Downtown Bars are Gone
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Wondering

Nicholasville, KY

#1 Jul 11, 2010
I just moved back to Richmond. I graduated from EKU in the 80's. I was shocked to see that nearly all of the bars are gone. Of course I an past an age that I would want to frequent them now. But, first street is totally government offices now.

I remember 1890's, T Bombs and Phone 3. Phone 3 always had a great live bands. The DOG is also gone. J Sutters Mill is now a parking lot and O'Rileys is now the Paddy Wagon. The Paddy Wagon is a wonderful place to eat by the way and much nicer than the former O'Rileys. I also remember Madison Gardens being a biker bar and it is now a nice place to enjoy a meal.

I wonder though, does anyone else miss having the downtown area as it was in the 80's? Also, what do the college kids do now? There was line of students walking back home to the dorms after the bars closed back in the day. Do they drive to Lexington and back, oh that is a scary thought.
Seriously

United States

#2 Jul 12, 2010
I don't miss the bars, also having passed that stage in my life.

But I sorely miss the choices.

I enjoyed the Richmond nightlife thoroughly during the very last of its reign downtown, just before puritanical politicians and local Bible-based lobbyists saw to it that one of the main streams of revenue in this town was all but abolished. Add to that a fishy real estate move by a politician looking to make a buck off the government he served, and you have an end to a tradition that reached back 200 years: The bars and pubs of 1st Street, and most of the surrounds.

Was drinking a problem for many college kids and others before this sterilization,(don't think hand sanitizer, think barren womb): Yes. And not shockingly, it still is... Drinkers merely head North to Lex en masse, or party privately nearby. The only difference is that the problem drinkers now endanger themselves further from home or the dorms, and those that try to drive back have more ground to cover and lives to endanger coming home. Responsible casual drinkers have no local public venues aside from a scattered few, and often take their business elsewhere as a result.

All so that a religious initiative could eliminate people's choices, undermining the very element that gives pious behavior any value at all; not having a choice to partake or abstain removes the value and honor of it... or what little they perceive in it.

Oh well. A loss for younger folks, and a huge hit for the broke-ass local government, to be sure. Maybe at some point they (the politicians) will clue-in. Zealots I have no hope or use for.

Til then, welcome back to Richmond. Enjoy what's left.
lifetimer

Richmond, KY

#3 Jul 12, 2010
Seriously wrote:
I don't miss the bars, also having passed that stage in my life.
But I sorely miss the choices.
I enjoyed the Richmond nightlife thoroughly during the very last of its reign downtown, just before puritanical politicians and local Bible-based lobbyists saw to it that one of the main streams of revenue in this town was all but abolished. Add to that a fishy real estate move by a politician looking to make a buck off the government he served, and you have an end to a tradition that reached back 200 years: The bars and pubs of 1st Street, and most of the surrounds.
Was drinking a problem for many college kids and others before this sterilization,(don't think hand sanitizer, think barren womb): Yes. And not shockingly, it still is... Drinkers merely head North to Lex en masse, or party privately nearby. The only difference is that the problem drinkers now endanger themselves further from home or the dorms, and those that try to drive back have more ground to cover and lives to endanger coming home. Responsible casual drinkers have no local public venues aside from a scattered few, and often take their business elsewhere as a result.
All so that a religious initiative could eliminate people's choices, undermining the very element that gives pious behavior any value at all; not having a choice to partake or abstain removes the value and honor of it... or what little they perceive in it.
Oh well. A loss for younger folks, and a huge hit for the broke-ass local government, to be sure. Maybe at some point they (the politicians) will clue-in. Zealots I have no hope or use for.
Til then, welcome back to Richmond. Enjoy what's left.
Agreed 100%. Of course students resort to going out of town or having keg parties. The local apartment complexes with many college student residents are quite wild when EKU is in session on many nights. Add to that the fact that prescription drugs are rampant and quite popular so alcohol sometimes plays second fiddle.
J Sutters

Richmond, KY

#4 Jul 12, 2010
Wondering wrote:
I just moved back to Richmond. I graduated from EKU in the 80's. I was shocked to see that nearly all of the bars are gone. Of course I an past an age that I would want to frequent them now. But, first street is totally government offices now.
I remember 1890's, T Bombs and Phone 3. Phone 3 always had a great live bands. The DOG is also gone. J Sutters Mill is now a parking lot and O'Rileys is now the Paddy Wagon. The Paddy Wagon is a wonderful place to eat by the way and much nicer than the former O'Rileys. I also remember Madison Gardens being a biker bar and it is now a nice place to enjoy a meal.
I wonder though, does anyone else miss having the downtown area as it was in the 80's? Also, what do the college kids do now? There was line of students walking back home to the dorms after the bars closed back in the day. Do they drive to Lexington and back, oh that is a scary thought.
J Sutters will be back in the next 2 years trust me. Its in the works and we are waiting for the boss to come back
yeah

Richmond, KY

#5 Jul 12, 2010
J Sutters wrote:
<quoted text>J Sutters will be back in the next 2 years trust me. Its in the works and we are waiting for the boss to come back
Isn't he in jail?
Moonshine

