Early Thursday morning, in the middle of the night, ReBar owner Derek Stonebarger drove to the former Davy’s Locker, hoping to retrieve the shuttered bar’s iconic sign from impending doom.
Stonebarger says he was “trying to sleep and just couldn’t,” after hearing that the classic neon fish had been permanently removed from its 49-year home. “I was like, there’s no chance, but I gotta get out of bed and see if it’s there. There was a huge pile of garbage in the parking lot, and I saw remnants of [the sign] in the bottom.”
Stonebarger hauled the pieces away, and now, the bar owner and vintage champion says he has plans to resurrect it. If all goes well, it might even end up in his next establishment, a restaurant on Main Street, just a few doors down from ReBar.
“I’m a big history buff, and I know it’ll come back to life,” he says, though the project won’t be easy. “It is cut up, but they cut straight lines, and it can be put back together.”
He’s got big ideas for Davy at his upcoming restaurant and “tasting room,” tentatively dubbed the Nevada Taste Site. Stonebarger plans to exclusively offer Nevada beers—32 draft handles, to be exact—along with wine and locally sourced food, plus a backyard space called Patio 51.
The sign will fit into the restaurant’s overarching Nevada theme. “My idea is to restore [the sign] and make all the draft handles come out of it,” he tells the Weekly.
He’s likely to launch a fundraising campaign to assist with the sign repairs. “I’ll probably have to do an IndieGoGo or something where I can pre-sell bar tickets, or [people can] buy a bar tab like they did to help me get ReBar open.”
And if the fish-tap-hybrid doesn’t work out, Stonebarger says he’ll donate it to the Neon Museum. The important thing, he says, is that Davy, or his pieces, are safe.
“Everybody’s bashing whoever did it, but things happen,” he said. “I’m just glad I have it. It’s in our possession and it’ll be resurrected. It’s not in good shape; it takes some imagination, [but] I think it’ll be pretty amazing when it’s put back together.”