Stephen Carlino and Dennis Fee signed a sale agreement at the end of last month for Uncles, whose owner, Mort Wernik, died last spring.
The pair filed the application for a liquor license last week, and the sale will be finalized once the state approves the application, which Carlino said could take anywhere from two to seven months.
Residents who live within close proximity to the bar will have 30 days to comment to the state on the license application, as does the Washington West Civic Association, but Carlino said he doesn’t anticipate any objections.
Carlino said he and Fee, who were married in California in 2008, have been thinking about purchasing the 26-year-old establishment, at 1220 Locust St., since Wernik’s passing.
“Unfortunately Mort passed away and after he did, we contacted the estate last summer about this possibility and then it’s taken a while for them to get done what they needed to do and for us to hammer out an agreement,” he said. “I’ve always wanted a little corner bar, and I’ve always liked Uncles a great deal. It’s a real nice bar with a real nice clientele.”
Carlino said he frequents Uncles but joked that he’s “going to have to find a new favorite bar because I don’t like to drink in my own bars.”
He added he doesn’t plan to make any major changes in the near future.
“People keep asking what I want to do with it, and really the first thing I want to do is just leave it alone,” he said. “I want to get in and see how it runs and what seems to work and what doesn’t work, and then over time maybe start making some changes.”
He noted that the name will likely stay the same, but didn’t rule out a name change further down the line.
“It is my plan to keep it as ‘Uncles’ for now,” Carlino said. “I have bounced around some different names with people, but I think for now we’re going to leave it as Uncles. It’s been Uncles for 25 years.”
He also hopes to retain the current staff.
“I know pretty much all the staff there, so it is my intention to ask them all to stay on. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some changes in the future, if some people might leave because I’m not the former owner and it’s a new ballgame, but I do want to ask them to stay on and give us a chance.”
Jen Colletta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.