Construction continues to progress on Barry’s The Husker Bar, but its food operation has been up and running since opening in late August.
The new owners -- Kevin Duffy and Kevin Fitzpatrick -- have a menu different from the previous Barry’s. The concept is the same -- with a focus on bar and grill fare -- but entrees are different, including a new lineup of burgers.
The bar also has an extensive sandwich list. Also available are appetizers, salads and two steak dinners -- a 14-ounce ribeye ($18) and 10-ounce sirloin ($14).
The new Barry’s boasts it has the best burger in town. The bar and grill has a pretty good one. The menu features seven ½-pound choices, including the “Elvis” burger topped with peanut butter and grilled banana slices and the “Sunrise” burger finished with two over-easy eggs.
I enjoyed the “Game Day” burger ($9), which included pecanwood smoked bacon, Jack cheese, jalapenos, a chipotle ancho sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onion. The sweet bacon contrasted nicely with the spicy sauce and hot jalapenos.
My co-worker Algis ordered “The Herbie” ($9.50) from Barry’s large sandwich list. Labeled a “local favorite” -- can it be a favorite in just six weeks? -- the sandwich featured barbecue brisket topped with provolone cheese and two onion rings on a toasted bun. Algis liked the meaty sandwich, but noted his brisket was a little dry.
Other sandwiches of note include a “Double Deck Reuben” ($8.50), a “Double Decker Bacon Weave BLT” ($11) and a “Smoked Citrus and Garlic Chicken” ($9).
Burgers and sandwiches are served with a choice of fries, sweet potato fries or flavored kettle chips. Optional sides for an extra charge include baked potato, coleslaw, onion rings and vegetable medley.
I had the onion rings, which featured sweet Vidalia onions in a sweet, noncrunchy batter.
Prices may raise a few eyebrows. Sandwiches and burgers are $1 and $2 higher than those at other Lincoln sports bars. Some burgers and sandwiches have double-digit prices.
Granted, Barry’s gives you a lot of food for the money. But smaller portions at lower prices may be a better way to go, especially at lunch when Barry’s will draw most of its food crowd. Grade: B
Our server was friendly. Our food arrived from the kitchen in a timely manner.
One minor complaint: The menu noted optional sides were available for an extra charge, but didn’t list any prices. My onion rings cost me an extra $1. Grade: B
Algis and I overheard more than one customer comment on minimal changes to the main bar/dining area.
Indeed, the front bar remains pretty much the same, with most of the renovation occurring in the back and on the roof.
The new owners didn’t plan many changes for the front room beyond upgrading the TVs, which they have done throughout, and tinkering with the decor, such as adding Big Ten football helmets above the bar. The “N” table, affectionately known as the “Z” table, remains in its rightful place.
Staff may want to stay on top of the dust created from construction. We had a “Paranormal Activity” moment, seeing footprints on the wood floor. Some unattended tables also were covered in a layer of dust. Grade: B
No veggie burgers or sandwiches are on the menu. Only one salad -- the house ($8) -- is meat-free, though the others could be made without meat. Barry’s may want to consider adding at least one veggie or portobello mushroom sandwich to accommodate vegetarians. Appetizer choices include loaded fries ($8), spinach and artichoke dip ($8) and mozzarella cheese sticks ($7.50). Grade: D