Archive for Monday, August 24, 2009


Name that bar: Learn how some of Lawrence’s pubs got their monikers

Henry's owners Dave Boulter and Sue Mee are pictured with Boulter's Australian Shepherd mix Henry, who is the namesake for the bar and coffee shop.

Henry's owners Dave Boulter and Sue Mee are pictured with Boulter's Australian Shepherd mix Henry, who is the namesake for the bar and coffee shop.

August 24, 2009


Bartenders at The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, recreate “The Last Supper” painting in 1976.

Bartenders at The Hawk, 1340 Ohio, recreate “The Last Supper” painting in 1976.

Wilde’s Chateau 24, 2412 Iowa.

Wilde’s Chateau 24, 2412 Iowa.

The Phoggy Dog, 2228 Iowa.

The Phoggy Dog, 2228 Iowa.

Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St.

Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St.

Australian shepherds, traditions, nicknames and poets have all contributed to the unique names of bars in Lawrence. Here’s a look at how some of Lawrence’s favorite hangouts got their names.

The Sandbar, 17 E. Eighth St.

The Sandbar wasn’t always a lime green island-themed bar. It used to be called AJ’s, a place Peach Madl, an owner of the Sandbar, says people right out of jail used to come to drink a beer. Then someone got shot there, and it was time for a makeover.

“We wanted to make it look so cheesy so the crazy guys wouldn’t want to hang out here,” Madl says.

She and her co-owners renamed the bar, decorated it with island decorations and put cheesy sing-along songs in the jukebox, including Disney songs and ABBA.

“Only nice people want to go there,” Madl says.

Now the building is lime green with a giant tiki head, but it’s also been blue, white and yellow.

Henry’s Upstairs, 11 E. Eighth St.

Henry’s Upstairs began with an Australian Shepherd and street sign. Specifically, Dave Boulter, one of the owners of Henry’s on Eighth and Henry’s Upstairs, had a dog named Henry and wanted to open a coffee shop in Lawrence.

“It’s like when you get a dog — sometimes it names itself,” Boulter says.

He named the shop after the dog as well as Henry Street, which is now called Eighth Street. That was 10 years ago. Three years later, when tenants living above the coffee joint moved out, Boulter decided to open the bar.

Wilde’s Chateau 24, 2412 Iowa

Boulter is also part owner of Wilde’s Chateau 24, a new dance club and bar he opened in January.

The name of this bar and club isn’t as simple as Henry’s. Wilde comes from Oscar Wilde, the 19th century poet. Chateau has two origins. The building, Boulter says, looks a lot like a chateau inside with fireplaces and a cozy feel. But it also comes from a key Boulter found in the back of his truck. It looked like a hotel key but said “chateau,” and he had no idea where it came from. The number 24 is much simpler. Its address is 2412 Iowa.

The Hawk, 1340 Ohio

The Hawk, officially known as The Jayhawk Cafe, opened in 1919. Now, 90 years later, the bar is the oldest existing campus establishment and a popular bar.

Ken Wallace bought The Hawk in 1974 as a 22-year-old Kansas University graduate and inherited the building as well as well as its colorful history. At one point, the restaurant became known for its “Blue Plate Special,” a meal of meat, potatoes, veggies, dessert and a drink with refills for $1.25. Phog Allen was rumored to go there to discuss training for the basketball team. Wallace owned it for 20 years, through times of political strife in the 1970s and through years the city wanted to shut down bars during KU game days.

The Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.

Steak and pot roast used to grace the menu of what is officially known as the Wagon Wheel Cafe. What is more commonly known as The Wheel opened in 1906 as a college bookstore. When the bookstore closed, Jim and Virginia Large decided to open a restaurant in the building.

The Larges had friends with a farm, so for their new restaurant they headed out to pick up some wagon wheels to make chandeliers. These are still in The Wheel, although another wheel they used for decoration now sits at the house of Doug Holiday, the Large’s grandson and current owner of Bigg’s Barbecue. The Larges kept with the wagon wheel theme, using pitchers, sugar and cream containers and menus in the wagon wheel shape.

Johnny’s Tavern, 401 N. Second St.

When Johnny’s went from a farm implement business to a bar, owner John Wilson only sold 3.2 percent beer. John’s father, “Slim” Wilson, who weighed 325 pounds, owned the original business in the Johnny’s building. The building flooded in 1951, leaving John’s brother, his pregnant wife and three other children to escape the shoulder-high water. John Wilson changed the business to Johnny’s in 1953.

