‘The Office’: How Kevin Malone Bought the Bar at the End of the Series

Kevin Malone is a fan favorite on The Office, both in real life and the fictional universe where the mock documentary aired. By the end of the series, Kevin no longer worked at Dunder Mifflin. Instead, he became the owner of a local bar. Brian Baumgartner, who played the famed chili spiller on The Office, finally revealed how Kevin acquired that bar in the end.

Brian Baumgartner as Kevin Malone in 'The Office'
Brian Baumgartner | Byron Cohen/NBC/NBU Photo Bank

Kevin Malone was one of Dunder Mifflin’s accountants on ‘The Office’ 

Baumgartner brought Kevin Malone to life in the American version of The Office. The character is based on Keith Bishop from the original British version.

Like Keith, Kevin lacked solid communication skills, but they both had a passion for music. When he wasn’t crunching the numbers for Dunder Mifflin, Kevin was playing the drums and singing in the band Scrantonicity 2.

Baumgartner is keeping fan’s love of The Office alive thanks to his two podcasts, An Oral History of The Office and The Office Deep Dive. Each episode, Baumgartner speaks with former castmates, writers, and producers from the show, giving fans a behind-the-scenes look. He recently broke down the fan theory that says Kevin always planned to get fired and buy a bar. 

The ‘Kevin Malone is a genius’ theory 

Kevin Malone might come off as one of the dumbest characters on The Office, but one fan theory says the accountant is something of a genius. After all, he did win the World Series of Poker bracelet in the $2500 No-Limit Deuce-Seven Draw in 2002.

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But that’s not the only thing that demonstrates Kevin’s smarts. “Throughout the series, every secret relationship was first figured out by Kevin,” a fan on Reddit pointed out. According to this fan, Kevin pretended to be dumb in so he could take full advantage of his newfound fame as Dunder Mifflin’s “lovable buffoon” after the documentary aired.

“He makes up Keleven, a fake number, to get himself fired,” the fan theory continues. “Kevin has been saving up money for his entire career, and getting fired for Keleven gave him severance. [He] takes his savings, plus severance, and uses it to buy a bar.”

Kevin Malone used the drink credits he accrued from fans to buy the bar in ‘The Office’

“What are your thoughts on the theory that Kevin is a secret genius running an embezzlement operation at [Dunder Mifflin] and he uses that money to buy the bar in the finale episode?” a fan asked during the “Sweet 16” episode of The Office Deep Dive With Brian BaumgartnerAccording to The Office actor, Kevin being a secret genius was “not in [their] thoughts” while creating the show. “It certainly was not in mine, playing it.” 

The idea in part behind Kevin’s bar, per Baumgartner and showrunner Greg Daniels, was that Kevin did become a fan-favorite after the documentary aired. As a local celebrity, Kevin would get free drinks everywhere he went. 

“Part of it was based on my own experience in life, by the way,” Baumgartner added. “[Kevin] had a gigantic credit because he couldn’t consume all of the drinks he was offered at this bar, which is how he obtained the [establishment].”