Pikeville, KY

#6 Jul 13, 2010
Did T-Bombs close completely? Or is it coming back?
J Sutters coming

Richmond, KY

#7 Jul 13, 2010
I heard that too. It is going to be the same bar even better
Wondering

Lexington, KY

#8 Jul 13, 2010
I think it is sad that everything is gone. T-bombs is totally gone and all of 1st street is going to be government buildings (court house annex)

Since: May 09

Richmond, KY

#9 Jul 13, 2010
I don't understand... Why would a religious group move to get rid of them? Drinking isn't a sin.
Bojangles

United States

#10 Jul 13, 2010
First Street has now turned into "Worleyville."
true

Lexington, KY

#11 Jul 14, 2010
Driving through downtown @ night used to be fun, you never knew when a fight was going to breakout. Now every night is like driving on a Sunday night. Every parking lot was always packed now one is a Subway sandwich shop and the rest are always empty. I hate Worleyville and miss old Richmond. Lots of pretty ladies walking around looking very sexy now you see some old #ss person driving their powerchairs around town.
Neighbor

Richmond, KY

#12 Jul 19, 2010
Yes downtown richmond is a ghost town because of the political rich pockets. Everyone wonders what is wrong with the richmond economy and why we are so in debt well it is because downtown is nothing but parking lots and government buildings. There is no revenue generating businesses. The richmond of old is dead and now we are suffering because the old white men: ed worley wants to make more money and the work class people are suffering because of it. At least with the bars you had people spending on the alcohol and then you also had a good time.

Maybe the politicians should think about how they are going to line their pockets now since everything is dried up in this town.
Mamma H

Columbus, OH

#13 Jul 19, 2010
I miss the old Richmond too. Downtown was always so lively bringing people from other cities here to go out and have a good time, which meant they spent money!! Now when college is in the kids are going other places like Lexington bars to spend their money.
Dago Red

Richmond, KY

#14 Mar 25, 2011
I think what the above poster was saying is that downtown bars the likes of Sutter's, The Dog, 1890's, T Bomb's, Phone 3 and many others all have one thing in common. They failed as businesses.

Between the anti-alcohol crowd complaining and calling ATF on them at every chance, and the lack of continuing customers, and I mean all night, every night. Not just on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, because you cannot generate enough monies on three nights per week to sustain the bar. And if you remember, even the three good nights were many times not so good.

Furthermore I read where Sutter's is going to be opened by a man that is now in jail. Surely this cannot be right, as a convicted felon cannot even be inside an establishment that sells alcohol. So ATF will never allow that to happen.

Anyway, if you are my age, and if you remember the above mentioned bars then you must be. What you need to do is realize that the bar scene is a college aged thing, and you have moved on, so find some way to be happy in your life as it is. Even if Sutter's were still open, it would not be the way you remember it.

The new laws and opinions concerning downtown bars have become so stringent that I can assure you that no bars, running wild and free like in the days of Sutter's, will ever be allowed again. Just too many rules and way to much negative support.

In short, it's time to grow up and do adult things. Good luck in your future.
On the job

Richmond, KY

#15 Mar 25, 2011
Mamma H wrote:
I miss the old Richmond too. Downtown was always so lively bringing people from other cities here to go out and have a good time, which meant they spent money!! Now when college is in the kids are going other places like Lexington bars to spend their money.

I remember the people from other cities, like the blacks that shot up the Family Dog, or the bike gang that had the gang fight on Main Street. Yea, these seem to me to be things only an idiot would think we need again.
jerry

Cincinnati, OH

#16 Mar 25, 2011
Yeah, you can drive through town without a bunch of drunks staggering out in front of you. Before the city had to have 3 cops in front of Orieley's 3 in front of J Sutters and about six on First st every Thursday, Friday,and Saturday now three stand between Jeerze's and the Patty Wagon then the same three move to the after hours bar . Saves the city a lot of payroll.
JimNorton

Lexington, KY

#17 Mar 26, 2011
Dago Red wrote:
Surely this cannot be right, as a convicted felon cannot even be inside an establishment that sells alcohol.
Um...No.

Don't know where you got that idea from...
Phd

Richmond, KY

#18 Mar 26, 2011
As a Professor at EKU, that wishes to remain anonymous, I can attest to the fact that without the bars, the attendance of the student population is vastly better. As a group, the student population is more inclined to receive an education, rather than trading sexual favors for grades as has been so prevalent in the years gone by.

If it were put to a vote from the faculty on campus, downtown bars that cater to students and the very ilk that run them would forever remain a thing of the past.
Its me

Las Vegas, NV

#19 Apr 13, 2011
thats sad
SAVO

Princeton, IN

#20 Apr 28, 2013
I worked at the 1890s during the late 70s & early 80s and after serving time in the military, graduating from EKU and working in downtown Richmond' night life are two of my fondest memories. Everyone is entitled to a little fun, it sounds like the prudish professor is in need of some himself. Has anyone seen or heard anything about Russ Morgan? He was the owner of the 1890s.

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