BARSTOW • One of Barstow’s premiere sports bars, Hooz on First, had a new banner out front this week: a large “for sale” sign, which owner Phil Harris said simply indicates intentions he’s had for years.
“I’ve been here for 25 years and it’s been fun but I’m just tired, burnt out. We’re open for 364 days a year,” he said.
The business has been for sale for the past 10 years and the banner is a product of a new Realtor, according to Harris.
He said he’ll stay open until he sells and expects any potential new owner to keep it running as a bar, too.
“I’ll be here until I sell or pass away,” he said. “Then it’ll be up to my kids after that.”
The 2,800-square-foot building on First Avenue offers drinks, several TVs for sports viewing and a pool table. It also has a small outdoor patio with seating and modern interior.
Hooz on First is one of a handful of bars in Barstow and is popular among locals.
“It’s the best bar in town. I don’t think he should sell it. I think he should keep it,” said Geneva Burdett, a local who said she’s there almost daily. “It’s a pretty mellow bar to sit in and most of the time you don’t have to worry.”
Recently, Harris said business has been slow due to the economy and because more people are drinking at home. Historically, the bar offered food and was at one point a “full house” during NFL season. That was 10 years ago, Harris said.
Larry Collins said he’s frequented the place for 15 years, coming in for after work cocktails with colleagues and enjoying the atmosphere.
“It’s a nice bar, quiet, the owner knows everyone and he’s a good friend,” Collins said.