You would have to look a long way into the past for the last time the local “bar scene” took on such a new look in Hillsboro.
Someone who has not been here in a few years would have a tough time finding a special stool or table in their old favorite establishment. In that case, however, they could find a new favorite on the sidewalk outside of the brand new Hillsboro Brewing Company on the corner of Water Avenue and Mill Street.
The popular restaurant and bar features a brew that is a direct descendant to the original Hillsboro Pale beer that was brewed and sold locally in the town’s earlier years.
In addition to bringing back history, owners Snapper and Kim Verbsky recently brought things right up to date with an outdoor restaurant area and beer garden just a few steps from its front door. Think Madison, on a slightly smaller scale.
Right across Water Avenue, a long-time bar and grill with as many former names as owners, is close to another change.
Currently undergoing a facial reconstruction, 8 Ball Break may soon be known as Center Ice Sports Bar and Grill. Stacie Billings has applied for a Combination Class B Beer and Liquor Retail License with the City of Hillsboro.
That application will be reviewed for approval at the Hillsboro City Council meeting Aug. 19 at 7 p.m.
Just to add another interesting aspect to this local game of “musical bars,” another business at that location, The Big Nickel, has moved to the former location of the Tiger Town tavern, and been renamed Nickel Rich Bar and Grill by owner Phillip Nicholson.
If you’re keeping a scorecard, there is still one more move pending in the game.
The currently closed Friends Restaurant and Bar is planning to reopen with the addition of a stage and a comedy format for those who enjoy laughter along with their food and liquid refreshments.
Of course, the old standby, Station 2 Pub, inside the Firemen’s Community Center, is still a favorite with folks stopping by for a quick refreshment, along with an update on town news.
The backbone of that business has long been the many civic and personal events in the Community Center that provide plenty of thirsty folks with a chance to visit the big, curved bar in an attached location.
All of this has made the relatively new Beezers Restaurant and Bar in the Hotel Hillsboro seem like a long-time establishment. And, even there, a new outdoor beer garden behind the lounge has proven very popular.
Now that you have an updated road map of local watering holes, the only thing left to say is “Cheers!”