After bar closes, another steps in to help
By Blake Belden, Staff Writer
Jan 9, 2014, 14:25
BLAKE BELDEN/HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT
CHESTER — After multiple years of providing a local venue for good food, live entertainment and karaoke, an independent Chester establishment has closed its doors to the public.
Located just off the Hopewell/Chester exit from Interstate 95 on West Hundred Road, the Steel Horse Bar and Grille shut down in December.
Steel Horse left a message on their Facebook page announcing the news and voicing their appreciation for all those who kept the business going while it did: “It is with a heavy heart that [we] have to announce The Steel Horse is officially closed. [We] would like to thank all the great musicians for providing us with such great music over the years. ... Thanks to the great patrons who supported us & partied with us. But mostly thanks to the staff who gave it their all [and] looked good doing it!”
The restaurant, opened almost five years ago and named for a slang term for a motorcycle, was internally decorated with wooden surfaces, motorcycle souvenirs and pictures of horses and offered one of the few places in the area equipped with an outdoor patio often filled with live music, including local artists such as the Rich Moore Band, Hillbilly Twister and The Kind Eye.
Shortly following the news of its closing, the restaurant received a wave of support from friends and customers who were sad to see it go.
“It is a beautiful place and I hope you can find a way to reopen and soon. I will sure miss the serenity of a summer Sunday afternoon, chilling on the patio with my laptop, eating salad, wings and sweet tea!!!” Erin Edmunds expressed in an online post.
Terry Windham shared this sentiment with a similar online post: “So sorry to hear this! Love the patio and listening to bands there! Will truly miss it!”
Not only did the staff of the Steel Horse receive verbal support from the online community, but they also received physical support as well when David Allen, the owner of the Brass Monkeys Bar (also in Chester), set up a benefit at his bar to help provide some funding for the employees who would not be receiving a paycheck during the holidays.
The benefit was hosted at Brass Monkeys Bar, located at 12211 Jefferson Davis Highway, where several live acts performed including The Rich Moore Band, Hillbilly Twister and Michael Burgess in an effort to garner proceeds to give to the former employees of the Steel Horse.
According to the Brass Monkeys Facebook page, they raised $3,100 through the benefit.
The Steel Horse issued a statement through social media thanking Allen and the participants in the benefit on December 21: “It was an awesome night. ... The money will certainly help the staff who lost their jobs so close to Christmas.”
Bobby Burnham, Steel Horse’s general manager who helped create the establishment, said in an online post that Steel Horse brought a great atmosphere to the Chester community through good food, beverages and entertainment.
“Our entertainment was the best around and our patrons were never charged a cover. I hope that many of you have fond memories of Steel Horse,” Burnham wrote.
Several employees who worked at the Steel Horse were offered jobs at the Brass Monkeys Bar following their closure.