Randy and Patti Henry have owned and operated Davies Locker for its entire 42-year lifespan, but changes coming to the neighborhood are forcing the couple to close up shop. A new housing development is in the works nearby, prompting the landlord to end their lease, according to Randy Henry. Initially, he was not offered the option to renew his lease, but then was given the chance to return — only if he would completely remodel and modernize the bar. And that's something he wasn't prepared to do.
"People like it like it is, though; we're an old-time neighborhood bar," the 68-year-old Henry explains. "After 42 years, I just don't have it in me to make changes."
Davies Locker is located next to a liquor store in what was once a larger shopping center; Henry says the rest of the shopping center was torn down several years ago. "We're the watering hole for the community," he notes, pointing out that the bar has seen funerals and weddings as well as other community events.
"We're kind of a melting pot — teachers, woodworkers, custodians," he adds. "Someone in a suit will come in and sit down next to a guy that's been working with his hands all day. If someone dies, people call us to find out what happened."
Toy drives and other fundraisers have become regular happenings over the years, as has an annual chili cook-off. The bar will host its thirtieth — and last — cook-off on Sunday, February 2.
Henry says he wasn't interest in retiring, despite recent health issues and heart surgery. "If it wasn't for this [closing], I would probably be here until I was no more," he explains. "But it's not just me. The one thing I hear from all of our customers is, 'Where are we going to go now?'"
On February 8, they'll all be going to the cash-only bar at the corner of 88th and Lowell for one last dance.