Local bar receives makeover


Bar 149

Michael Milhim and Michael Milhim

This summer, One49, one of the many bars in downtown Bowling Green, shut its doors. The reasons for the closing are unclear, though part of it may be the end of the lease agreement for the building space.

Former employees of One49 allege that the bar’s closing was the result of a dispuit between the owner and the manager. One49 owner Rick Alt was not available for comment.

The establishment was starting to gain traction amongst students as a downtown favorite, so its closing came as a bit of a surprise to some.

“I really liked One49 because it had everything I wanted: enough seating, a nice dancefloor and good music. It didn’t have all the pitfalls of a club, but it was still exciting enough to have fun,” said Chip Foust, sophomore.

The former One49 location is now occupied by an unaffliated bar named Bar 149.

Around the time Bar 149 annouced their grand opening, #BoycottBar149 became a hastag on Twitter, but the majority of the people using the hashtag were former One49 employees who have now relocated. A former One49 manager who is now the general manager at Bar 149 said that some of the motivations for the hashtag may be more related to personal feelings than concerns with the new establishment.

The new Bar 149 is owned by Eric Pelham, University alumnus and co-owner of City Tap Bowling Green, City Tap Cleveland and the Stones Throw. Pelham is part of the Downtown Bowling Green Association, whose mission it is to “preserve and promote the Central Business District as the cultural, historic, and business heart of the City of Bowling Green.”

Pelham said he wants bars downtown to have a good reputation.

“We don’t want it to be [that] the bars of downtown Bowling Green are the black eye of the city,” said Pelham.

Through his businesses Pelham is looking to improve downtown Bowling Green by creating a main street that is “colorful” and “locally owned to cater to the community.”

“I wouldn’t want to go to a bar that I wouldn’t bring my parents to, and that’s what we’re trying to do here,” he said.

To further prove his goodwill towards the downtown Bowling Green community, Pelham offered all of the former One49 employees preferential employment application, and some took him up on that offer and work there now.

The adjoining space to the north of the bar is also owned by Pelham, and he is looking to create a new establishment with an atmosphere different than Bar 149.