The story of Where Else Bar begins in the spring of 1997….
After buying an existing bar at 304 West State St. (Kazoos), the owners wanted to put their own spin on the current location. So on Wed, August 20th, 1997, Where Else Bar was born. The name was a simple play on words, “Hey, where do you want to go tonight? Where else would you rather be?” But a big part of the name also derived from the fact that we wanted to serve food that you couldn’t find at any other bar around. That’s right, Where Else Bar used to serve food! A few of the menu favorites were a fried bologna sandwich, gyro, and our famous Chicago style 12″ hotdog (Home of the footlong!). The layout of the bar was also completely redone the following summer in 1998. Did you know that the DJ booth used to be up front where the old coat room is currently (yes, we actually had a coat check during the winter!)? There was a catwalk for dancers right off the booth and the dance floor used to be in the middle of the bar.
Nowadays, no one questions the actual name but back in the day, many people told us that we needed a different name for the bar to become popular. It was tough in the early days and people almost had us convinced (we almost changed it to State Street Tavern), but we held our ground and started to gain momentum. Did you know we used to have live bands on Fri/Sat nights? Times were good, Purdue football was on a roll (anyone heard of Drew Brees?), and the bar was packed. Did you know Kyle Orton was a guest bartender at Where Else Bar?
The original owners decided to expand and purchased the Wabash Yacht Club in 2001 (the purchase was originally scheduled for 9/11/01 and was put off for a week). We had great times at both locations for a few more years and then decided it was time for more adventures. We sold both bars in the summer of 2004. Our time away was fun and exciting. But as fate would have it, the opportunity arose again and the original owners (plus some friends!) bought it back 5 years later on Aug 1, 2009.
So if you have never heard our story there it is. Our 2nd time around the block (Don’t call it a comeback!) has been equally as fun and we hope to have even more as the semesters roll by. So if you are an old school regular or a new one, stop on by, introduce yourself and there’s a great chance the next round is on us!
Cause you know… Where Else would you rather be?