The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 18, 2000, Page 7, Image 7

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Yiayia’s, Club
1427jive to a
different beat
By Josh Krauter
Staff writer
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of
12 stories exploring the history of the 0 street
bars. The strip - which begins at 14th and 0 and
runs down to Ninth and 0 - has served as a
major gathering place for University of
Nebraska-Lincoln students for the past 70
The majority of the 0 street bars work on
one overhauling premise: booze. Selling booze,
buying booze, students’ drinking of booze.
But at least one bar on O street dances to a
different beat.
The owners of Yiayia’s Pizza Beer & Wine,
and its companion, Club 1427, work individual
ly to bring a bit of culture, a bit of the European
dance scene and, above all, a bit of atmosphere
to the south side of O street.
In 1993, Kimbe and Demetrios Meares
turned a long-vacant building into an uncom
mon restaurant and bar.
More than six years later, they own a second
bar next door to their first one.
The Meares’ opened Yiayia’s Pizza Beer &
Wine, 1423 O St., in October 1993. Previously,
the building had been a League of Human
Dignity, but sat empty for more than four years
before Yiayia’s opened
Neither of the Meares had owned a bar
before, but they had experience working in bars
and restaurants and decided to take the plunge
into ownership.
“We had always wanted to have a restaurant
and bar,” Kimbe Meares said.
A year and a half later, the couple bought
the property next door to Yiayia’s and turned it
into Club 1427, 1427 O St. At first, Meares
said, the bar was an “old-style hall.”
“We wanted to do something different,” she
said. “There weren’t a lot of bars around with
out beer signs, and there wasn’t a place to play
Four classic nine-foot pool tables were put
in to contribute to the older atmosphere, but
gradually, the Meares became interested in
changing the club’s atmosphere from old to
“We slowly started to get into (dance)
music, and we started to have dancing on
Thursdays in 1996,” she said.
A pool table was removed to make room for
dancing, and the others were taken out later.
“We took the pool tables out because we
slowly got more into the music, more into a
nightclub atmosphere,” she said.
As 1427’s atmosphere changed, so did the
Meares’ interest in Yiayia’s. The couple sold the
bar in January of this year to Nader, owner of
the downtown restaurant The Grotto. Nader
said his experience at The Grotto has made the
Yiayia’s transition smooth, but the hours are
He said he was interested in Yiayia’s
because of its unique atmosphere.
“The pizza is different from other pizzas in
town, and it’s a nice atmosphere,” he said. “We
don’t serve hard liquor. It’s more of a meeting
Meares said the decision to sell Yiayia’s had
a lot to do with 1427.
“We sold it because we’re just into different
things,” Meares said. “We’re into the dance club
The club features eight DJs and has expand
ed the dancing to Friday and Saturday night,
too. Meares describes the club as a “European
style dance club.” ,
Meares said the change in the club’s atmos
phere has brought in a diverse crowd, including
a large international clientele.
“It’s super diverse here,” she said. “There
are lots of different people, which is good.”
She said 1427 is distinct from the local bar
“They get a lot of ball-cap, Abercrombie
and Fitch people, but being a dance chib, we get
a different crowd.”
However, she adds, “All the bars on the strip
ueian Lonowski/DN
” There are lots of
different people, which
is a good thing.”
Kimbe Meares
co-owner of Club 1427, on the clientele
make a good contribution, and that’s a good
1427 also features local art, with shows
every other Wednesday, as well as an open mike
night, also every other Wednesday.
Meares said there are no plans to change
1427 in the future.
“We’ll just keep plugging away and keep
trying to get different DJs,” she said.
Nader said Yiayia’s won’t change much
under his ownership, either. He plans to add
more seats and has added another pool table,
but he said the atmosphere will stay the same,
with an emphasis on food, beer and wine with
out the hard liquor.
“It’s a better beer-drinking place than a
beer-guzzling place,” he said. “We’re not look
ing to get the customer hammered. They can do
that somewhere else.”