Riley's Sports Bar (formerly Weirdo's) remodeling its downtown location

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Monday, June 18, 2012
What it is: Riley's Sports Bar & Grill, 209 W. Milwaukee St., Janesville. The business opened June 3 after considerable restoration to the inside of the building at the corner of Milwaukee and Franklin streets. The business will have a strong emphasis on local sports, owner Kevin Riley said.

"We want to be contributing, and we want those people to come in here," Riley said about members of local volleyball, softball and kickball teams, among other sports.

The business goal: Over the next year, Riley and his wife, Lora, plan to remodel the outside of the building. It used to be home to Weirdo's Bar & Grill. The block is important to them, the Rileys said. Riley has owned property at 219 W. Milwaukee Street for about 12 years.

In 2008, he opened Riley's on the Green, an indoor golf course and pro shop at 219 W. Milwaukee St. That business is open during winter months.

Part of his business plan is re-investment of his money into the building and business, Riley said.

"We live here. It's important to us," Lora Riley said.

Coming up: Remodeling inside the bar is almost done. The bar boasts a new floor, walls and ceiling. It's bright and smells of fresh paint. Riley expects to launch a menu in July.

Happy hour specials are in the works. The bar's grand opening event is scheduled for noon on Saturday, June 30. Hours will be from 4 p.m. to closing time Monday through Saturday and noon to close on Sunday. The bar will open earlier when the lunch menu is ready.

What about the name: Yes, Riley is aware he is opening a bar called "Riley's" across the street from O'Riley and Conway's Irish Pub, 214 W. Milwaukee St., which Janesvillians commonly refer to as "O'Riley's" or "the Irish bar."

One liquor distributor already tried delivering an O'Riley's order to Riley's, Riley said.

Riley thought long and hard—and talked about it with his family—before he decided to stick with his name for his bar.

He is proud to own a business in downtown Janesville and wants people to know it's his, Riley said.

So far, friends he's known since elementary school have supported Riley in his business venture.

If he gave his bar a different name, "They might not know it was me," he said.

Last updated: 8:45 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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