A pair of bison heads gaze out from behind the gray marble bar running down the left side of Beuchert’s Saloon. That’s Mike on the left and Ike on the right. The surrounding decor at this newly opened Capitol Hill eatery and bar is equally turn-of-the-century. Wooden stools clack when pulled back on the oaken floorboards; acid-stained mirrors reflect hazy images; and pounded tin stands in for wallpaper in the front room. Custom-designed light fixtures in the style of the Progressive era cast a warm sepia tone.
The saloon’s history stretches back to the late 1800s, when prominent local businessman John Ignatius Beuchert opened the doors. During the Prohibition era, the space was converted into a gramophone shop fronting for a speakeasy. After the 21st Amendment was passed, it became a bar-restaurant again, until its closure in 1935.
Now Beuchert’s Saloon has been revived and reimagined by three partners—Brendan McMahon, Nathan Berger and August Paro. The latter is a former Hollywood set builder with credits on Dr. Dre videos and TV dramas, so he oversaw the design and decoration.
“We wanted it to have a little sex appeal,” says Paro. “There are no televisions here because that’s not what this place is. We wanted people to feel like they had stepped into a time machine.”