A piece of the past is now re-opened to the public. After a year of renovations, The Copper Bar is back and open for business. Hoping to help revitalize the downtown area, this establishment has been updated to pay homage to it’s famous historic past.According to their website, “The Copper Bar lineage began in 1928 when its namesake antique copper bar was constructed for The Marine Room Lounge in Terre Haute House III hotel which was located at the Crossroads of America on 7th Street and Wabash Avenue. In addition to The Marine Room, the Terre Haute House was home to the famous Mayflower Room, Prairie Room and the hotel frequently hosted many notorious “Sin City” era dignitaries such as Al Capone and John Dillinger.
Following the end of Prohibition (and probably before!), the angled corner seat at The Marine Room’s signature copper bar was the seat of choice for Dillinger since it provided the best escape route through an adjacent private lounge room which included secret door access to tunnels running below Wabash Avenue. Dillinger famously quoted that he would not rob a bank in Terre Haute because he would be railroaded trying to escape, but he also reportedly had an “understanding” with local officials that he would “behave” if left alone on social visits.
Relocating a block from its original birthplace, The Copper Bar added a chapter to the already rich hospitality history of 810 Wabash Avenue. Constructed in 1870, the building’s design style is architecturally significant as the city’s best surviving example of small scale commercial Italianate design. The building has lived most of existence as a tavern, restaurant and night club with such notable known establishments as The Flamingo Club, the Office Bar, the Chase, Benedicts, Frog’s Bistro and now The Copper Bar.”The new renovations include new flooring, an updated ac/heating unit (no more sweating it out upstairs), updated fixtures, brand new bathrooms, new tables and chairs, an updated food and drink menu, and much more. The interior gives off a warm glow with new Edison lighting fixtures and historic images fill the walls of the space taking you back in time.Some of the food favorites have stayed the same, but the revamped menu has a little bit of everything to please all patrons. My personal favorites are the mozzarella sticks and the adult lunchbox for lighter fare. As far as entrees go, you can’t go wrong with the Certified Black Angus Steak Burger or the Colossal Copper Salad.Some fun new additions to The Copper Bar drink menu are that they are now offering signature cocktails: The Copper Dragon, Reposado Old Fashioned, Copper Smash, The Razzle-Dazzle, Blackberry Old Fashioned, Marcella’s Pear Mule, Getting Picky With It (pickle juice margarita), and a Fuego-Rita. They also have Truly on tap for all you spritz lovers out there.It is a great spot for lunch with your co-workers, perfect for happy hour downtown, and a nice spot to watch the game with your friends. The Copper Bar is open Monday-Thursday 11:30am-12am, Friday-Saturday 11:30am-1:30am, and Sunday 12pm-12am. I am excited to see where General Manager Nick Zwerner takes the Copper Bar in the near future and we are happy that this iconic spot, is here to stay!