KY Retiree Opens FF-Themed Bar 'Halligans'

Oct. 11, 2022
Former Lexington firefighter Otis Cveticanin's new bar, Halligans, will serve pub food and more than 50 beers.

A lot of kids dream of being a firefighter when they grow up. And apparently a lot of firefighters dream of owning a bar when they retire.

One retired Lexington firefighter is making that a reality.

Otis Cveticanin, who retired in 2020 after 20 years of service, has opened Halligans, a special bar and grill, at 1170 Manchester St.

It’s in the former Rickhouse Pub spot on the Pepper Campus. The pub closed after the owner moved Battle Axes, which was next door, to a new and expanded entertainment venue in Turner Commons on Leestown Road.

Named for a tool used by firefighters, Halligans will be a gathering spot for first responders, Cveticanin said.

His dream, he said, is have a place where firefighters, police, EMTs, nurses and anyone else can feel comfortable coming in, sitting down and talking to people who have experienced the same kinds of job stress.

“We deal with pretty intense situations on the job,” he said. “Any more on an intense run, we have a tendency to get on our phones and shy away from talking ... lot of people get that stuff built up inside. In the past you’d sit around the kitchen table (in the station) and talk about that run.”

And he wants to create a space for the public to get to know first responders as well, he said.

He said that the idea came together quickly and he’s had a good support from the community.

“The response has been tremendous. People on the job are really excited about it,” he said. “Retirees want to support us. A firefighter is doing my sign out front.”

Other retirees are donating jackets, helmets and other items to go on the walls, where he also plans to put up photos, he said.

Halligans restaurant menu

The restaurant’s menu is pub food, he said: Burgers, wings, tacos, nachos, loaded fries, appetizers such as mozzerella sticks. There also is a kids’ menu so the place will be family friendly.

The bar serves cocktails and 50-75 different beers, including local craft brews and ciders, he said. He plans to host live music, open mic nights and lots of TVs for watching sports.

Cveticanin said he also plans to host fund-raising events for the Lexington fire department’s awarding-winning fire combat team.

“I just want a place to draw people in to get to know us and for first responders to go and be proud of,” he said.

Halligans Bar & Grill

Where: 1170 Manchester Rd.

Hours:Monday-Thursday 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m.-midnight, Sunday 1-10 p.m.


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