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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 29, 2001)
Barrymore's reopens after'minor facelift'
BY SEAN MCCARTHY
Everything is in its right place, or so it appears.
The wall of levers, switches and glowing lights
is still there, tempting people not to toy with them.
The ceiling, some 50-plus feet high, still
remains for people to gaze up at during a lull in a
And the sounds of old-schoolers like Stevie
Wonder and Curtis Mayfield perfectly mix with
new-school darlings Macy Gray and Lauryn Hill.
In fact, the changes made at Barrymore's, 124
N. 13th St., seem to be relatively minor: the walls
are now painted a deep burgundy, the chairs are
new and the tables are still there, but have been
stained. The menu has changed slightly, the bath
rooms redone and new carpet laid. Still, for some,
this is a drastic change for a bar that is a mainstay
in the downtown community.
Chad Meister, one of the managers at
Barrymore’s, laughed slightly as he remembered
how one patron walked in, took a quick look, said
they ruined the bar and then walked out.
Although the general response has been posi
tive, Meister knew it was not wise to drastically
alter the bar because of the clientele.
“We just wanted to get it open and get (the
patrons) coming back,” Meister said.
Meister shares managerial duties with Aaron
Klaasmeyer and Robb Shull. Before coming to
Barrymore’s, Shull, who was manager at the
Firethom Golf Club, said he initially felt intimidat
ed by taking over the reins at Barrymore’s.
He overheard rumors from nervous patrons
that the Stuart Theater would re-open, but the bar
would be closed.
Jim Haberlan, the longtime owner of
Barrymore’s, sold the bar last year. His son, Laird,
managed the bar until it closed to the public on
Dec. 30. Managers Klaasmeyer, Shull and Meister
assumed their duties on Jan. 3 and Barrymore’s re
opened Jan. 8.
"Laird, he created the tradition,” said Shull,
who was tightlipped about the ownership, as it
may tip their hand regarding the Stuart renovation.
"We’re continuing it.”
Shull said he wanted to keep the laid-back
atmosphere that defined Barrymore’s. One of the
main changes was the menu, which Shull played a
big role in deciding. Instead of sandwiches named
after ’30s and ’40s screen legends, the selections
are a bit more contemporary.
Instead of the Garbo or Bogart, diners now
choose from the Spielberg (turkey, mustard, may
onnaise and fetta cheese) or the Heftier (crab salad
with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, served on a crois
sant). Thursday and Friday, during happy hour,
selections such as shrimp and 7-layer dip are
The three managers had only five days to make
'We just wanted to get it open and
get (the patrons) coming back
the majority of the changes to the bar. Along with
new carpet and painting, a new lighting system
had to be put in place. New artwork had to be hung
throughout the bar, as well.
"It’s obviously a beautiful building. We wanted
to enhance it,” Meister said.
Shull said he hoped the changes would give the
bar a wanner and friendlier atmosphere. However,
he was quick to silence potential skeptics who have
not come in this year.
“Barrymore’s hasn’t changed,” Shull said, "We
just gave it a face lift.”
■ The owner of Studio 14 bdieves that despite
stories circulating about the dub, it has begun to
establish itself and gain a following.
BY SARAH SUMNER,
It’s ail football players. The dress codes are
too strict. There are hidden rooms and hot tubs.
The door staff was rude and wouldn't let people
in. They made fun of people. The cover charge
Studio 14 owner Lance Brown has heard the
stories about his club. Very few, if any, are true.
“There were a lot of rumors going around
that weren't true," Brown said, “and that nobody
really knew what Studio 14 was all about. We're
nothing different besides extremely large and a
night club, and we like to have fun."
Studio 14,1423 O St., has battled this reputa
tion in an attempt to change the downtown bar
scene, a largely sit-and-drink atmosphere, with
darts and pool and occasionally karaoke as side
entertainment. Studio 14, which is open
Wednesday-Sunday, has a primary focus of
music and dancing.
The club, housed in what used to be the •
State Theater, is a three-tiered establishment
with a small, horseshoe-shaped dance floor
around tables and a relatively large bar, one of
“Studio 14 has an aspect to it that no matter
what you usually like to do, there’s something
here that you'll like,” Brown said. “Just try it and
form your opinion,”
That’s exactly what we did.
Everyone has a different view of what Studio
14 is about. On an extremely slow Friday night,
the first comment came from a dark, trendy
male wearing a leather jacket.
“This place blows,” he said.
Studio 14 was anything but jumpin’. And the
few people that made the "crowd” were kids
dressed in sweatshirts and the dancers who
Of course, Friday is techno-night, not the
biggest crowd pleaser and in direct competition
with Club 1427 next door.
Inside, remixed versions of videos seen on
MTV played on the big screen television and did
not coincide with the music that the DJ was
Often times, there were no videos at all, but
DVD menus on the screen. The music would
stop repeatedly and leave the would-be dancers
in a lull, waiting for something to listen to while
"The music is all right," 20-year-old sopho
more Casi Ramirez said, “but the dance floor is
The huge environment was stagnant. There
is not a lot of flow to the club. It still looks like a
theater, a unique style the club owners are play
There are no hot tubs or secret rooms, as
rumored, for football players or anyone else. It
has the typical workings of a club in Lincoln,
only it can be filled with up to 500 people.
Though the dark colored walls and couches
invited sitting and partying, it resembled an
evening in grandma’s attic for a Friday night.
Thursdays at Studio 14's 19-and-over night
are more impressive, as there’s a larger crowd.
There are State Fair-like straps to prevent any
one under 21 from drinking.
At the beginning, the dance floor resembled
a high school dance. A circle of about 10 girls
doing what could only be described as bounc
ing up and down, stopping, giggling and start
ing all over again. This was the group of people
Eventually, the flow of people became
stronger, and the dance floor started to fill up.
The place did not become a party until around
midnight - one hour before it closed.
The people were really friendly, not any
more misogynist than any other club as many
might think. Studio 14 does not bring in the type
of crowd Guitars and Cadillacs did before it
closed, but it brings in a decent one.
“There aren’t enough people,” Ramirez said,
“but it’s someplace to go since Guitars closed.”
“I liked that it was a really mixed crowd,”
junior English major Kylie Wolf said. “There
were a bunch of different people there; it was
Wolf said that she would go back but would
wait until the later hours of the night.
“It’s not the best place in the world, but it is
definitely not the worst,” Wolf said.
Brown said the club has really started to
establish itself and that they are getting a fol
“I’ve seen the same people every single
Thursday,” Brown said. “They come back and
they bring 10 or 15 of their friends. It’s kind of a
The owners of Studio 14 have not changed
the goals that they started with when they first
purchased the old State Theater.
"We wanted to bring something very, very
unique to Lincoln,” Brown said. “We wanted to
bring a large-scale night club. Every night we try
to change the flavor to something different.”
LEFT: Studio 14,
nights of dance
Brown said was
for Jan. 28, how
ever, was can
BELOW: The big
dance floor of
Studio 14 play
They are one
aspect of the
dance dub that
Brown said is
any other dub.
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