|The scene during a recent quiet afternoon at Bayso’s Sports Pub, which opened on Hord Street in Grayson six years ago.|
“Six years of Bayso’s. Good Lord,” said owner Scott Menix.
A few years ago, Menix was just another guy sitting at the bar inside Bayso’s Sports Pub on Hord Street in Grayson. A couple of years later, he became the sole owner.
On the sixth anniversary of the business’s opening, Menix agreed to talk about the “good, bad and the ugly” of owning a restaurant/bar which also serves as a sort of community center for many customers.
“I wasn’t a part of it originally. I started out here as a customer. I was a recently divorced guy in a target-rich environment,” he recalled with a laugh Friday, shortly after his staff served a celebratory glass of beer to the man who was their first customer six years ago.
|Kylie Glover served Phillip “Powder” Lemaster a frosty, cold beer Friday in celebration of six years of business at Bayso’s Sports Pub in Grayson. Lemaster was the first customer to enjoy a legal beer after Grayson residents voted to again approve the sale of alcohol in 2013.|
“1933, Powder,” he called to the end of the bar, answering a question about the last time Grayson had legal alcohol sales. “1933? Alright,” Powder replied. Local voters went “dry” again in 1937, with a vote of 2,581 to 2,128, Menix added.
His investment started when Bayso’s founder Keith Bays offered him a small share of the business in exchange for enclosing the back section of the place.
“It had plastic sheeting for walls back there then,” Menix noted.
“It seemed like an opportunity to make some money,” he said, before adding he has not yet gotten rich from the business.
“It does alright, but I spent a lot of money the first few years,” he said, citing installation of everything from a sound system to heating and air conditioning, kitchen equipment and a fire suppression system.
“It was like, illegal as hell,” he said of the former situation.
The business has a distinct measure of both good and bad aspects, Menix said, explaining he most enjoys “the people, friends and connections” associated with his work. The toughest part may be the never ending effort to give Bayso’s Sports Pub a proper identity.
“Overcoming preconceived notions that alcohol sales has to be bad … stereotypes of the establishment,” he said. “Trying to get people to understand it is still a restaurant. A lot of people think Bayso’s is just a bar. Bayso’s is much more than just a place to drink.”
Bayso’s By The Numbers
The “Bayso Burger” and variations on the menu is one of the things which keeps people coming back. “We fix 320 pounds of burger a month,” Menix said, adding wings (in six flavor choices) are also always in demand. “We go through over 400 pounds of wings every month.”
“Probably 500 pounds of French fries,” he said, then noted deep fried cheese sticks are another Bayso’s favorite. “I’d say over 100 pounds of cheese sticks a month. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. Cheese sticks don’t weigh very much.”
Behind The Bar
Bud Light is the number one beer for Bayso’s customers, Menix said, with Michelob Ultra in second place. Many customers do enjoy other choices from the selection of imports, as well as draft beers including beverages by Country Boy Brewing of Lexington.
Jameson is the most-requested spirit, followed by Crown Royal. “Jim and Jack would be next. They’re probably about dead even,” Menix said. “It seems like nobody drinks Makers Mark now. It used to be popular but that bottle’s been sitting there a couple of weeks and it is barely down the neck.”
Looking back on his time at Bayso’s, Menix said the nature of day to day operations is constant yet changing.
“It is constantly evolving. Your customer base and size does not change, but the faces do. People face different situations, but people always find the watering hole.”
Ask Menix about the effects of bad weather and he can only shake his head and chuckle.
“The Storm Shelter – Bayso’s is THE place to go. Snow storms are one of our most popular times. People get out and say, ‘Let’s see if we can make it to Bayso’s!’ ”
|Bayso’s Sports Pub patrons are not afraid to get up and get down when the music is good. With the band Bad Decision delivering high-energy rock & roll, a Bayso’s patron felt moved by the music Saturday evening in Grayson.|
There is a modern jukebox at Bayso’s which gets a lot of use, although the local sports pub is also well known as a great place to experience live musical performances ranging from rock to bluegrass.
Menix is proud to list past performers including Tyler Childers, Austin Winkler of Hinder, Jacob Bryant, Sundy Best (as well as solo shows by both Nick Jamerson and Kris Bentley), Larry Cordle, Turning Ground and several other recognized artists.
The restaurant/bar also provides a stage for local bands and performers, whose talents pack the place with customers most weekends. Members of Bad Decision, for example, had Saturday’s full house rocking out from front to back with a high-energy set list and a full-on stage set up at the front door.
The burgers, wings and other established entrees will remain, Menix said, although the Bayso’s team will soon be adding several new menu choices including “a new Cordon Bleu sandwich that is damn good.”
Phlly fries and deep-fried Baby Onion Pearls (“They’re really good.”) will also be served up.
Menix says he is uncertain about his plans for Bayso’s Sports Pub, although he does not hesitate to say he would do it all again if he had such a chance.
“There may be a second Bayso’s at some point. I don’t know,” he concluded.
|Pool has become a major attraction for Bayso’s Sports Pub in recent months.|
Evenings at Bayso’s Sports Pub provide opportunities for strangers to become friends.
|“Hey, newspaper guy! Take our picture!”|
Bayso’s Sports Pub is located at 111 S. Hord Street, Grayson, Kentucky. For more information, or to place an order, call (606) 474-7727.
Story & Photos by TIM PRESTON
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