The White Horse Inn, 112 E. Green St., in Champaign, reopened this weekend after financial troubles caused the bar to close in February of last year.
The bar had a soft reopening on Friday night. Its grand opening was Saturday.
White Horse is returning with some changes, which its owners hope are for the better. It has closed the kitchen doors and intends to operate only as a bar.
“We’re operating later only, opening at 8 or 9 p.m. and closing around 2 a.m.,” said Aidas Mattis, the bar’s co-owner.
Julie Johann, senior in AHS and bartender, said the bar will continue to have karaoke night on Wednesdays, a tradition it previously observed, while offering bar specials throughout the week.
“We feel that White Horse is a good tradition on the campus and thought that it would be a good idea to bring it back this year,” Johann said.
Daina Mattis, the bar’s general manager, said she and other co-owners and managers were very excited for the bar’s opening night and hope it can remain open.
“Everyone is really excited that the White Horse Inn is reopening again,” Daina Mattis said. “We really want it to work this time.”
Approximately 800 people responded that they were attending on the reopening’s Facebook page, with many posting old memories of the times they spent there. White Horse had been open for about a year and a half before closing in February.
Aiden Mattis said after White Horse closed last time, they wanted to sell the business — but the owners could not find an interested buyer. They then decided to reopen the bar before they could lose their liquor license. The bar’s owners have renegotiated parts of their contract to lower costs and secure the location.
“If things go well, we will be open for a while,” Aidas Mattis said.