A final round of drinks was served ’round midnight Saturday at the Bally Hoo lounge in Perry, a ceremonial end to an era stretching back almost a century.
Nancy and J. C. Wilson, owners of the Bally Hoo since 2003, sold the property at 1223 Otley Ave. earlier this month to Yanira and Oscar Sanchez, owners of the nearby Oasis Market at 921 Railroad St.
Joining Nancy and J. C. Wilson for last call Saturday night were old friends Karen and Mark Einck of Perry and staffers Janel Kennedy, Vivi Nunez, A. J. Rivera and Lori Peninger.
“Any change is gripping,” J. C. Wilson said of his transition out of the Bally Hoo. He and Mark Einck reminisced about a Thanksgiving Eve concert by Rukkus around the year 2000 that sold 462 tickets, probably twice the number the state fire marshal would allow in the Hoo.
Called the Otley Cat in its final incarnation, the business operated for many years as the Bally Hoo and apart from a period as Overton’s Ice Cream store, the business has catered throughout its tenure to local tastes in beer, wine and spirits.
Many Perry locals recall the Bally Hoo under the ownership of Bernie Smithson of Perry, who died in 1995.
The new owners have not announced their plans for the property but intend to continue a Perry commercial tradition into a new era.