Patrons dance to the music of Ed Kelleher. He will return to Open Bar tonight as a Toby Keith impersonator. MONA MOORE | DAILY NEWS
Patrons dance to the music of Ed Kelleher. He will return to Open Bar tonight as a Toby Keith impersonator.
MONA MOORE | DAILY NEWS

Yes, we’re open: New bar aims to be neighborhood spot

Published 1:43am Friday, December 20, 2013

While living downtown, Joan Meyland and husband, Roger, noticed one thing missing: a neighborhood bar. The couple filled that vacancy in early November with Open Bar, a Market Street, members-only bar catering to the 21-and-over set.

“We decided to do that because there wasn’t another bar downtown, and we wanted to be a neighborhood bar where you could walk to and meet your friends,” Joan Meyland said.

The Meylands are also owners of Grubb Brothers Eatery on Main Street. Joan Meyland said they thought the bar would be a good addition to the restaurants in the area. Rather than compete with them, the Meylands have invited local restaurants to leave their menus at Open Bar.

The bar will sell mostly snacks like peanuts and chips, but members may bring take-out or even have food delivered.

Open Bar is located between Main and Second streets in the former location of Club Sparrow.

“We thought it was a good location, and the size was perfect for what we wanted to do,” Joan Meyland said.

They planned to build on the Sparrow’s momentum and invite the eclectic mix of people who frequent Grub Brothers. So far, it has worked well.

Members of the bar range in age from 21 to 82.

“I think we have a great crowd,” she said. “We created a different atmosphere, a fun place. We have great bartenders that know everybody and a doorman who makes sure everyone is 21 and over. It’s an adult place.”

The Meylands are taking baby steps with additions and improvements. They have started with about 70 selections of beers, ciders and ales and plan to continue to expand the list. Meyland said she wanted to focus on North Carolina beers. Open Bar will soon introduce a larger wine list.

Entertainment will also continue to grow. In the short time the bar has been open, it has been a venue for birthday parties and wedding parties. Several live acts have broken in the stage, and a ballgame is almost always on the big screen.

Tonight, Ed Kelleher returns to sing, play guitar and impersonate country singer Toby Keith. Open Bar has also been a venue for rock music, beach and ’80s classics.

If a band is not playing, a state-of-the-art jukebox will be doing so.

Meyland said she plans to add dartboards and start a dart league.

Each month, the bar will have a special, members-only event. A beer tasting is already in the works, and a wine tasting will be held in the near future.

Meyland said she would announce upcoming events on Open Bar’s Facebook page.

The bar will open a patio around back during warm months.

“We just want to be a place where you can sit, relax and enjoy yourself,” she said.

Open Bar opens at 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Saturdays. It stays open as late as 2 a.m. on weekends.

Open Bar is located at 43 N. Market St., Washington. For more information, call 833-4517.

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