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The bar popularly known as 12 East recently reopened as owner Thom DeBeck fights a legal battle with the property’s landlord. (Ian Bates | For The Post)

12 East pops open for spring season

A local bar located on East Carpenter Street opened its doors after being closed since the end of Winter Quarter.

Owner Thom DeBeck primarily resides in New York City and chose only to keep his bar, 12 East, open when he is in Athens.

12 East has officially been opened since February 2009 but was closed during Ohio University breaks, as well as while DeBeck was in New York City.

DeBeck intends on keeping 12 East open through brew week this summer and

potentially longer.

Currently, DeBeck is in a legal battle with his landlord, fighting eviction because a local pizza place offered the landlord double the rent cost for the 12 East location, he said.

“Typical Athens greed has kicked in,” DeBeck said. “The landlord scene is not always pleasant around here.”

Despite the property issues occurring, DeBeck said he has always wanted to open a bar.

“Every guy wants a Harley and a bar at some point in their life,” DeBeck said. “And I already have a Harley.”

Though Athens is not deprived of bars, competition is not found to be a factor for bars in close proximity to 12 East.

“We don’t really consider them competition,” said Mike Six, manager at Broney’s, 7 W. Carpenter St. “We are constantly busy regardless of 12 East being open or closed.”

In addition to drinks, the bar offers happy hour from 5 to 9 p.m. and has certain drink specials known as “Happy Meals” and “Value Meals.” The bar does not serve actual meals, but they do have some food

and light snacks available, DeBeck said.

DeBeck said he would also like to be able to display artwork from Athens-area residents and students.

“I like the personality and unique quality that unconventional artwork provides,” DeBeck said. “I want 12 East to be a place for artists to show their work.”

The bar does not have rigid hours of operation set every day of the week. It opens around five or six in the evening, DeBeck said.

Though bars are required by state law to stop serving at 2 a.m., DeBeck said he allows people to remain in the building afterward.

“I want my place to have a laid-back and relaxed feel while you are there,” DeBeck said. “I like that 12 East can be a place where people can come and hang out after the other bars kick them out.”



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