Chrome Horse Saloon returning to NewBo with expansion

Chrome Horse Saloon - which moved out of the NewBo district in Cedar Rapids four years ago - will return to the area in 2018.

It has been a long road home for Chrome Horse Saloon.

After more than a decade on 12th Avenue in the NewBo district, Chrome Horse forced out in July 2014 after a fire. They returned with a Blairs Ferry Road location in October 2015.

Brewhemia is now in the original Chrome Horse space - and the saloon is returning to NewBo by opening a second location. They'll be right across the street on 3rd Avenue, occupying the old NewBo Alehouse/NewBo Sushi building.

Owner Derek Collins says he loves what the 8,000-square foot Blairs Ferry Road space has, but wants this homecoming to bring an intimacy back to the brand.

"When we came back home here to NewBo...our biggest goal was we want it to feel cozy," Collins said during a phone interview on Thursday, "because you can't walk into a warehouse bar and feel like it's a neighborhood bar."

The new Chrome Horse location has seen multiple tenants in just a few years' time. Collins thinks a familiar name will help sustain the property.

"I think it'll fit in really well," he said. "It was a really good environment and a good blend when first NewBo started out. To be honest, I think it's missed."

Brewhemia, the new owners of the old space, is happy to see Chrome Horse come back - and knows others will be too.

"Chrome Horse was a staple in the old days here, so I'm sure they'll bring a nice, new following to the neighborhood," Brewhemia owner Steve Shriver said. "Every day, dozens of people go up to the building and try to get in - and still assume that NewBo Alehouse is open or something is in there. Right off the bat, they'll be serving those customers."

Collins hopes to have the location opened by the end of the year.

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