Owning bars is in Josh Hallett’s blood, so it’s no surprise that when he discovered an old, 7,000-square-foot saloon in need of renovation, he jumped at the chance to buy it with his business partner—his mom. After recruiting his sister as bar manager, the family spent months rehabbing what used to be the Silver Spoke Saloon, picking out all-weather chairs for the outdoor beer garden, lining the brick and corrugated-iron walls with flat-screen TVs, and clearing space for the dance floor by unleashing a two-story Roomba.
Once the Halletts’ new bar The Alley, was complete, they set out to cultivate a festive atmosphere. Bartenders fill massive, 32- and 64-ounce mason jars with sudsy Budweisers, which weekend-revelers and Cornhusker-clad coeds can nurse on a deck overlooking M Street. The calendar of events keeps regulars coming back for beer-pong nights, live music, and theme parties