area until 1938, NA-TAH-KA was originally powered by gas which provided power to the bar as well as the  family farm located across the street from today’s current location.  Joseph Bender sold NA-TAH-KA  to Jack Grill and Tony Sherman in 1949, but the partnership soon dissolved and Jack Grill purchased a piece of property and built the NA-TAH-KA building that we use today. Almost twenty years later, Lawrence and Dorothy Bender ( youngest son of Joseph Bender ) purchased NA-TAH-KA in 1968 and it has been owned and operated by the family since.

Lawrence and Dorothy Bender later purchased two more lots of property; one in 1970 where the gas pumps and pole barn are now, and one in 1992 where Larry and Rita Bender ( only son of Lawrence and Dorothy Bender ) set up NA-TAH-KA Corner Store in 2000. When Lawrence Bender passed away in 1996 Larry, Rita, and family took over and have operated the business ever since. Still going strong, Larry and Rita Bender were able to open NA-TAH-KA South in June of 2009 in what was formerly the Star Lake Inn.

Big Bass Lake and Big Star Lake are both large, all-sports lakes with lots to offer from fishing and pontooning to kayaking and wakeboarding.  The corner store offers everything you need at the lake, including packaged liquor, beer, wine, gas and oil, groceries, lottery, movie rental, bait, deer feed, propane, ATM, DNR, SNAP / Bridge cards, and much more. For your convenience, all locations are open 7 days a week year round.