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Rejuvenated Hardy's Bar expected to open this fall in downtown Elkhart

By late this year, downtown Elkhart could have two more places to enjoy adult beverages, including one that will lean towards country music.

Renovations to the former Olive Or Twist, 610 S. Main St., have been underway since the winter months.

At this point, the owner, Jan Hardy, is awaiting transfer of an alcohol permit, which could happen Oct. 16 when representatives of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission meet to consider the request.

Bar manager Buddy Huffman said he believes the rejuvenated Hardy’s Bar could open within a week or so afterward.

Jan Hardy is a brother of the late Charles “Dude” Hardy, who owned and operated the tavern as Hardy’s Bar for nearly a decade before he died in 2005.

After his death, the bar was then sold to a couple who operated it as the Olive Or Twist until a few years ago.

Huffman said retaining the name, Hardy’s Bar, is a way to honor “Dude” Hardy, who was a former car dealer and U.S. Army veteran.

Huffman said he believes the bar will feature country music, but won’t be strictly locked into that genre.

He also said he’d like to have an open mic night and occasional live bands.

Huffman said there are plans to install a kitchen, but that will happen after the bar opens for business.

Other changes: The bathrooms have been renovated. Old, beer-stained carpet has been removed and the original wood floor has been refinished.

Huffman said the tavern will include pool tables and a new sound system.

The bar is about a block south of New Paradigm Brewing Co., which opened in the fall of 2013 and Cubby Bear Pizza, a restaurant that opened this summer and has a closed-off tavern.

A tavern featuring country music would differentiate itself from the other downtown establishments that sell alcohol. Those include Iechyd Da Brewing Company, New Paradigm Brewing Co., The Vine, Cubby Bear Pizza and 523 Tap and Grill along Main Street, as well as McCarthy’s on the Riverwalk, just east of the river from there, and Bowly’s Crystal Bar, located south of the railroad tracks.

Also expected to open later this year in downtown Elkhart is a fine dining restaurant tentatively called Artisan, at 505 S. Main St. It is also expected to serve alcohol.

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