Belleville

Plans take shape for new downtown Belleville restaurant

New restaurant to open in downtown Belleville

BND file video. Copper Fire Bar and Eatery is planned for 200 E. Main St. in downtown Belleville. Developers plan to open in March 2018.
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BND file video. Copper Fire Bar and Eatery is planned for 200 E. Main St. in downtown Belleville. Developers plan to open in March 2018.

Construction will begin soon on a new downtown Belleville restaurant called Copper Fire Bar and Eatery, which will be open for lunch, dinner and late-night entertainment in a four-story, brick building at 200 E. Main St.

The developers originally called the business Double Barrel Lodge but “Double Barrel” was already trademarked.

So they brainstormed a new name: Copper Fire.

“Copper” evokes kitchen pots while “fire” brings to mind chefs cooking and the gas fireplace that will be built in the restaurant.

The four partners are Mark Eichholz, the owner of O’Fallon Electric; his wife, Renae Eichholz; their son, Brett Eichholz; and Jeff Voyles.

We’ll add a few things that are a little flashier. We’re excited to do that.

Jeff Voyles of Copper Fire Bar and Eatery

“It is a little bit for everyone. We’re going to focus on all different demographics,” said Voyles, who has over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry. “We’ll add a few things that are a little flashier. We’re excited to do that.”

Voyles said Copper Fire is expected to open in late spring, and construction will begin soon.

It will be in the former home of Quiznos and Junction Coffee & Frozen Yogurt.

Copper Fire will offer a contemporary American cuisine, Voyles said. The menu will be “chef inspired” and will feature both unique and recognizable items.

The restaurant will have two floors in the first phase of construction. With a patio on the bump-out sidewalk in front and the two levels, Copper Fire will have room for 200 people.

Voyles said future plans call for the renovation of the basement, where a banquet room is planned.

The developers are not disclosing the construction costs, and they have declined to seek any tax incentives for the project. When they first contacted the city about requesting a break on the state sales tax for material used in the construction, they told the city the cost would be at least $400,000. However, Mark Eichholz has said they withdrew this request because because he and the other co-owners did not want to appear as though they were getting an advantage over other establishments.

We believe that (downtown Belleville) is the future; this is the hot spot.

Jeff Voyles

Plans are being designed by St. Louis-based SPACE Architecture+Design. The interior of the building already has been gutted, and asbestos abatement is expected to be finished Monday.

Voyles, who said he helped develop MGM Grand in Las Vegas in the 1990s, said the Copper Fire floor plan includes a room for video gaming.

Also, a private room for 15 will have a window that will allow diners to watch chefs work in the kitchen.

“I think it will be something that most people haven’t seen or they haven’t seen in this area,” Voyles said. “We’ve had a great time doing this.”

Voyles said he and the Eichholz family look forward to opening a new restaurant in downtown Belleville.

“We believe that this is the future; this is the hot spot,” Voyles said. “The businesses and the restaurants and the bars that are currently down here, they laid the groundwork. I think this is a no-brainer, this is a choice that makes sense to everyone.”

Copper Fire Bar and Eatery

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