Gully’s gets new look

By Charles Menchaca

Students going back to Gully’s, 306 1/2 E. Green St., will no longer find rough cedar walls, a brown ceiling, or the double glass doors leading to the back bar.

Instead they will find a newly renovated bar complete with new walls, booths and lighting.

Matt Neberieza, general manager of Gully’s and Station, 211 E. Green St., said he decided to make a number of changes to the bar’s appearance.

Workers took out the cedar walls and replaced them with oak and orange drywall in the back and oak with red drywall in the front. The ceiling is now painted black. The back fireplace is also repainted and the air conditioning units have been repaired. The double glass doors inside the bar were removed.

Neberieza said he wanted to change the look and feel of the bar because it had started to look “run-down” due to the crowds. Neberieza enlisted Panel Tech, an Urbana-based constructed company, to do the residing and other renovations over the summer.

Gully’s traditionally closes after finals and opens the weekend before school starts. This year, Gully’s opened on Aug. 21.

“We just finished the modeling right when we opened,” Neberieza said.

Chris Friederich, sophomore in ACES, said he liked Gully’s before the remodeling, but now says it’s even nicer. Friederich said he and his friends practically live at Gully’s – it’s the only bar they go to.

Friederich said it was good the doors inside the bar were taken out.

“They never had them closed. It was a waste of space,” he said.

Brian Berlin, senior in LAS and a bartender at Gully’s, said he likes the new Wrigleyville sign, one of the new neon signs that adorn the bar. This is Berlin’s third year bartending at Gully’s and he admits the place smells better and has more lighting.

Neal Srivastava, sophomore in business, said he likes the new lighting and new booths. Srivastava said he frequents Gully’s and noticed that Neberieza had put new skylights in the back of the bar.

Opinions are mixed as to whether the renovations are bringing in more business. Friederich said he is seeing fewer regulars and a more diverse crowd. Berlin thinks it’s too early to tell, but Neberieza said he notices a difference.

“It’s been quite a bit more crowded than last year – (the renovations) definitely helped,” he said.

Amidst all the changes, the renovations did not bring a new sign. Neberieza said there used to be a neon sign in a partition separating the bar from IHOP but it broke earlier this year.

“We should have a new one sometime this semester,” he said.

One of the only things not changed at the bar was the staff. Neberieza said most of the staff is returning from last year, which Friederich said is one of the most appealing things about Gully’s.

“They make you feel like you’re at home – it’s like ‘Cheers,'” he said.