The former home of the Gator’s Tail has been revamped and now is known as Kixx on 166.

The establishment now is owned by a mother-daughter team — Jodi and Jami Pechonick.

“We reopened as Kixx on 166 (on) January 5,” said Jodi Pechonick.

Kixx on 166 is located at 609 W. Madison Ave. in Arkansas City.

Unexpected opportunity

Both of the women worked at the bar prior to taking over ownership of the establishment.

“We came to know the regulars as more than just customers,” Pechonick said. “It felt like family.”

When the previous owner closed the bar, many customers expressed concern about losing what they felt was “their bar.”

“Jami and I have had many conversations over the past six to seven years about opening a business together,” said Jodi Pechonick.

“When we first began talking, we had dreams of a coffee shop. As Gator’s closed its doors, it became evident that the opportunity to be business partners was presenting itself in a different light,” she added.

Constructive changes

It didn’t take long for the duo to realize they were in the right place at the right time to make their dreams a reality and stimulate the neighborhood economy.

“There’s just a whole new vibe to the bar,” said Jodi Pechonick. “It’s more than just a few coats of paint. It’s a brighter outlook overall.”

The paint scheme isn’t the only thing that has changed inside the bar.

“We changed the color of the pool table felt and added lights over the bar, in the pool room and outside,” she said.

The Pechonicks also replaced the bar and moved the tables around, which opened up more floor space.

New drink offerings

 

Photo by Lori Root/ Rootsquared Photography

In addition to changing some of the ambiance of the bar, there are brand-new drink offerings.

 

“We’ve revamped some of the liquor and beer offerings, hoping to encourage our customers to try something out of their comfort zone, while still providing their ‘go-to’ beverages,” Pechonick said.

On Wednesday and Saturday nights, the bar will offer karaoke.

“This new schedule adds a night for our diehard karaoke fans that other bars aren’t offering,” she said.

“We are hoping to do live music events as the weather warms up and expand our licensing so that we can start offering food items.”

Zero-tolerance policy

The Pechonicks are enjoying their new venture, knowing that the bar is a place where people from every walk of life can gather.

“We love meeting new people and hearing their stories,” said Jodi Pechonick. “We also really love that people are excited about the revamped décor, and want to contribute parts of their lives (and) memories to our ever-growing collection.”

Part of the effort to keep those memories and experiences fond is the institution of a zero-tolerance policy for inappropriate behavior.

“We have a personal presence in the business seven days a week,” Pechonick said.

“One of us is here to ensure that it remains a place where everyone can enjoy a night out with friends.”

They have even gone so far as to ask individuals who have reputations of being “problems” not to come back.

“We’re also quick to diffuse situations before they escalate,” she said.

Kixx ’80s Night

The bar will be host to a special event on March 30.

Kixx ’80s Night will be an opportunity for everyone to dig into the back of their closets, and pull out their leg warmers and acid-washed jeans.

“We’re gonna party like it’s 1985,” said Jodi Pechonick.

Starting at 9 p.m., patrons are welcome to enjoy music by Journey, WHAM, Twisted Sister, Madonna, KISS, Whitney Houston and Whitesnake, just to name a few.