Historic bar revived inside former funeral home

Developers are set to revive a historic bachelor’s club inside a former funeral home, having transformed its former chapel into an upmarket cocktail bar.

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The home of the original Owl Club in Tuscon Arizona, built in 1902

Bring Funeral Home in Tuscon, Arizona, opened in 1928 at the Scott’s building in downtown Tuscon, ushering thousands of bodies in, and out, of its doors before relocating in 2014.

Now, the somewhat macabre setting is set to get a facelift, after $2 million was invested in the building by developers planning to reopen it as an upmarket cocktail bar, retail space and arts centre, as reported by Tuscon.com.

The building is set to reopen next month and will house the Owls Club, a cocktail bar set to be headed up by bartender Bryan Eichhorst.

The concept is based on the original Owls Club, which was formed in 1886 by 13 prosperous Tucson bachelors, serving well-heeled bachelors working at the Tucson outpost of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The newly revamped Owls Club will be located in the Bring Funeral Home’s former chapel, and will feature tables made from its original pews.

Of what the bar will bring to the area co-owner Patricia Schwabe said, somewhat ironically: “We do have in downtown some areas that are dead areas”, adding that now the area “will be alive, and it will have a presence.”

The Owls Club will feature a list of “complex” cocktails, a selection of Old World wines and eight beer taps alongside a 100-strong whiskey list that will include everything from Buffalo Trace Benchmark bourbon at $2 a shot to a 34-year old Port Ellen single malt at $6,000 a bottle.

The bar joins a growing list of bars in London that have unusual former uses, including public lavatories (Cellar Door), disused air raid shelters (Cahoots) and a multi-storey car parks (Frank’s Café).

This isn’t the first time that the world of wine and spirits has collided with the funeral industry. In 2014 a funeral parlour in Florida opened an on-site wine cellar in order to offer mourners “a different way to grieve”, offering wine tastings during its services.

 

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