Hammer’s Hideaway has barely been fully open for more than a week, but already there’s a tremendous sense of the community support that would suggest it’s been there much longer than that.
The business is owned by a trio of locals with experiences as bartenders: Deana Schnepp, Denise McCrea and Amy Moore. When they saw the building at 319 Jackson Street was up for sale and then subsequently going to auction, they decided to see what happened. They ended up buying the building May 1.
Then the renovation process started. The largest part of the process was getting the back room ready. While the room and floors used to be black and white, color has been added to the ceiling and new flooring has been put in. The room is now used as a room to rent out, for which the bar already has a couple of reservations, and excess room for overflow business on the weekend.
Other renovations included the kitchen also needed a bit of work, including installing new flooring. Otherwise, the bar was just given a bit of freshening up.
The décor of the bar itself very much puts and emphasis on the history of the bar—which includes McCrea and Moore’s family. Signage and photos from Hammer’s Hideaway’s predecessors are all over the wall, some of which came a far way.
“The owner of that just delivered us that,” Schnepp said, pointing to the original PJ’s Tap bar sign. “It came all the way from Florida. He drove it here before our grand opening.”
The name for the current iteration of the bar is a personal one. Hammer was the nickname for McCrea’s husband, who passed away just more than one year ago. The Pabst Blue Ribbon logo on the bar sign hanging above the door is also a nod to the late McCrea.
“That’s all he drank,” Schnepp said.
On the right wall, immediately after entering the building and before the start of the bar, a pair of photos celebrating history of the town and the bar from even further back adorn the wall. While the photos themselves aren’t necessarily new to the bar, they’ve recently been refreshed and restored.
The owners were able to get the bar ready for the July 30 grand opening they had set for themselves, with the bar opening July 30 and the kitchen opening Aug. 2. The support they received from the community not only blew the owners away, but also made them thankful that they went with a staggered opening strategy.
“Business is booming. It’s just great how supportive the town has been,” Schnepp said. “Our grand opening was huge and there’s no way our small kitchen would have kept up with that. I’m glad we did it the way we did it.”
Despite what the name might suggest, it’s not really hidden at all, located in downtown Olin. The bar is closed on Monday, but is open Tuesday 3 p.m. to 10 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.