Story by Matthew Parks, Staff writer
The Bootleg Lounge recently changed ownership and was renamed “The Hangover,” and the new owners said they are attempting to bring an improved nightlife scene to Murray.
Sabrina Miller said she and her husband, Ken, bought the bar last June during the three-week period that the Bootleg was shut down and have been making big changes to the establishment since then.
The Millers have been Marshall County residents for years and helped open the Bootleg Lounge when it first came to Murray, but they left to run another bar before returning to buy the establishment. They said they have years of experience running bars and taverns and hope to use that experience to bring exciting changes to The Hangover.
The bar is still in its transition stage of finalizing its licenses with the city, and when the paperwork comes through the transition phase will officially be over, and their permanent liquor license will be established.
While official signage for the new name won’t arrive until February – when they receive their final liquor license – Sabrina said the bar is already officially ‘The Hangover,’ and they are taking changes to reflect that.
“Our intentions are to open a new side of the building,” Sabrina said. “There’s another area on the other side of the building that’s around the same size as the original part and we hope to get it opened up when our permanent liquor license comes through in February.”
Ken said the new side of the building will feature raised dance floors, bars and a DJ stage. He said that side will be more pop and hip-hop “dance club” oriented, while the original half of the building will remain as it is now, with seating areas, pool tables, dart boards and a more relaxed ambiance.
As of Jan. 20, Sabrina said they have also officially hired their own house DJ, Jeremy Tinsley (DJ Remix), a first for any bar in Murray.
She also said The Hangover is hosting local bands and musicians on Tuesday nights (as well as a weekly beer pong tournament) along with dart tournaments on Wednesdays in order to showcase local talent and attract some of the Murray State crowd.
It seems to be a strategy that is working for at least some students – Dondre Jackson, junior from Mayfield, Kentucky, said the bar is much better now than when he first started at Murray State.
“They’ve definitely made a lot of improvements,” Jackson said. “I think they still have a ways to go, but hopefully they can make it a great place for Murray State students to go out and have a good time, because places like that are sorely lacking in town.”
More than anything, the Millers said they want The Hangover to be an upstanding establishment in Murray, with the cleanest facilities, cheapest drinks and best dance floor, and they are proud of the work they’ve done over the past few months to get it there.
“It’s a family affair,” Sabrina said. “It really is. My crew is a family and I couldn’t run this place without them.”