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 7thStreet 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.
As a proud caretaker of the Marine Room Lounge legacy , The Copper Bar takes pride in its own home town heritage and we thank you for your patronage and for adding your own chapter to our story!
TERRE HAUTE HOUSE
Terre Haute House III remained open from 1928 to July 4, 1970 and remained closed for hotel operations until 2006, when Greg Gibson acquired the property to revive the recurring tradition of hotel redevelopment at this site.
Through these efforts, the 4thgeneration hotel bearing the Terre Haute House name opened in 2007 as The Terre Haute House IV Hilton Garden Inn. The rebirth of the hotel location at the historic 7thStreet and Wabash Avenue intersection was critical to downtown Terre Haute and served as the catalyst to re-energizing new development and businesses, including a new life for the antique Marine Room bar to become The Copper Bar at 810 Wabash Avenue.
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.
Following in the footsteps of prior businesses at this location, the revitalization and renovation of 810 Wabash continued the antique bar’s 1928 heritage with the birth of The Copper Bar on April 17, 2006.