Eagle’s New Watering Hole – Old State Saloon

Interview with Old State Saloon owner, Mark Fitzpatrick
By Natalia DiGiosia Photos Chris Crum

Within the rustic Orville Jackson Building made in 1906, is the newly renovated Old State Saloon. With fresh paint, a 20-tap draft beer system, an antique refrigerator cabinet from England, a classical black piano, and new sound systems, the Saloon is a charming watering hole for the Eagle community that preserves the town’s history.

Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick, owner of the Old State Saloon, reflects on the building’s history. “I always get people telling me they remember coming in as a kid and buying candy or bubble gum,” he shares. The building started as a general store and drugstore, then transitioned into a furniture shop, a dance lesson studio, and then Eagle, Idaho’s entertainment venue. “It’s a real blessing that we can take a piece of history and use it again for an awesome purpose,” says Fitzpatrick.

Owning the Old State Saloon wasn’t Fitzpatrick’s original plan. He needed to purchase a licensed bar to provide services for his wedding and events company, Stone Crossing. “But when the previous owner, Bill, said he was interested in selling, I realized this was more than just a bar,” Fitzpatrick shares. Instead of the bar simply fulfilling needs for event services, “we decided to pour our heart and soul into making it a great place for the community to enjoy.”

In the renovation, Fitzpatrick preserved the iconic exterior of the building, w

hile improving the interior design with new flooring, paint, and a revamped bar. The dedication to live music is clear, with investments exceeding $100,000 benefiting local musicians. Intriguingly, Fitzpatrick describes how layers of the wall were peeled off to reveal an original door from 1906. The old door will be repositioned in the back area where Fitzpatrick plans to expand into a full kitchen and steakhouse.

“I wish I could snap my fingers, and have it all completed today, but we will have to be patient as we’ve decided to do something much bigger than originally intended,” he shares. The long-term plan is to build a new rear of the building for a kitchen and restaurant space, all the while matching the historical character. As a temporary solution, patrons will soon be able to order from a “bar food” menu with a handful of selections of healthy and well-prepared food.

In addition to evening social hours, Old State Saloon is a full coffeehouse in the morning, starting at 6 am, 7 days a week. “We desire to be a place where you can join your Bible study group in the morning for coffee and take your spouse out dancing in the evening while meeting great people and making new friends,” says Fitzpatrick.

In the afternoon the scene transitions to a saloon. Whether it be live music, jazz nights, Trivia on Wednesdays hosted by Fitzpatrick and his wife, karaoke events on Sundays, or line dancing lessons, Old State Saloon is a place where good people can come to have a good time while enjoying local beverages and food. As a retired police officer, Fitzpatrick shares, “I want people to enjoy the beverages in a way that’s responsible, in a way it’s intended for camaraderie and celebration.” The Old State Saloon is becoming a community social hub, holding similar value to its role as a general store a hundred years ago.

Fitzpatrick admits, “The times I feel the most rewarded is when I look across the room and see people meeting people and they’re engaging in conversations. It’s exactly what I was hoping it would be.” This August, Old State Saloon celebrates six months in business and plans for many years to come.

Old State Saloon, 50 E State St, Eagle. For hours and full event schedule visit oldstatesaloon.com.

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