Hell, yeah

Adam Griffiths

The Bar’n opens to a rowdy welcome


They came in cowboy hats and boots, in flannel and tied-up white shirts with pigtails, all to the premiere of the newest option in Kent night life.

The Bar’n, a new country-western themed bar on the edge of downtown Kent, opened its doors last night to the public.

Owner Lincoln Baringer held a VIP, invite-only party from 7 to 9 p.m. and then opened his doors to the Kent community.

“It’s more than exceeding my expectations,” Baringer said.

By 10 p.m., the space that, until last month had been home to Barcode, was full of students playing pool and tossing cornhole bean bags. Country songs like “Honky Tonk Ba Donk-A-Donk” blared on speakers as buckets of Bud Light started flowing from the bar.

Senior theater major Jason Malafarina was one of a few line dancing throughout the night. He said he was attracted to the country theme and has been line dancing for two years since his friend introduced him to it at the Dusty Armadillo in Rootstown.

“I’m going to keep going to the Dusty every Wednesday,” Malafarina said. “But every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I’m going to be here.”

The Bar’n

The Bar’n and The Green Room, the rock venue adjacent to the country bar, will be open each week, Wednesday through Saturday. There’s no cover for 21 and over, and it’s $5 for women and $8 for men.

-Wednesday night is comedy night in The Green Room. According to general manager and marketing manager James Burge, comedians from venues such as Pickwick and Frolic in Cleveland will take the stage each week.

Country line dancing will be offered in The Bar’n from 7:30 to 9 p.m, and six cans of beer will be on special for $6.

-Thursday offers drinks such as the Cowgal Cosmo, the Nashville Nectar and the Urban Cowboy served in small carafes.

“You’ll only need one,” said owner Lincoln Baringer.

-Friday is cowgirl night. A box of 3 Thieves wine will be $12 each, with a “catch for the ladies,” Burge said.

“For every inch on their high heels, they’ll get $1 off the box,” he said.

-Saturday features country line dancing lessons from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Kelli Ciola, senior art history major, was one of many who came to the opening after hearing about the free mechanical bull rides. The bull is caged in a padded pen next to the dance floor, and a line of eager riders quickly formed along the side.

“Even though I’m not a country music fan, I’m still having fun,” Ciola said. “It is all about the bull.”

Both Ciola and Malafarina said they heard about the opening from friends. Spreading the news about the club via flyers around campus, MySpace and Facebook was the work of Baringer and his team.

“Word of mouth is the best possible publicity,” Baringer said. “You’ve got to get people talking. You can’t survive with out it.”

Leslie Tarian, junior business management major, and junior marketing major Sarah Fredrick were playing corn hole and snapping photos with their friends.

“I’m gonna ride the bull,” Fredrick said, waving a purple bean bag in the air.

As she saddled up, her friend, junior marketing major Casey Beswick, gave her some advice.

“When you’re about to fall off, let go,” Beswick suggested. “Ride it!”

As the bull started jerking Fredrick back and forth, faster and faster, Beswick goaded the operator to turn up the speed.

“I’m just really dizzy,” Fredrick said a few seconds later after she tumbled off.

Paig Meyer, sophomore business major and an employee at The Bar’n, manned a tub of beer and said the proximity to campus and atmosphere are likely to attract a lot of students.

“There’s something for everyone to do here,” Meyer said.

The crowd seemed to agree.

Shouts of “Hell, yeah!” echoed throughout the bar most of the night.

Contact off-campus entertainment reporter Adam Griffiths at [email protected].