Former Fat Fish Pub to become Opie’s Bar & Grill, Galesburg IL, bar

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GALESBURG — Olympia Carter grew up in the bar world. Now she opens hers.

Carter, 25, who goes by the name “Opie,” is preparing for the opening of Opie’s Bar & Grill between mid-October and early November. The venue will feature home-cooked food, a stocked bar, live music, arcade games and slot machines at 158 ​​N. Broad St., the site of the former Fat Fish Pub.

The Galesburg native and self-proclaimed workaholic has waited tables since she was 14, working at The Watering Hole in Oak Run, the bar and restaurant her parents operated in Dahinda until 2014.

Since then, Carter has worked in management, in the kitchens and behind the bar at local establishments like Cherry Street, Sidetraxx and Budde’s Pizza & Spirits. Now she has said she is ready to rule her own household.

“It’s been my lifelong goal,” Carter said. “That’s what I always wanted to do.”

Drinks, food and an arcade

Opie’s Bar and Grill will be open daily except Wednesday. The kitchen will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the bar will be open from 11 a.m. until closing — probably around 11 p.m., depending on the crowd.

The Fat Fish Pub closed in 2020. Carter said the only changes she has planned for the interior of the building are a new coat of paint on the walls and to sand, stain and reseal the floors.

Carter is still finalizing the menu, but she said people can expect to see typical bar fare like burgers, tenderloins and cheese sticks, as well as unique items like saganaki, chicken and waffles, soup flights and “scorpion tails”: beer-breaded and fried butterfly shrimp with jalapeños, provolone and bacon.

The kitchen will also offer a vegetarian menu with dishes like lemon pesto pasta and will partner with Black Market Bagels to offer dishes like bagel chips and bagel fudge.

Once the initial menu is established, Carter said she would like to offer seasonal dishes and Sunday brunch.

The bar has 15 faucets although Carter said she wouldn’t use all of them. Three will be devoted to servants and between five and six will rotate the craft beers.

Olympia Carter, 25, stands by the taps at her upcoming Opie's Bar & Grill, which is due to open between mid-October and early November.

In addition to what’s on the drawing board, Carter said the bar will feature other servants, seltzers, wine coolers, a margarita list, a mohito list and a Moscow mule list – “a little of everything for everyone”.

The back room will offer a more “arcade” experience with skee-ball, air hockey and foosball. A side room will provide six video game machines, but Carter said it will take about 10 months before the slots are licensed and installed. Televisions will also be equipped to show big-ten football.

Fat Fish Pub was previously well known as a live music venue. In recent years the pub had partnered with Knox College’s music department to host weekly jazz combo performances and the annual Rootabaga Jazz Festival.

Carter said she wants bands to perform on her bar’s stage, although that’s unlikely to happen every weekend. She hopes to be able to offer a “decent amount” of live music after the initial grand opening, but she’s not sure it will be to the same extent as the Fat Fish Pub.

In terms of staff, Carter said she plans to employ 15 people – three full-time and 12 part-time.

Carter has already confirmed the arrival of five to eight people, although she is not worried about finding other staff, as she said she has received nothing but positive feedback since she publicly announced the arrival. company on its Facebook page late last month.

“Always inconsistent”

Carter said she doesn’t technically own the building in which her bar and grill will reside yet, but is in the final stages of buying the space with her dad and securing loans – including a $10,000 start-up grant from the minority and/or woman. Assistance program sponsored by the City of Galesburg.

Carter said working with her parents at The Watering Hole at Oak Run was formative in her passion for the bar and grill business. She said she remembered waking up at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning to go to a restaurant to help her mother or keep her company.

Carter said her parents tried to talk her out of following in their footsteps, even sending her off to college to change her mind, but she said she only stayed for a year before returning to school. ‘company. Carter said she worked as a manager at Sidetraxx before thinking that if she was going to keep working long hours, she might as well be working for herself.

Fearsome at first, Carter left Sidetraxx a year ago and soon opened his own shop and took the leap. She said she was excited to bring a new place to the ranks of Galesburg’s bars and grills and do what she loves: serving different kinds of people every day.

“I don’t know what it is, but I’ve always been drawn to this business,” Carter said. “I think it’s more that it’s the same thing every day but it’s different people, different jokes. It’s consistently inconsistent.”

Olympia Carter, 25, stands outside the future Opie's Bar & Grill, located at 156 N. Broad St. in the former Fat Fish Pub.
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