Established in 1835 as the “Cherry Wood Bar” of the Lahr Luxury Hotel, and issued Indiana’s first liquor license, this is in fact Indiana’s oldest bar. The “Cherry Wood Bar” was later renamed the Knickerbocker Saloon in 1874 when the areas first player piano was introduced. The Knickerbocker's player piano was a technological wonder in its day. A gentleman could stop in; get a shave, haircut, shot and a brew. Many gents spent their days in the luxury of the bar reading a good book, playing cards, or waiting on the next train that stopped directly out front, on 5th St. The Knickerbocker boasts a guest list including; President Grant, Mark Twain, Al Capone, and even Neil Armstrong (though rumored not much of a drinker).
Over the last 177 years the Knickerbocker has had many restorations, including the replacement of the original bar in 1891 to what you see now. The current bar was hand crafted by Dutch immigrant craftsmen, entirely of solid cherry and black walnut, a truly magnificent piece of history. The entertainment room behind the bar was added in the early 1980’s, allowing the Knickerbocker to host nationally touring Jazz and Blues acts including Kenny Neil, Tommy Castro, and Coco Montoya to name a few.
Adding Rock n Roll to the music lineup, the Knickerbocker has a renewed freshness without sacrificing the quality, class and style that has made the Knickerbocker the discerning customer’s choice for conversation and libation. We at the Knickerbocker Saloon understand the unique heritage that we are responsible for maintaining, and ensure quality and excellent service at every level, thank you for your support and patronage!
Renovated Vukas Entertainment Room
In 2007 we renovated our concert room and re-named it the Vukas Entertainment Room in honor of the previous owner Nick Vukas who established the Knickerbocker as Lafayette's Intimate LIVE Music destination.