A decent cocktail can be hard to find – but not anymore! You can now enjoy an incredible cocktail with hand-muddled, fresh ingredients imported from around the globe and mixed to perfection right here in Wheeling. The Foundry, South Wheeling’s new cocktail bar, has you covered. Every item on their cocktail menu is made precisely and with only the best ingredients, from a Watermelon Mojito with mint that is hand-picked right in front of you to a Foundry Old Fashioned with an imported wild cherry garnish. The Foundry prides itself on consistency and quality, ensuring that each and every cocktail is perfect.
Rebecca Stone, who co-owns the bar with son Jared, daughter Lauryn, and business partner David Kotovski, explained that her son had bought the building in late 2018 before anyone had any idea that multiple years of pandemic-related supply chain issues, setbacks, and soaring prices were about to hit – all of which resulted in a much longer project than they had initially expected. However, they persevered, renovating and restoring the building and creating one of Wheeling’s coolest new establishments.
Before any of that could happen, however, the building itself needed a lot of work. Dating back to before 1890, the structure has been home to many types of businesses, starting off as a tinner’s workshop, transitioning into a saloon, a prohibition-era “club” (wink wink), a grill, a deli, a beauty lounge, an insurance company, and finally back into a bar, which it has stayed since around the 1970s. Everything from the plumbing to the electrical to the wood floors needed to be gutted and redone; the whole building had structural issues, which required the replacement of all three roof levels, more than 15 windows, and the back wall of the building, as well as the construction of new walls for structural support and giant structural tie rods on the third floor. All of this needed to be completed before they could even begin to renovate the inside of the business itself.
On the inside of the bar, they made the decision to restore the original tin ceiling, which required a restoration team with special materials. They also rebuilt the bar counter from scratch using reclaimed wood from a barn on Rebecca’s parents’ farm just outside of Wheeling. Throughout the renovation, they also uncovered the original brick and left it as an accent wall. As an ode to Wheeling’s past, Stone has incorporated pieces of Wheeling’s industrial history into the decor, including wooden clamps, cut steel, and antique bottles from various Wheeling businesses. Rebecca assures that there is more to come, as they continue to outfit the bar with historical pieces to fit the industrial, metal-casting theme.
As a first-time renovation for first-time business owners, the building was quite a feat.
When asked why they made the decision to tackle this project, Rebecca simply said “we thought…let’s just go with it and see what happens!” And we’re so glad that they did. These days, the bar is a busy, bustling success. Since opening their doors on June 1, Rebecca says they’ve served patrons coming from across the country as they visit Wheeling and search for high-quality cocktails. Events, like the much-anticipated Bourbon Blind Taste Contest on August 11, filled up fast and attracted customers from all over the Ohio Valley and beyond. They’ve already seen birthday parties and big group events, and look forward to renting the whole bar out for private events and parties in the near future.
If you’re in the mood for the perfect espresso martini (which is Rebecca’s favorite), have been on the lookout for an incredible fresh-fruit infused mojito, or are trying to figure out where to hold a bridal shower or this year’s company Christmas party, keep the Foundry in mind!
The Foundry is open from 4 pm to 10 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 4 pm to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays at 3532 Jacob Street in Wheeling.
• Ellery McGregor is a Wheeling transplant from Los Angeles, California. She works remotely for a marketing team in LA and now moonlights as an author for Weelunk. She earned her undergraduate degree in English from California State University Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Since moving to Wheeling over a year ago, she has spent her time helping her family restore an Italianate Victorian row house in Centre Market, picnicking at Heritage Port, and marveling over having actual seasons.