Ned’s passes test of time, becomes Tahlequah staple

01/14/2019 08:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Ned’s bar is in Tahlequah and is a popular gathering place. Since opening in 1985, it has become a staple in the community. GRANT NEUGIN/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Gary Kirkpatrick takes a picture with Flaco, the mascot of Ned’s bar, at the Tahlequah establishment. GRANT NEUGIN/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – On Oct. 11, 1985, Ed Kirkpatrick opened his bar, Ned’s, in the downtown area. The bar over the years has become a staple and was passed down to Ed’s son, Gary Kirkpatrick, who has been the owner since 2017.

“The bar was named after my dad whose nickname was Ned,” Gary said. “Before the bar was passed down to me, after my mother’s passing in 2017, I was down in Texas playing music.”

Kirkpatrick, a Cherokee Nation citizen, was 21 years old when his dad opened the bar. He was born in Tahlequah and left a couple of years after Ed opened the bar on Muskogee Avenue. Being a musician, he eventually decided to go to Austin, Texas, to pursue his dream of being in a band. He played music in Texas for seven years before coming back to take over Ned’s.

“Ned’s has passed the test of time in Tahlequah since its opening in 1985,” he said. “We do everything we can to change with the time and make the bar experience good for everyone.”

Ned’s hosted many music acts throughout the year, including the Pumpkin Hollow Band for New Year’s Eve. For a bar with a small venue, it has also brought in bands such as Ragland and Doc Fell & Co., which are both from Tahlequah and in the Red Dirt\Americana music genre.

Kirkpatrick’s band Flabbergaster also plays in the bar throughout the year. Ned’s has events posted on its Facebook page letting people know about activities and when bands are playing.

“We love having events during the week to give our customers something to enjoy,” said Kirkpatrick. “My favorite to see is our open mic night because it’s cool to hear all of the talent Tahlequah has.”

Every Monday, Ned’s host a trivia night with a vendor called “The Dogfather” who serves uniquely dressed hotdogs. The first and third Tuesday is open mic night. Thursday nights include karaoke, which was introduced recently. The weekends are usually open to bands or special events for the holidays.

For more information visit Ned’s Facebook page.
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