Bill Brown and John Condray said their new bar will be a combination of old familiarity and new beginnings.
Co-owners Brown and Condray are working tirelessly to update the interior of The Pub on Second, which will be located at 116/118 W. Second St., at the same location Condray ran Gambrinus Libation Emporium for eight years.
Though the co-owners are working mostly on the cosmetic side of things, some of Gambrinus’ well-loved staples will remain at The Pub on Second, such as its brick walls and the chandelier that hangs over the bar. Brown and Condray said most of the updates will take place in the form of new paint, new light fixtures and new behind-the-bar appliances.
“The main thing we’re working on right now is picking out colors for the walls and decluttering,” Condray said. “The vibe is going to be a modern pub — not like the old school Irish pub. We’re not going to do dark woods and stuff like that.”
Craft and domestic beer will both be sold at The Pub on Second, but out of the 26 draft beers available, craft beer from local and regional breweries will take center stage. Condray said rather than serve several different domestic beers on tap that doesn’t differ much in style, a couple of domestics will be served on tap alongside a cider.
“It’s going to have a lot of the feel that Gambrinus had,” he said. “The same great service and familiar faces, hopefully.”
The owners plan for some soft openings after April 15 before they open to the general public on May 1. The timing will be ideal for The Pub on Second as warmer weather brings more foot traffic to downtown Owensboro and numerous events create a high-energy atmosphere.
Since the recent closures of CYO Brewing, Azucar Lounge and Gambrinus, Condray said there’s been a huge void that needs filling in downtown Owensboro, in the form of nightlife and entertainment. While Condray and Brown hope The Pub on Second can fill that void, they want to give the after-work crowd another option as well.
“We had [regulars] in here daily, and it’s kind of like they don’t have any place to go now,” he said. “Other places don’t have the scene they want and, otherwise, it’s restaurants.”
Condray said he was approached by Brown, who expressed interest in revamping the location and opening it back up again. With so much experience and success with running Gambrinus, Condray offered to give Brown some ideas and share his knowledge.
“It was great to find somebody with the passion and the desire to have something like we had before,” Condray said, adding that he and Brown will spend countless hours turning the space into what they envision.
Food won’t be served at The Pub on Second, but Brown and Condray said they will partner up with other downtown restaurants like Mellow Mushroom, Lure Seafood and Grille and The Famous Bistro so that food can be ordered and delivered to customers at their establishment.
Gambrinus was famous, in part, for its creative martini and cocktail menu, and Condray plans to make that a staple at The Pub on Second Street as well, alongside an expanded bourbon selection.
Above all else, Brown and Condray want The Pub on Second to be an inclusive spot.
“We want it to be attractive for those in their 20s, to those in their 90s, and we want everyone in between to feel comfortable coming in here,” Condray said. “Both of us are very open-minded, we want to make this a comfortable space for everyone.”