BizBeat: Restaurant owner expands offerings at new location

Rich Burkemper poses behind the bar at After Dark Pub & Pool on Missouri Boulevard. Burkemper, who owns Kate and Ally’s Pizzeria in Jefferson Plaza, recently purchased the Budweiser Inn building and plans to have live bands at his new business.

Rich Burkemper poses behind the bar at After Dark Pub & Pool on Missouri Boulevard. Burkemper, who owns Kate and Ally’s Pizzeria in Jefferson Plaza, recently purchased the Budweiser Inn building and plans to have live bands at his new business. Photo by Julie Smith.

A familiar bar has reopened under new management and a new name after closing for several months earlier this year. After Dark Pub & Pool is now open in Jefferson City in the former Budweiser Inn building located at 1102 Missouri Blvd.

Kate & Ally’s Pizzeria owner Rich Burkeper said he’s trying his hand at running a bar, after operating the nearby restaurant for 10 years. The bar opened at the end of November, and customers can order anything off the Kate & Ally’s menu.

Because there is no kitchen, Burkeper said for now, After Dark is only catering in from his restaurant, but may eventually add a full kitchen and extend the business into more of a restaurant in the new location.

Although the bar has been open in the evenings, Burkeper said it will open for lunch in the coming weeks. Also expected is new signage touting the new After Dark Pub & Pool name.

One thing Burkeper said he is trying to accomplish in the new business venture is re-creating a sense of live entertainment that is no longer available after downtown’s “The Spot” closed in late November.

After Dark is looking for live bands for Saturday night entertainment and plans to also host “Battle of the Bands” and afternoon gigs for younger bands who don’t usually get to play in bars.

Burkeper said the decision to open a new business came from the need and desire to expand and grow his offerings, as well as the need for extra income with his daughter, Ally, headed to college next year.

After Dark Pub & Pool is open Monday through Saturday.

Know of any business happenings around town? Let us know at bizbeat@newstribune.com.

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