Bessemer’s Sam Dunn’s Saloon is getting a makeover

sam dunn saloon bessemer
Sam Dunn’s Saloon in downtown Bessemer. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Sam Dunn’s Saloon in downtown Bessemer has been empty for years, a relic of revelry on the corner of 1st and 20th. But thanks to new activity in Bessemer, the Saloon is getting a full renovation.

Ye olde saloon

sam dunn's saloon bessemer
The front doors of the Sam Dunn Saloon. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Sam Dunn’s Saloon was built in 1910, and as the signage on the side of the building states, it was first used as a bar and saloon for Bessemer locals. Looking at the building, it isn’t hard to imagine the wild revels that used to take place there. Think rowdy bar patrons and liquor flowing out the front doors while a lively band starts up in the back.

In later years, Sam Dunn’s Saloon was used as a pharmacy, providing medicine and general goods to the residents of Bessemer. Now the Saloon is on the National Registry of Historic Registry.

Below is a description of the building and it’s history from the Registry.

“Two-story brick commercial block, the 25′ façade completely covered by a metal screen. The long side wall is in largely original condition, with segmental-arch windows along the upper story; old wall painting indicates a saloon occupant in the past. The interior of this building is remarkable, hardly changed from its 1930s beginnings as a drugstore.”

National History Registry account of Sam Dunn’s Saloon

So what’s happening?

sam dunn saloon
A sneak peek inside Sam Dunn’s Saloon. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Currently, Sam Dunn’s Saloon in Bessemer is undergoing renovations and is set to reopen in 2022 as a full saloon for downtown Bessemer. Work has been ongoing on the structure to bring this to completion.

The current owner is working to give the building a makeover, while still keeping as much of the original architecture in place. While the building has suffered some damage over the years, the original windows on the upper floor are intact and the bones of the structure have certainly stood the test of time.

What’s coming to Sam Dunn’s Saloon

sam dunn's saloon
You can already see work being done from the front of the Saloon. Photo via Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

The future is bright for Sam Dunn’s Saloon in Bessemer. Located in an opportunity zone, the Saloon will add to the incoming developments in downtown Bessemer, like the upcoming Train Depot renovation.

The Saloon is also centrally located in Downtown. When complete, you can walk from the famous Bright Star restaurant, United Textiles, Memory Lane vintage clothing, and Simon Sporting Goods.

Learn more about another upcoming Bessemer development, the Bessemer Train Depot in this recent Bham Now story.

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Claire Hancock
Claire Hancock
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