Current owner Rick Renfro took over Johnny’s in 1978. The logo for the current Johnny’s is a picture of John Wilson dressed in 1800s garb to celebrate Kansas’ centennial.

Phoggy Dog, 2228 Iowa

A lot of people ask the owners of the Phoggy Dog where the bar’s name came from, but they don’t explain everything.

“We always tell them random stories,” says James Shaffer, a co-owner.

Phog Dog was a nickname of one of Shaffer’s college friends, but he won’t explain why. Shaffer, who also won’t say where he went to college, opened the bar with a friend who graduated from KU in October 2004. Coming up with the name was pretty much the most difficult part of the process, he says.

“Everyone thinks it’s a clever name, but that was never the goal,” he says.


Richard Renner 8 years, 10 months ago

I believe the Red Lion Tavern is named after the infamous Red Lion Restaurant that thrived while I was in college here in the 70's and 80's. Is that correct?

glkamos 8 years, 10 months ago

Yeah, I recall AJ's bar. I was there the night of the last shooting . Me and a Skin Brother saw it all. And we commenced to down all the drinks patons left behind as they ran! Say Peach, do all nice people really come there now?

Rae Hudspeth 8 years, 10 months ago

Correct. that's Red Lyon Tavern.. .. and now that you've brought it up, it's your seat you've told them about.

What about the Jet Lag?

lfitzmorris 8 years, 10 months ago

Is the Harbour still there? It was the in place for about 6 months and then fell to seedy. I also loved the Sanctuary and what about Louse's on Mass. Is it there.

roger_o_thornhill 8 years, 10 months ago

What was the one that used to be where Borders is? The Stagger Inn? The Stumble Inn? Something like that?

Also: How many Lawrence movers and shakers made their first money shooting fish in a barrel--oh, I mean serving booze to college kids?

Keith 8 years, 10 months ago

"Ken Wallace bought The Hawk in 1974... Wallace owned it for 20 years, through times of political strife in the 1970s and through years the city wanted to shut down bars during KU game days."

If he bought the bar in 74, the political strife was long over.

somebodynew 8 years, 10 months ago

The Stables/Sanctuary were where a bunch of aptments are now. Can't remember the name but there are at 7th and like Lynch Court.

The one where Borders is at two different times was the Mad Hatter.

Ahhhh, the old AJ's where "everyone was Welcome and Wanted". I still remember the T-shirt that I had back then with the squad car and people getting taken down.

Gee, you think I just aged myself a little.

Keith 8 years, 10 months ago

"Or wait a minute…Maybe the Sanctuary was the upstairs of the Stables?"

Back in the days before liquor by the drink in Kansas, the Sanctuary was the 'private club' with liquor for the 21 and over set, while the Stables was the 3.2 beer barf for the 18-21 year olds. Fun times, then disco reared its ugly head.

labmonkey 8 years, 10 months ago

Aaaah the Hawk....where 18 year olds go to drink.

My favorite in Lawrence was always the Bottleneck and Johnny's (the former for all the concerts and the latter for all our FFL drafts).

Cait McKnelly 8 years, 9 months ago

No one mentioned the Laughing Dog? That bar had so many nicknames; the Chuckling Pup and (my favorite) the Hysterical Bitch are two I remember.

FlimFlamMan 8 years, 9 months ago

Wasn't the Sanctuary a private club above the Stables for awhile before the entire place became the Sanctuary? Also, what about "The Southern Pit" at 19th and Mass? I remember the owner used to lock the doors at closing time and let the "regulars" drink until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. What a thoughtful fellow!

galwaygal 8 years, 9 months ago

Back in '70-'74 The Gaslight was right across 13th street from the Union, where the parking garage is now. It seems like it was where I spent way too much time instead of in class. Those were the Vern Miller days; whenever someone knocked on the door, we'd call out, "Is that you, Vern?" Of course the altered state of mind we were in probably had something to do with that and why we thought it was so funny!

Jean1183 8 years, 9 months ago

Anyone remember The Yuck Up and The Yuck Down?

wysiwyg69 8 years, 9 months ago

how about the world famous Purple Pig, Mothers, Fathers, The Mad Hatter, Next Door, Campus Hideaway and on and on

tigerlil42 8 years, 9 months ago

anyone remember the Hideout? I used to drive cab in Lawrence, picked up at all the bars. Live in Texas now. brings back lots of memories.

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