Faces & Places is a weekly series that profiles the people and places of Murray and the surrounding areas. Every person and every place has a story. Let us tell it.
On July 17, 2012, the city of Murray voted in favor of the sale of alcoholic beverages.
Since then, bars and liquor stores alike have been springing up all over town.
One of the latest to join the rankings is the Bootleg Lounge located at 1300 N. 16th St.
Bootleg Lounge opened this summer after employees spent several months preparing the establishment for customers.
“When we first came in to look at the building, the building was dark and not much inside it, but there was a fireman’s boot on the bar,” Corey McManus, assistant manager of Bootleg Lounge, said. “I thought it was weird that there was a random boot on the bar. One of the other owners had said ‘Oh my God there’s not a leg in there, is there?’”
Later on, McManus and his team had to come up with a business name in order to get their license, he said.
“So we just kind of went with Bootleg,” McManus said. “It was the first thing we remembered. So we just went with it and made a Prohibition-themed bar.”
The building was previously home to The Moose Lodge, but was shut down due to selling liquor without a license.
“(The building) has been vacant for the past 10-12 years,” McManus said. “The other manager and I completely gutted it out and had all new electrical put in; we did a lot of work in here. We started in January and we worked until June 20 – that’s when the state required us to open. We weren’t supposed to open until around the time school was starting.”
Even though they opened earlier than expected, McManus said business is going well.
“Friday and Saturday are the busiest,” he said. “Every Saturday night we have live music and every Friday night we have a live DJ.”
Though there are many bars springing up in Murray, the Bootleg Lounge tries to set itself apart from the others in a few different ways.
“It’s a different atmosphere, and we’re not a full-on restaurant,” McManus said. “A lot of the bars are geared toward college students, but we try to cater to everyone.”
The bar offers a wide range of drinks to choose from, but is limited when it comes to food options.
“We have a big selection of top shelf and a few different types of moonshine and a pretty good selection of Kentucky bourbon,” he said.
“Aside from that, we can pretty much make anything.”
As far as food goes, appetizers, quesadillas, cheeseburgers and chicken sandwiches are among some of the bar food that is currently available to customers.
Said McManus: “We’re looking to add more things to the menu, but for now it’s just appetizer type foods.”
Story by Savannah Sawyer, Features Editor