New owners unveil plans for Barry's

2012-06-12T16:00:00Z 2013-03-30T11:37:04Z New owners unveil plans for Barry'sBy JEFF KORBELIK / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

When Barry's re-opens Aug. 15, the Husker hangout will feature three bar areas and a menu of Kansas City barbecue and Nebraska-brewed beers.

Down the road -- hopefully by the time Big Ten Conference play begins -- the rooftop will be open with an additional bar for thirsty football fans.

New owners Kevin Fitzpatrick and Kevin Duffy unveiled plans Tuesday for Barry's, the 52-year-old business at Ninth and Q streets that they called "an iconic college-town bar." They plan to call it Barry's The Husker Bar.

The duo recently purchased the bar and grill through an LLC for an undisclosed purchase price.

The bar previously was owned by Mike and Lou Mary Webb and Ken and Ryly Jane Hambleton. The Hambletons also are Lincoln Journal Star sports writers. They bought Barry's in 1988 from Laura Barry, who opened it with her husband, Raymond, in 1959 just a few doors down from its current location.

The new owners began renovations this week. They have preliminary approval from the city's Historic Preservation Commission on their plans, which include a major reworking of the area once known as "The Outback," and hope to have final approval next week.

Fitzpatrick, 55, is a commercial real estate developer from Kansas City, Mo. Duffy, 54, is retired from a product insurance company and is relocating from Washington, D.C., to Lincoln.

Fitzpatrick co-owns Harpo's in Columbia, Mo., which has been a popular college bar since 1971. Duffy has a minority ownership in Harpo's. The duo were fraternity brothers at the University of Missouri in the 1970s.

The new owners plan to keep the front interior of Barry's virtually the same, leaving the bar and booths in place along the walls. Changes include mounting 18 high-definition TVs and two projection screens on the south wall.

"We want alumni to come back and find the same place they went to," Fitzpatrick said.

The bulk of the renovation will occur in "The Outback," which will be divided into two separate rooms: a large nightclub with a dance floor and elevated seating and "Barry's 10 Below," a martini bar with its own entrance and a bar made of ice.

The renovation also will include new, bigger restrooms and a new kitchen. Plans for the rooftop call for a bar beneath a tent structure, gas lanterns and a smoking area.

The new owners would not say how much they plan to spend on renovations.

Fitzpatrick and Duffy said Barry's game-day reputation was one of the reasons they decided to purchase the bar and grill.

They also liked its size -- 14,000 square feet -- and its location in relation to Memorial Stadium, Haymarket Park and the new Pinnacle Bank Arena.

The Haymarket district has impressed them, too.

"The more we find out about the Haymarket, the more we like it," Fitzpatrick said.

Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com, or follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/LJSjeffkorbelik.

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