New owners of Jackpot Music Hall fulfill life-long dream
Apr 14, 2012 – 12:00am
Husband and wife Eric Berman and Darla Kubala took over ownership of the Jackpot Saloon in early December. The couple previously ran a bar in San Francisco before coming to Kansas.
They’re a mom and pop operation, through and through.
Husband and wife team Eric Berman and Darla Kubala took over running the Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Mass., in December.
They’re a long way from their previous bar — a place called Tempest in San Francisco — but they’re happy to call Kansas home. It’s a story of a downtown business that was “just dive enough” for an energetic, maybe slightly hippie, bartender known as “Jayhawk.” And it’s a story of a couple’s dream to run a bar together that’s 20 years in the making, as long as they’ve been together.
Berman lived in Lawrence from 1974 to 1985, moving around a lot and working on and off in social services. He left Kansas and moved to California, eventually running his own bar and restaurant. But, he says, it was always his intention to come back to raise his now 13-year-old son and to be close to his aging father.
But Kubala was reluctant. “I’m not the girl for you if this is where you want to be,” she says she told Berman during their first visit to Lawrence early in their relationship. No matter. He’d wait. “He was hellbent,” she says.
In fall 2008, they made another trip. After a long walk to Memorial Stadium, they were hot and sweaty — not in the greatest of moods. But something about seeing the Kansas University marching band sparked a seed of change in Kubala’s mind.
“The people were so fabulous,” she says. “I said to him, ‘Wow, maybe I could be a part of this.’”
So they began looking for houses in Lawrence, and they began looking for bars.
The Bottleneck, 737 N.H., was looking for new management at the time, but Berman says he heard “through the grapevine” that a little bar and music venue called the Jackpot might just “be just dive enough” to be a perfect fit.
He says the negotiations with the owner, who also owns the Replay Lounge, 946 Mass., went well and that they still work together. Berman took the keys Dec. 6. He knew what he was getting himself into. Kind of.
“The bar business is something we know,” he says. “Lawrence is something I know but I don’t know — there’s been an awful lot of changes.”
He didn’t know the business climate in his time here in the ’70s and ’80s but he does know a lot of the businesses that were here are no more. And the mom and pop bar operation had never really done music.
When Berman talks about that last issue, he can get flustered. Rumors, he says, came out in social media he doesn’t quite understand that said he’d be changing the Jackpot, long known for bringing in national and high-profile local acts, away from its “music hall” roots.
Not so, he says. They’ve kept their booker, Kyle Gowdy, and intend to continue as a venue like before. They’ve just made a few tweaks. Call it bringing the California to Mass. Street.
“We started opening early, put in a pool table, stuff like that,” Berman says. “We just want to entice people to come in and stay.”
So far, so good, at least for the first six months or so. They’re putting in a lot of hours, but getting their feet on the ground — and getting accustomed to the downtown business climate.
“It’s all pretty interconnected — that clothing shop there, this restaurant, my bar, his bar,” he says. “If they’re doing well, we’re doing well, too.”
As Berman settles into the scene, he tells a story that emulates why he’s happy to be back — seeing his son’s teacher while bicycling downtown. It’s a little thing, he’ll admit, but it brings out the differences in people’s friendliness here.
“Lawrence is an oasis — it’s just magical,” he says. “Everyone here knows it.”
Even once-reluctant Kubala’s happy with the lower cost of living, Midwestern hospitality and an independent spirit of running the Jackpot as they see fit.
“It’s like a breath of fresh air, lucky to be here and grateful — it’s terrific for us,” she says.
Berman puts it even more concisely. “It’s good to be home.”
They’re a mom and pop operation, through and through. Husband and wife team Eric Berman and Darla Kubala took over running t
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NPC (Borderlands 3)
- 1 Background
- 2 Involvement
- 2.1 Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
- 2.2 Borderlands 3
- 3 Appearances
- 4 Skills
- 5 Quotes
- 6 Notes
- 7 Trivia
- 8 Gallery
Timothy Lawrence, formerly known as “Jack“, is a look-alike body double of Handsome Jack. Representing the Doppelganger class, “Jack” is the fifth playable character in Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, first revealed at PAX Prime 2014. Jack was added as post-release downloadable content released on November 11, 2014, for $9.99 USD/$14.40 AUS. His skill summons two Digi-Jacks to fight for him.
He reappears in the Borderlands 3 DLC Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot, where it is revealed that he has been imprisoned on The Handsome Jackpot for seven years following Handsome Jack’s death. He retains his appearance, though he has a crack on the left side of his mask, and he uses his actual name, not his alias.
According to ECHO logs in Jack’s Office and as part of “Jack'” ECHO logs granted as a personal item at the start of the game, Jack’s real name is Timothy Lawrence. He was elected to undergo the major reconstructive surgery performed by Dr. Autohn to pay off his student loans.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
“Jack” is called in as part of the Vault Hunter group that assists the real Jack on Helios.
While looting the Handsome Jackpot, the Vault Hunters hear a cry for help. Pretty Boy is sending Loaders after someone in a makeshift hideout. After defeating Pretty Boy’s Loaders, it is revealed that Timothy Lawrence is trapped in the casino. His mask has a crack in it, and his right hand has been replaced by a Hyperion-brand cybernetic one. After finding out that Timothy is also trying to get into Jack’s Tower, the Vault Hunters team up with him upon Moxxi’s approval (who still seems to openly distrust him).
Because Timothy’s cybernetic hand grants him Winning Hand access in the casino, Pretty Boy kidnaps him, and the Vault Hunters must rescue him. After killing Pretty Boy, the casino activates the “Screw Everyone I’m Rich” Protocol, which starts piloting the casino into a black hole. At first, Timothy tells the Vault Hunter to simply flee to safety, however Moxxi refuses the order and the Vault Hunter(s) agree with Moxxi that they can’t leave Timothy behind. Timothy then comes up with an idea and cuts off his cybernetic hand using his laser prison cage and gives it to the Vault Hunters to override the protocol.
In the ending of the DLC, Timothy, sans one hand, finally asks Moxxi’s why she agreed to the date that she had with “Jack” (a detail he has brought up a few times). He did so disguised as Jack, so he was confused why she agreed to have a dinner date with Jack when “He was the worst”. Moxxi admits to having known it was never Jack she met up with, otherwise she wouldn’t have shown up, something that makes Timothy happy to learn.
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
- Moxxi’s Heist of the Handsome Jackpot
Jack’s action skill summons two Digi-Jacks to fight for him, who constantly lose health and are continuously resurrected for its duration. They battle using wrist-mounted lasers, punch and kick enemies who come too close, and can serve as a distraction against foes. The Digi-Jacks can be outfitted with modifications via skills, such as a shotgun laser or even being spawned as Badasses.
Base duration for the skill is 40 seconds, and the base cooldown is 40 seconds.
For other uses, see Jack (disambiguation). 1 Background 2 Involvement 2.1 Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel 2.2 Borderlands 3 3 Appearances 4 Skills 5 Quotes 6 Notes 7 Trivia 8 Gallery Timothy Lawrence, formerly known as "Jack", is a look-alike body double of Handsome Jack. Representing the…