Springfield residents in search of a new, local venue to relax and have a few drinks with friends can expect to see a new bar opening downtown, at the former location of The Front Porch.
Located at 310 South Ave., Scotch & Soda is a small venue with a big city feel and is expected to open by mid-October, according to owners Andrew Heilman and Joshua Widner.
Heilman, an MSU graduate, hopes the opening will be a “resurgence,” generating a fresh excitement and attracting new customers to the downtown area.
“We don’t care who you are, what you drink or what you’re about — just come in and have a good time,” Widner said.
The bar’s decor — similar to that of a 1930s scotch lounge — accompanied with the tagline, “a modern spin on classic cocktails and gourmet bar eats,” neatly wraps up the venue’s essence and tops it off with a classy bow.
Scotch & Soda will feature two different happy hours. The first, spanning the hours of 5-9 p.m., is geared toward a more professional crowd who may be looking to enjoy a cocktail or two after a long day’s work. The owners say prices will be similar to those of the surrounding bars downtown.
The late night happy hour, from 11 p.m.-1 a.m., will feature $3 wells, $5 calls, and tall boy specials for those students who want to drink without breaking the bank.
Providing customers with an extensive cocktail menu, Scotch & Soda’s selection is described by the owners as very progressive for the Springfield area.
“I don’t think anyone else is near touching what Josh has come up with as far as the creation of the cocktails,” Heilman said. “We do a lot of in-house infusions, we make our own simple syrups, our own tinctures, we’re barrel-aging cocktails … our cocktail menu will change every week or couple weeks and the cool thing is we’re young, we’re our own bosses and really, we can do whatever we want,” Widner said smiling.
“I feel like we will see the trends way faster than anybody else does and I think we’ll be able to roll with them and change things up when we want.”
Although there will be no live music at this venue, it is equipped with 10.2 surround sound, so it’s safe to say the music will be loud. Both owners say they plan to fill their bar with an eclectic mixture of genres, spanning all decades, citing examples like The Black Keys, Phoenix, and Frank Sinatra.
“Our music is going to be pretty important to us,” Widner explained. “We’re going to run it through an iPad behind the bar through an Apple Air system so we can kind of read our crowd and change up the music."
“It’s awkward being a young kid, wanting to have a good drink and not liking your atmosphere, so to be able to roll with the punches and tailor ourselves to our hour-by-hour demographic will be kind of key for us.”
As of now, Scotch & Soda will have a small menu with sandwiches, dip and spread options.
Heilman and Widner have a few long-term goals for their new business, including the possibility of liquor lockers and a new front facade, featuring a glass garage door that would open up into outdoor seating, allowing the bar to spill out into the streets on those warm summer nights.
These young entrepreneurs, both 24-years-old, spoke of their youth as an asset and view it as an advantage to connect with the younger crowd that will frequent their bar.
They have not allowed any pictures inside the venue and are hoping their grand opening will be a big shock and awe for community members. A definite opening date is coming soon.