Pub to close until new location found

It was standing-room only on the Hops and Barrel House’s last Friday at its current Main Street location.

Photo by Emily Mentzer
It was standing-room only on the Hops and Barrel House’s last Friday at its current Main Street location.



INDEPENDENCE — Hops and Barrel House rocked for its last Friday night at its current location at 250 S. Main St., Independence.

The Ted Vaughn Blues Band had the packed house on its feet, dancing the night away. It will be the last time the band plays for the Hops and Barrel crowd at this location.

Owner John Whitmire said his lease was up, and he couldn’t agree on new terms with the new building owner.

He is sad to leave the storefront he helped build over the last two years, but said his customer base is almost more unhappy than he is.

Whitmire will reopen the pub, but isn’t sure where he will go.

“I’d like to stay in town, but there’s not anywhere,” he said. “It’s a three-block town, 10 miles out from the big city, so I have to draw from that.”

Whitmire said he has had a number of landlords in the last few months.

He had nearly worked out a leasing agreement with the former owners, but couldn’t agree on terms.

The building was purchased on Sept. 5 by Anderson and Summitt LLC, co-owned by Bodie Bemrose.

Bemrose said he isn’t sure what the future holds for the location yet.

“This is my first building that I’ve purchased in Independence, in my hometown,” he said. “I’ve been trying to play in the sandbox down there for a while.”

Bemrose said he was under the impression that Whitmire wanted to move to a larger location all along.

“He was expanding and relocating,” he said. “I thought he had a place to go.”

Whitmire said he is looking forward to something different, though he will miss the old location, which he said he has invested about $70,000 in.

“I’m kind of excited to get to open a new bar,” he said. “Hops and Barrel 2.0.”The Ted Vaughn Blues Band had the packed house on its feet, dancing the night away. It will be the last time the band plays for the Hops and Barrel crowd at this location.

Owner John Whitmire said his lease was up, and he couldn’t agree on new terms with the new building owner.

He is sad to leave the storefront he helped build over the last two years, but said his customer base is almost more unhappy than he is.

Whitmire will reopen the pub, but isn’t sure where he will go.

“I’d like to stay in town, but there’s not anywhere,” he said. “It’s a three-block town, 10 miles out from the big city, so I have to draw from that.”

Whitmire said he has had a number of landlords in the last few months.

He had nearly worked out a leasing agreement with the former owners, but couldn’t agree on terms.

The building was purchased on Sept. 5 by Anderson and Summitt LLC, co-owned by Bodie Bemrose.

Bemrose said he isn’t sure what the future holds for the location yet.

“This is my first building that I’ve purchased in Independence, in my hometown,” he said. “I’ve been trying to play in the sandbox down there for a while.”

Bemrose said he was under the impression that Whitmire wanted to move to a larger location all along.

“He was expanding and relocating,” he said. “I thought he had a place to go.”

Whitmire said he is looking forward to something different, though he will miss the old location, which he said he has invested about $70,000 in.

“I’m kind of excited to get to open a new bar,” he said. “Hops and Barrel 2.0.”



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