PROHIBITION ENDS, CHEVY CHASE INN OPENS
Chevy Chase Inn is Lexington's oldest bar, dating all the way back to 1933. The bar opened shortly after Prohibition ended and hasn’t changed much in 83 years. CCI has always been a neighborhood watering hole where family, friends and strangers alike have gathered to tell lies, knock back cold beers, sip the stiffest drinks in town and enjoy some of the best live music going. You might even catch a game of cribbage or two.
For 83 years this bar has seen a lot of celebrations, it’s fair share of wakes and a hell of a lot of crazy night!
Have you heard the joke about a horse walking into Chevy Chase Inn?
The New Stewards Of Chevy Chase Inn
In October of 2014 we (Bill Farmer, Jr. of Farmer's Jewelry along with Kevin Heathcoat & Will Pieratt from Bourbon n' Toulouse) discovered that CCI was for sale and the owners had two potential buyers for the best dive bar in town. Unfortunately, one group wanted to turn “The Dump” into a high end wine bar and the other group planned to gut the building and convert the 100+ year old farm house into a retail space. When we discovered that the bar might be no more, we knew that we couldn't let Chevy Chase Inn die! We decided that our only choice was to take out a loan we couldn't afford to save a bar that Lexington couldn't afford to lose. After we figured out a way to scrounge up just enough money for a down payment, we were off the races. As the fifth stewards of this great institution, our goal upon purchase was to change as little as possible. We bought the bar because it is almost perfect, right?!?!?!
The Three Changes We Made At CCI
1.) We cleaned the bathrooms, but left the squirrel of course.
2.) We added craft beer to our offerings.
3.) We put a roof over the back patio and added a TV.
The Unexpected Changes
There were a few unexpected and rather expensive improvements that we had to make upon purchase that were not in our original budget. Such things as making the stage and women’s restroom floors (somewhat) level, replacing flooring in some areas and paying for our bar tabs. It took every dime we had and then some to complete all of the improvements. Upon completion of the patio the three of us sat at the bar and had a shot or three of Maker’s and relished in the fact that we had made all the improvements that we were going to make.
And Then We Found Some Pictures
During the cleaning of a long lost storage room we found boxes of incredible pictures from years gone by. They were all entertaining, but two of the pictures really struck a cord. They showed an incredible neon sign that used to watch over patrons as they walked in the bar and later stumbled backed out. We instantly fell in love with that amazing old sign and knew we had to bring the front of the building back to it's former glory.
At the time Chevy Chase Inn was just a beer bar. It wasn't until 1960 that Doc Robinson was able to obtain a liquor license for CCI.
Here's Where You Come In
We bought a struggling business, but are loving every minute of it! Each month after making our loan payments, paying utility bills, insurance, our own bar tabs, payroll, etc, we have made an average of $2.73 of profit each day. We're grateful that we haven't lost any money, but we are pretty tapped out financially. With that being said, we passionately believe this sign is something that will truly enhance the Chevy Chase shopping corridor and will once again become an icon of Lexington. The three of us are digging deep into our personal piggy banks for this project, but we are going to need Lexington's help! We have worked hard with Ruggles Sign to come up with a design that pays homage to years gone by. We love what they have created and hope that Lexingtonians will as well. This sign should be over looking Euclid Ave. by the beginning of August if we can raise enough money. Please donate if you can. If you can't donate money, but still want to help then please share this on social media and tell your friends about the best little dive bar in Lexington!
Cheers, Lexington. Thank you for your support!
Kevin Heathcoat Bill Farmer, Jr. Will Pieratt
Risks and challenges
Every project comes with risks and our biggest risk is not having enough capital to create the sign at this time. This sign will get made. If we don't reach our Kickstarter goal then we will create this sign in a handful of years from now when we can pay for it all by ourselves. The other main risk is that the building is over 100 years old. We have to make some electrical updates before we hang the sign. This shouldn't be a big deal, but you never know when dealing with a building this old.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)