By Jared Curtis
New place keeps it classic
Bar owners try to make their new bars trendy while still keeping that classic look and feel. But Jerrad Atkin (The Underground) doesn’t have that problem with his newest bar venture, The Fremont. Formerly the home of Palmer’s Pub, this small, classic dive bar has the look and feel that it’s been open for ages. And for good reasons — it has been.
“We saw a nice neighborhood bar that had plenty of character; it just needed a facelift,” said Atkin, who co-owns the bar with Kevin Wahlert and Dan Dahle. “When we first saw the place, it was really rundown, so we totally redid the inside. It was a lot of hard work, but it was a quick turnaround.”
Atkin knew he needed some original bar attire to keep the place feeling like a classic watering hole.
“The back bar we brought in was from the 1920s, and we keep the original bar, we just upgraded it a bit,” he said. “The difference is like night and day. Plus, we have people who have been coming here for 30 years telling us how excited they are about the changes.”
Once you walk through the door, you can immediately tell this watering hole is a throwback to a simpler time. Adding to the vibe are numerous voluptuous pin-up paintings on the outside sign and inside walls, along with a photo of country outlaw Johnny Cash letting customers know this is a cash only bar (an ATM is onsite).
“It was already a great neighborhood bar, and we wanted to keep that classic look, but just update it a bit,” he said.
Since the bar just opened, drink specials haven’t been finalized yet, but expect Happy Hour and nightly specials to appear in weeks ahead. Patrons can enjoy some of the same specials available at The Underground including the Black and Blue (a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jack Daniels) as well as a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and a shot of Jameson Irish Whiskey for $5.
“No matter if it’s Happy Hour or not, the prices are always fair,” he said. “You won’t pay more than $6 for anything, and beers will run you between $2 and $4.”
To keep customers entertained, there is a pool table and a “Corvette” pinball machine. Also, The Fremont is big on board games with a wide selection available to play as well as built-in chess, checkers and scrabble boards in the booth tabletops.
“We wanted the games so customers could enjoy the comforts of home,” he said.
Although The Fremont isn’t located in a known bar district, Atkin says people should take a chance and get out of their comfort zone.
“We’re only seven blocks from The Underground, and we’ve already received a great response from customers,” he said. “So stop in and enjoy a relaxing, comfortable establishment that offers a classic neighborhood bar vibe.” CV
caption: A look at the back bar from the 1920s at The Fremont, 1030 E. 9th St. Hours are 11 to 2 a.m., daily. For drink specials and more information visit, www.thefremont.com or become a friend on Facebook. 265-2080.