BELOIT—Gregg Hatley has always wanted to own a bar, and this spring his goal is coming to fruition.
Hatley and his wife, RayAnn, plan to open a new restaurant and bar together called Hatley’s Pub, located at 435 E. Grand Ave. The site previously housed Suds O’Hanahan’s Irish Pub.
The couple also operate the 615 Club in Beloit, for the last 13 years.
“The downtown is booming right now,” Gregg Hatley said. “I love Beloit and wanted to be a part of it. It’s just satisfying to do your own thing.”
Their pub will serve American style and bar foods such as burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads and more. The bar will have 12 beers on tap, plus cocktails and other mixers.
“We’ll have everything in between,” he said, adding they aim to offer options for various diets. “I’m lucky. We’re going to have the best of both worlds.”
Gregg Hatley said with plans for a new Beloit Snappers baseball stadium, the ever-growing Beloit International Film Festival and other big commercial developments all happening downtown, he believes the family business will succeed.
He also hopes to fill a void for community members who want a classic bar location downtown. The gathering place will include entertainment such as pool tables and dart boards.
“They want a fun place to go. This was always their bar,” he said.
The Hatley family bought the bulding at 435 E. Grand Ave. on Dec. 22.
The previous owners told the Hatley family that a fire caused damage to the building in the 1950s, RayAnn Hatley said.
A brick wall along the west side of the building’s interior still had soot stains, so crews came in to clean it up and repaint it with a sleek, black finish.
The ceiling will also be painted black. Other walls in the building will be a lighter color to offset the dark finish and provide an inviting atmosphere.
New ceiling fans and air ducts were also installed to help keep the place cool in the summertime.
Gregg Hatley said he hopes to include his daughter Ashley and son Seth and eventually pass down the restaurant to them. He said he couldn’t do this without their support, as well as RayAnn’s.
Gregg Hatley, originally from the Myrtle Beach area in South Carolina, moved to Beloit in 1972.
He worked various jobs including as a bartender and learned the ins and outs of how to run a restaurant from several friends and business partners. Their guidance still helps him every day, he said.
Hatley’s Pub will open with a staff of around 15 employees, and Gregg Hatley said he hopes to hire additional workers in the future. Most of the initial hires have already been made.
Having a new business downtown is an exciting new adventure for the family, RayAnn Hatley said. They’ll be involved in local farmer’s markets and various events year-round.
“The people that we meet, the people are fantastic,” RayAnn Hatley said. “It’ll hopefully just be a great place for great people.”