Mick Dougher and Jennifer Stiffler can remember when State College’s Crowbar was the place to see live music in the region. Now, they hope to bring that feeling back by trying to restore the venue to its glory days as ReBar, and they plan to be ready to open in time for the fall semester.
Right now they are busy painting and trying to get the old feeling back to the 420 E. College Ave. venue that became The Cell Block after the Crowbar closed in 2006, followed by Mezzanine, then Levels Night Club and then ENVY Nightclub.
“This was the place to be, even if you were outside of State College. I lived an hour and 15 minutes away and it was still the place to be,” said Stiffler, noting she lived in Ebensburg at the time. “We want to bring that concert feel back. Being there and the crowd is going crazy and the lights everywhere. We want to bring that back.”
Dougher agrees. He used to love playing at the Crowbar and thought the guys who ran it had the right idea.
“The guys that ran the place then, they did a great job. They had a great thing going here and I think whatever transpired, it was a shame that is closed. We are just trying to bring back the same kind of feel as what was here at that time,” said Dougher. “This was the best place to play. For a musician it was the best place. We are trying to get in here and get this place back to where it used to be with the live music and the national, regional and local acts. So we are going to do the best we can to get that stuff back in here. It is going to be a lot of fun. We are going to do things a little bit different, but we are going to keep it rocking.”
Dougher said the liquor license should be finalized this week. The venue will have small food items available as well.
He said keep an eye on their Facebook and Instagram pages along with the website, www.rebarlivemusic.com, to find music schedules and opening hours. Currently the website includes a time for open mic nights on Mondays and local musicians on Thursdays.
The place means a lot to the couple, as it was where they first met. Dougher said, “Look how young we were,” when he shared the first picture they ever took together. It was of course taken at the Crowbar.
Now 13 years after the Crowbar closed, they are ready to bring the bands back with ReBar.