Originally opened as a bar during 2008, Geno’s closed when the pandemic started. The former bar will be reopening this month.
They will not be selling alcohol but will have a certified server available to serve alcohol brought into the establishment, owner Randy Treasure said.
Geno’s will host any type of event, Treasure said. Throughout the past, they have had events such as sorority parties, comedy shows and many other types of events.
“Basically, everything is the same,” Treasure said. “We’ve got our same ‘70s type atmosphere, light-up dance floor and all that, so you’ll be able to come in, bring in your own music, whatever you like. If you want food or alcohol or whatever, you can bring that in.”
Treasure decided to close during 2020 because the pandemic hit and there were a lot of uncertainties, he said. Treasure worked at Dover Barber during the week, and Geno’s was his weekend job. He said they also had trouble finding employees during the pandemic, which also contributed to Geno’s closing.
Truman students called him to ask if they were going to reopen, but the liquor license for the establishment had expired, delaying the opening.
What makes Geno’s different is the music and the atmosphere, Treasure said.
“I think what makes it unique is the music we play,” Treasure said. “I mean today’s music you can go anywhere and hear, but most of our crowd is Truman students, and I was really surprised that so many of the younger students knew the type of music we played …”
Geno’s has a light-up dance floor straight out of “Saturday Night Fever” and looks like a typical club from the ’70s, Treasure said.
Truman professor Sergio Escobar said he used to go to Geno’s sometimes before it closed. They used to have salsa nights once or twice a month for a few years. These events were very successful and the bar was always packed, Escobar said.
Escobar said he really enjoyed the music and that Treasure was a very nice man. Geno’s was his favorite bar, he said.
“Two things are very special about that bar. First the design, right? Like a disco bar, and second, the music. It’s the only bar that used to play music from the ‘60s and the ‘70s, so that’s unique,” Escobar said.
Escobar also said Geno’s was unique because different people, both from the communities of Milan and Truman were able to interact, people who don’t typically cross paths.
Parents enjoyed coming to the bar during homecoming, Treasure said. During the future, he hopes students will bring their parents to Geno’s for graduation parties or other events.
One time, Treasure said a student brought their mom into a bar where he was working, and he recognized her as someone who had worked with him during the ‘80s.
Treasure has lived in the Kirksville area most of his life and attended Truman in the ‘70’s.
“Back when I was younger around here when it was Northeast Missouri State, it was a lot more of a party school than it is now. You had kids out partying Wednesday night or Thursday night [or if] it was a big night or whatever. Now I don’t see near as many Truman kids out as I used to. I know enrollment’s down, but … with the virus going on, you just don’t see as many kids moving around as you did, but back in Northeast Missouri days, they partied a lot.”
Treasure thinks students that go to Truman are busier and more serious. He also cited rising alcohol costs as a reason students might be more hesitant to go out. Being in the bar and nightclub business most of his life, Treasure has noticed that kids also get out later and buy alcohol at places other than bars. This is why many of the bars in Kirksville are only open a few days a week, Treasure said.
Their first event is scheduled for February, Treasure said.