This morning began like any other morning, except for the sound of hammering, and the sound of sirens. With that, along with the watered down smoke filled air, New Albany appears to have suffered an enormous loss early this morning. Around 4:00 AM this morning, Steinert’s Grill and Pub (aka Steinert’s Tavern), tucked into a largely residential area at the intersection of Charlestown Road and Silver Street in New Albany was gutted by fire. I was told by a bystander on the street that it started in the kitchen area, but that was not confirmed by anyone else. Steinert's, which is a 125 year old New Albany Landmark, has gone through a lot over the years.
It has endured tornadoes, floods, the Depression and Prohibition, having been handed down through five generations of the Steinert family. Founded in 1883 (yes, Steinert’s was doing business before Grover Cleveland was elected president) by German immigrant Michael Steinert, it has seen six different locations, finally settling into its current spot in 1938. In 1917, a tornado destroyed one location - a photo reportedly still exists in New Albany’s city directory of Michael Steinert Jr. standing in front of a pile of rubble and glass that only a day before had been his thriving restaurant business - and Prohibition forced the family to turn it into a grocery store/restaurant for several years. Still, it endured. Now, Steinert’s, with its signature horseshoe bar in a beer-sign-covered atrium area smack in the middle of the place, is more of a club, with live music several nights a week, and even a sports bar, as TVs adorn the walls and typically are showing ESPN or Indiana University sports. Hopefully, Steinert's will rebuild and continue the tradition of this historic landmark, and continue to provide entertainment for many years to come.