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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

A round of changes come to Wyatt Bar

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Trent Lane, manager of The Oasis in Wyatt, poses in the bar.
WYATT -- A lot of changes have been made at The Oasis since Vallorie and Timothy Jones assumed ownership of the bar, formerly known as the Wheelhouse, last August.

"It's just about keeping an old hometown bar open," said Trent Lane, manager. "It's important to have things close by when you're in a really rural area like us."

One of those things is entertainment. On Friday and Saturday nights, there is a big dance party. Lane said there is a deejay on Saturday, while Friday is "oldies night," where a deejay plays music, but patrons can also bring in music.

"It's kind of a mellow event," he said. Soon, Lane hopes to add live bands to the entertainment lineup.

A VIP room is located on the edge of the dance floor, which is available for six to eight people on weekend nights.

"That's gone over real well," said Lane.

But music isn't the only entertainment. Lane said he and the owners like to give the bar a family atmosphere. They are working to promote it as a sort of community center as well, for people to book parties for birthdays and anniversaries and other events. It will expand hours to accommodate events, he added.

The Oasis has pool tables and other gaming machines, such as a dart board. It also sponsors events such as a recent Super Bowl Party, karaoke, a laser shoot and other events.

Plans are in the works to expand the services. "By the end of this month, we hope to have our kitchen open," said Lane. The kitchen menu will include fish, hamburgers, pizza and chicken wings, among other items. It would serve the entire community, he said, because now, residents usually have to travel to Charleston or Cairo, Ill., to get food after 6 p.m.

Since the change in ownership, Lane said the crowd has changed. "A lot of individuals who didn't usually socialize found themselves together," he said, noting all ages, races and genders now frequent the bar.

Although identification is required and patrons after 10 p.m. must be 21, minors are allowed earlier, if they are accompanied with family members.

Security has also heightened since the Jones' took over.

"Our patrons are looking for a fun and safe environment," said Lane. "We will do whatever we need to ensure that."

So, an arrangement has been made for the sheriff's department to do routine patrolling. On the weekends, Lane continued, patrons are patted down at the door and waved down with a metal wand. Anyone who causes a disturbance will be banned; and the management will also press charges for any illegal activity. There is surveillance inside and outside the Oasis.

Support has been "overwhelming" since the change in ownership, said Lane. "Everyone has been really positive."

He partially attributes that to the "homey" and welcoming feel.

"We try to make it a nice, friendly environment," said Lane. Employees frequently take pictures of patrons enjoying their time and post it on a "Wall of Fame," bulletin board, as well as the bar's Web site.

"It just makes people feel welcome," he said. "People like to see their pictures up lots of times."

Adjacent to the bar is a liquor store, which Lane said carries all types of spirits, in addition to cigarettes and other snacks.

The Oasis is located at 104 S. Main in Wyatt. The bar opens at 4 p.m. every day but Sunday, and the package liquor drive-thru from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, noon to 10 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It's Web site is www.wyattoasis.com, and the phone number is 675-3500.