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Bucks Saloon to morph into Replay arcade bar

New owners to add more beer, bourbon and video games

  • An artist's rendering of the forthcoming bar, Replay.
An artist's rendering of the forthcoming bar, Replay. (Replay )
April 11, 2013|By Kate Bernot, @redeyeeatdrink | RedEye

Boystown mainstay Bucks Saloon will close after this weekend. The familiar Halsted Street bar has been bought by Mark Liberson, owner of next-door Halsted's Bar & Grill and nearby Elixir lounge and Hydrate nightclub, who plans to transform the space into Replay, an arcade bar.

"Bucks has a very long history in the community and also has a long history in my mind. It was the first bar I ever walked into and thought, 'I wanted to own this place,'" Liberson said.

The sale was completed today, and while renovations are expected to begin Monday, regulars will have a final chance to say goodbye with three days of farewell parties planned for this weekend.

"I really wanted to be able to salute the history that has been Bucks," Liberson said. "But we're going to try to upgrade what the available options are in the area."

Liberson and his partners will add a 25-tap draft beer system that will pour local and craft beers, and will add a spirits selection focused on bourbon. Danny Quinn, the mixologist at Elixir, will also create a custom cocktail menu.

But the real draw for arcade afficionados may be the addition of approximately 20 retro video games from the '80s and '90s, as well as several pinball machines.

"It's really appropriate because Bucks has always been associated with the sporting community and with games," Liberson said.

Liberson said he hopes construction will be completed by mid-May, at which point the weather should be warm enough to unveil Replay's upgraded patio. Despite rumors that the patio might combine with that of Halsted's, Liberson said it will remain a distinct venue.

"Replay has to have its own personality as an individual location. That’s what we’re most excited about."

kbernot@tribune.com | @redeyeeatdrink

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