Jerzees Sports Bar, a staple of Athens nightlife for the past eight years, has changed its name to 1785 Bar and Grill to reflect coming renovations and expansions.
Manager Jarrod Miller said this name change connects the space more with the community, considering the year 1785 was when the University of Georgia was chartered as the first state-chartered university in the United States.
The new name was unveiled on New Year’s Day as a fresh start for the Clayton Street sports bar and nightclub.
Miller said they’re planning on adding a rooftop bar among other aesthetic changes, such as staining the concrete floor, to cater to larger crowds and events. He also expects to up the staff as they complete renovations.
Construction on the rooftop bar is planned near the end of the semester, and Miller predicts it will take four to five months to complete.
Miller, who also manages Moonshine Bar and On the Rocks, also hopes the rebranding will bring out the restaurant portion of 1785.
“We are doing a lot more to integrate our kitchen,” Miller said. “People either see you as a restaurant or a bar. It’s very rare that they see you as a hybrid of the two. We are capable of doing both.”
The bar and restaurant is open 6 p.m. on Sundays and 7 p.m. other nights, Miller said.
Miller said specials nights such as Taco Tuesday and Wing Wednesday have drawn good crowds, and he wants the bar to be a one-stop shop for people looking to grab a meal and get drinks afterward, especially for the crowds during football season.
Jack Fletcher, a senior economics major, started frequenting Jerzees because of its Monday poker nights, which has become his weekly tradition for the past year and a half. He said he enjoys the atmosphere and people at the bar.
“It will always be Jerzees to me,” Fletcher said. “I try to catch myself and call it 1785, but every single time I find myself calling it Jerzees first.”
The original name of Jerzees came from a popular ‘90s clothing brand to show the space’s intersection between sports bar and nightclub. However, Miller said the name has run its course, noting that most bars have a lifespan of three to five years of the same brand.
The past two months have been a sort of soft open for the new name, and Miller plans on putting out more promotions for it once more renovations start happening.
“We’re wanting to evolve and grow into what we think is the next evolution,” Miller said.