By Brad Lucht
Three months since the summer floods closed them down, Tavern on 103rd has reopened in the Watt’s Mill Shopping Center.
“We’re just so excited to be open,” said owner Bob Yancey.
The reopened tavern stretches back 30 feet longer than in the old location. The new hand-built bar is 10 feet longer, leaving plenty of room for both regulars and new customers. In addition to the extra seating, there is more parking as well.
“I was lucky enough to find another location, still on 103rd Street, with a great landlord who let us kind of move in until we got settled down to start building,” Yancey explained.
Yancey was fortunate he had flood insurance. It covered a good portion of the remodel. But other challenges remained. The biggest was obtaining a new liquor license, which normally takes 45 to 60 days.
Along challenge was finding a good builder and architect, and ensuring that all his staff was on board with the plan he and his wife had.
“I wanted to get open.”
Yancey was concerned that his regulars might find a new home if the tavern was closed for an extended period of time.
“I wanted to push our builder as fast as we could. And he knew that, and he did an outstanding job. I could not have been prouder to work with Eric Fetterold and his team at Noel Wall Coverings.”
The building process itself took only six weeks.
“It was a very stressful time. But I think sometimes that can bring the best out in people,” Yancey observed.
Yancey’s staff picked up side work while waiting for the tavern to reopen.
“I think my staff is a little bit different from other establishments,” Yancey observed. “Very dedicated. It’s like a family.”
The feedback on the new look and feel of the bar from his customers has been positive.
“I’ve heard it has a lot of the old touch of the old tavern in it,” Yancey said of his conversations with returning customers.
Yancey likes to think of his tavern as a dive bar. No gastro pub food offered here.
“Chips and peanuts and cold beer. What else could you ask for?” laughed Yancey.
You can bring your own food into the tavern, however. Yancey is working with neighboring business Jerry’s Café to set up a pager system.
“On Saturday and Sunday mornings they do such a good business there is a wait outside,” Yancey explained. “And now with winter coming, we may do like the pagers they have at Panera, so they can come in, have a bloody mary or a mimosa, get buzzed, and then go have breakfast.”
“We’re also working with Ugly Joe’s to keep one of their menus down here, just like we did with Coach’s,” Yancey added.
The best beers are the ones we drink with friends
The sentiment is displayed prominently above the cooler holding bottled beer. Yancey feels it epitomizes his tavern. “It’s a very comfortable place,” he said.
“This is a place where people come in, and a regular will buy a new person a drink, and the next thing you know that person is a regular.”
“It’s kind of why we wrote [on a wall], not Welcome Back, but Welcome Home,” Maloney added.
Tavern on 103rd is located in the Watt’s Mill Shopping Center at 1217 W 103rd St. Visit their Facebook page for information on daily drink specials and upcoming events.
Hours of operation:
Mon 2:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Tues – Sat 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.
Sun 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.