Albert Logan mixes up his own creation,
the “Fuzzy Nipper,” using 99 Banana, Triple
Sec, OJ and cranberry juice. He and Kelly’s
Little Nipper’s new owner Cory Steiner
(also pictured) take turns behind the
bar and manning the grill along with other
By Amber Williams
When’s the last time you bonged a beer? At
Kelly’s Little Nipper, if you can down a $3
mini pitcher in five seconds, it’s free. Just
keep in mind that they’ve only had one customer
complete the task.
“We like everyone to have fun here. We like
to bring everyone into the mix,” said new owner,
Cory Steiner. “If I’m doing a shot, everyone’s
doing a shot.”
“He’ll line them up all the way down the bar,”
longtime bartender Patty Jessen added.
Jessen has been with the bar so long she can
remember when it was just an Irish pub called
Kelly’s. Then Ernie Nipper bought it and changed
the name to what it is today. She’s been there
so long, in fact, the Patty Rite sandwich was
named after her.
“I come with the building,” she quipped. Even
the owner looks to her to keep in the loop.
She’s undoubtedly one of the staples of Kelly’s
Little Nipper that gives it its charm and attracted
Steiner into buying the landmark this summer.
“It’s got history,” he said. “It’s been known
forever as a good east side neighborhood bar.
I bought it for the bar, the people — everything.
It’s a good place, and I always wanted to own
a neighborhood bar.”
Fixed on the busy corner of East Grand and 17th
Street, Kelly’s Little Nipper has been that
neighborhood bar since its resurrection in the
early 1940s. It was known as Kelly’s then, and
the place has changed about as much as the name
— hardly at all. The people like it the way
it is, and attempts at changing things by past
owners has never proven to be too popular among
the common crowd.
But Steiner has made a few improvements in the
past few months. The outdoor patio, which is
enclosed in a tall privacy fence, has new furniture,
lighting and greenery. The menu has some tasty
additions as well, such as the Philly, the meatball
and the Casino burger, as well as some spicy
bacon-wrapped jalapeño tater tots. And he brought
back the famous tenderloin that’s as big as
your face — literally.
“It’s a guaranteed two meals,” said Albert Logan,
one of the day cooks.
Unlike most bar and grills, the kitchen is always
open, too. If the bar’s open, anything on the
menu is available — a sobering delight during
a night of heavy drinking, which is every Saturday
night, they said.
“Saturday isn’t the young crowd or the old crowd.
Saturday is the drunk crowd,” Logan said.
That’s because karaoke starts at 8 p.m., and
the $10 wristbands start at 10 p.m. With the
purchase of a wristband, patrons can drink draws
and wells for free until 1:30 a.m.
“Every Saturday is getting better and better,”
Steiner said. CV
Kelly’s Little Nipper
1701 E. Grand Ave.
Hours of Operation: 9:30 a.m. to midnight Mon.-Thurs.;
‘til 2 a.m. Fri. and Sat.; 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.
Happy Hour: 4-7 p.m. Mon.-Friday, buy one get
one free; $2 wells and $1 draws on Sun.