The Hoot | 13
At first, it seemed there were no prospective buyers, and city officials
considered turning the old building into the county jail. The building was
also considered for the new city hall before local contractor, Mike Doerhoff,
along with Bill Backer) purchased and restored the building back to the
original look designed by Fred Bell.
David McDaniel of Century 21, purchased the building in 2004 and restored
it to its former beauty. The Palace Hotel now serves as an office building.
However, it seems the tavern in the basement will always be a place for
people to sit, grab a burger, have a cold beer and write their names into
During each Alumni Weekend, former students can be found wandering
around the bar, looking for their names carved so many years ago.
Current owner of 1851 Underground, Bryan Henneke, a 2009 Westminster
College graduate, thinks back to his college days.
The bar will always be the old Tap Room, no matter what name is on the
sign out front,” he said. “We really don’t want to change anything about
the bar, except add a few more items on the menu that people in the local
community aren’t able to get at other restaurants.”
Henneke is eager for William Woods and Westminster Alumni Weekend.
Open during regular hours, Tuesday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–1:30 a.m., 1851
Underground is ready to sell old- fashioned burgers and other menu items
to alumni who will most likely be looking around for the names they carved
once upon a time.
The bricks and carving into the tables have always been a tradition,” said
Tiefenauer. “Everyone always wants to make their mark in life; why not start
on a table while you’re in college?”
Top) An old newspaper article tells about the Tap Room. Owner Judy Arnett was starting a petition to save the tavern. (
Courtesy of Kingdom Callaway Society
Bottom Left) Students still go out for a good time at “the Tap Room.” Alumni Mandi LaRue, Chris Pellerin, Jordan Murray and Dustin West are all smiles in the historic restaurant.
Photo courtesy of Dustin West
Bottom Right) The “Tap Room” as it looks today. It is now known as “1851 Underground.” (
Photo by Kimberly Wall