Meet Your Merchant: No bull: 'Rocky' inspires man to open bar

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

While The Blue Bull is among the newest additions to downtown Carson City, the idea for the bar is one co-owner Terry Poor has been considering for years.

Poor spent more than 20 years in marketing and sales, including for Swift Communications, parent company of the Nevada Appeal. In January, Poor said he found himself out of a job, but with a new sense of freedom to pursue his dream of opening a bar.

And while he said it may sound cheesy, Terry said his inspiration to open The Blue Bull came from a New Year's Day viewing of "Rocky."

"I was thinking to myself, so Sylvester Stallone could write a movie and go to Hollywood and say, 'Here's this movie, but the only way you're going to get it is make me the star,'" Poor said. "If he had the guts to do that, then I sure as heck have to have the guts to open a bar."

That day, Poor said he called real estate agents to start the process of finding a location. Eleven months later, Poor and his wife, Lara, opened The Blue Bull over Thanksgiving weekend.

The bar specializes in mixed drinks, including century-old classics - milk punch, anyone? - and offers more than 40 beers plus a pool table and dart board. They do not serve food and plan to offer gaming in the spring.

"We specialize in cocktails, but we have everything," Poor said. "We're basically a neighborhood bar, but with more choices."

It also has an animatronic blue bull mounted on the wall, overlooking the bar, which features wood flooring and the original brick walls from its previous occupant, an antique store.

The bar is in the former location of Heiss' Steak and Seafood House.

Poor said he and Lara are getting used to the challenges of running a bar, which still has a number of "gremlins" to work out.

"I got stuck here opening night," he said. "My front door lock wouldn't work so I had to stay the night until the locksmith came at 8:30 in the morning. So my next night I couldn't stay up as late because my body was exhausted."

Poor said he had been going to seminars and conventions for bar owners for years, mulling his dream bar but delaying it until the opportune time, which happened shortly after watching "Rocky" on New Years Day.

"I made the full commitment at that moment and then I lost my job three days later," Poor said. "So there was no turning back at that point. This is what we're doing.

"I think I was born for this."


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