Holden Green Tavern opens in downtown Cassopolis

CASSOPOLIS — A newly opened downtown Cassopolis business hopes to transport guests to a bygone era, while at the same time making them feel right at home.

Steve Schroeder, along with his wife, Shelley, recently opened Holden Green Tavern at 151 S. Broadway St. The multiroom bar outfitted with vintage furnishings currently serves drinks, with menu offerings from the Broadway Café down the street. As soon as Holden Green has a functioning kitchen, it will begin serving food of its own.

The opening was long-awaited for the Schroeders, who purchased the building in 2018. After years of work fixing up the building and turning it into a commercial space, Schroeder said the public was nearly as excited as he was to see the tavern open its doors.

“This whole experience has been very humbling to me because the people of Cassopolis are very supportive,” he said before thanking many in the village for helping see Holden Green to opening day. “They are very welcoming and friendly. People are happy that they now have a bar they can go to.”

Originally from Mishawaka, Schroeder grew up spending time in Cassopolis. Though he and Shelley lived in Iowa for a number of years, Schroeder said he knew he always wanted to return to Michiana and start a business in Cassopolis.

“I wanted to get back here, and I’ve always wanted to open a tavern,” he said leaning on a large pool table in the center of the main room. “I really enjoy talking to people, and this was something that was missing here [in Cassopolis]. There is a lot of room for businesses to come and grow here, but you need the basics first — one of which is a tavern restaurant where people can socialize.”

According to Schroeder, he could not have found a better spot to realize his dream of opening a community tavern.

The building Holden Green occupies served as one of the village’s first post offices in the late 1800s. Over its lifespan, the building has been used as a barbershop, thrift shop and more.

Most recently, the building was owned by Dr. Roger Pecina, of Afdent dental clinics. Pecina kept the building for private use, filling it with vintage furnishings and collectible items to give Holden Green the classic feel it has today.

“There are a lot of really cool antiques,” Schroeder said, pointing out his favorite — the 40-foot bar from the 1930s. “For me, I prefer this over something more modern. I think it adds a comfortable feel. It’s like stepping back in time.”

Going forward, the Schroeders have big plans for the newly opened tavern. The couple plans to soon serve food and eventually open a bakery in the space, though bakery plans have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are just going to focus this year on keeping this place up and going and see where things go,” Schroeder said. “We are going to listen to people see what they want and see what we can do to make that happen.”

Until further progress can be made, Schroeder said he is just thankful to be in Cassopolis and to have the support of the community behind him.

“We are excited to be here and to work with all the business owners on Broadway,” he said. “The community has been fantastic. I hope everyone that comes in, whether they are from Cass or out of town, feels welcome here.”

Holden Green is open 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 2 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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