Longtime bartender buys The Outsiders

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Regular patrons at The Outsiders in Waterloo may soon be seeing more of a familiar face, as longtime bartender David Melican recently purchased the bar. 

“I was kind of lucky, I guess,” Melican said of how he bought the establishment. “Me and the owner were buddies, and he always said if he decided to sell he would give me the first opportunity, and he did.” 

Melican, who also co-owns Lane House Construction, has been a part-time bartender at The Outsiders for about 20 years. 

He finally bought the bar Sept. 30. He said he wanted to buy it because of the customers. 

“I always like the people here,” the Waterloo man said. “They consider themselves family.” 

Under Melican’s ownership, there will be only small changes like new a daily drink special, two new bartenders who will not take anyone’s hours and slight, gradual remodeling. 

No staff has quit or been fired, including beloved manager Butch Kunkel. 

Melican also said he will continue The Outsiders tradition of charitable work, which includes hosting food drives, raising money for the Ss. Peter & Paul Parish Picnic and opening the bar for other fundraisers. 

Melican said that was important to him as someone who lives in Waterloo and has three children in the school system.

“All the charitable events that The Outsiders does, we’re going to continue doing that,” he said. “I still want to be a part of the community. I want to be a community player.” 

That will start this Saturday at noon, when The Outsiders hosts a grand opening under Melican. 

The event will include a Waterloo Optimist Club fish fry, with proceeds going to the family of fallen Illinois State Police Trooper Nick Hopkins. 

The day will also include a bags tournament starting at 1 p.m. and music from 10 Years Gone starting at 6 p.m. 

The festivities will continue until the bar closes at  1 a.m. 

Check out The Outsiders on Facebook for more information, or visit Saturday for what Melican promised will be “the coldest beer in town.” 

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