A pub in Springfield, IL features a bar covered in Lincoln cents. Any rare varieties? Bring a magnifying glass, but don't drink too much...
It's doubtful that any business in Springfield displays more images of Abraham Lincoln than the Price Street Pub.
There are 10,250 on the oak bar alone.
For decades, the neighborhood pub at 2815 Price St. has been home to a bar covered end to end with Lincoln pennies.
“You say Price Street and people don't know the place. You say ‘penny bar' and they know where it is,” said Tom Sutton, who owns the bar/restaurant with his wife, Diana.
The pub has been in the same location near Summit Avenue since 1931, according to city directories. In 1977, the former owners installed the first penny bar.
“The whole bar, the railing underneath and a cash register table were filled with 1977 pennies,” said Tom. “They started out all being heads up, facing the same way, but then they gave up on that and just stuck them on.”
After 30 years, wear and tear took its toll on the bar and the surface began to crack and bend. The Abes started to amble.
“It had a lot of character, but there were a lot of burn spots. You could see the wear,” said Tom. In 2008, he and Diana decided to make a new penny bar.
First task: Getting 10,250 shiny, new 2008 pennies.
“I went to the bank to get them and they said, ‘Are you crazy?'” said Tom.
The Suttons called the U.S. Treasury and put in an order. It was a long and complicated process, but the pretty pennies finally arrived in Springfield.
Diana oversaw the job of placing the shiny new Lincolns on the bar.
“I lined up the first row, all heads up, side by side, facing north. I thought it looked sharp and wanted them all that way,” she said. Friends, employees and customers all helped lay the thousands of pennies on the bar, which is 20 feet long and 2 feet wide.
Somewhere — Diana has never spotted them — Tom snuck in three 1977 pennies, a tribute to a deceased friend.
“We mixed Elmer's glue and water and spread it to hold the pennies down. It took three days. Everyone helped,” she said.
Once the Abes were perfectly positioned, the bar top was covered with a thick coat of polyurethane. It hardened overnight, but took about a week to completely dry.
To read the complete article, see:
Thousands of Abe Lincolns buried in Springfield pub
Wayne Homren, Editor
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