| The Hoot
Tapping into History
From the Tap Room, to Tif’s, and now 1851 Undergound,
this restaurant is full of history
By Leigh Rice
For more than six decades, students and alumni
of William Woods University and Westminster
College have walked, and even stumbled,
up and down the brick steps leading into the
basement of the Palace Hotel. The walls and
tables, with names carved years ago, serve as a
reminder of days gone by.
It seems that the basement of the Palace Hotel
will always be known as the “Tap Room” to
townies and older alumni, “Tifs” to recent
alums, and now “1851” to current college
students who are experiencing the bar for
the first time. The name itself emphasizes the
nostalgia that will always linger on the dance
floor that was once an old boiler room.
The 134-year-old building that houses 1851
Underground is the second oldest building
in Fulton. When the building was originally
constructed, James F. Knight hosted a grand
opening ball; gentlemen could pay $2 for a ticket
that would ensure entrance for his lady(ies).
For many years the Palace Hotel was the
center of the social life of Callaway County,
there being held many weddings, parties, and
receptions in the velvet draped parlors,” Martha
Ogles, an owner in the ’60s, wrote in her essay, “How to Live Like a King at
Now 65 years old, the Tap Room began as a bar underneath the Palace Hotel.
It was once advertised that customers could buy Budweiser on tap for five
cents. It was on Sept. 4, 1947, that Loren Burns received a 5 percent beer
license and announced his intention to open the Tap Room Restaurant
Over the years, the Tap Room saw many owners, including Ron Lindenbusch,
Judi Arnett, Fred March, Mark (Archie) Archamault, Chris Clinton, Lance
Lange and Brandon Tiefenauer, but the appearance didn’t change.
We always tried to keep the original look, but incorporate new technology
with it, such as flat screen TVs, a sound system, new coolers, etc.,” said
Tiefenauer, a 2009 William Woods University alumnus.
I have always been a fan of the old look. It was also easier to maintain the
older, rustic look than to overhaul everything to modernize it.”
Lindsay Pace, a 2005 WWU graduate who earned her MBA in 2010 and now
serves on the Fulton City Council, has fond memories of Tif’s, both as a
customer and as a bartender.
I watched the Cardinals win the 2006 World Series there. In 2011, I watched
Albert (Pujols) hit three home runs in the World Series. There were always
fun theme parties; I remember dressing up like ‘the dude’ for a Big Lebowski
night. Bartending on Alumni Weekend was always crazy, busy
Tiefenauer and his family purchased the establishment in 2005 and renamed
it Tif’s Ugly Mug. In 2012 Tiefenauer moved his business to the Landing
in St. Louis.
While the Tap Room has always served as a bar, its survival has often been
questionable due to the fate the Palace has faced. At one time, the building
was at risk of meeting a wrecking ball before the city decided to save
The Palace Hotel as it was seen in the 1950s. It was the place for entertainment for many years. (
Photo courtesy of Kingdom of
Callaway Historical Society)