Built in 1896 on the corner of Julia & Powell Street in Henderson, KY, Metzger’s Tavern has always been more than just a local neighborhood bar. The history runs deeper then even the tobacco twists that hanging from the ceiling.

In 1870, the doors of this old gal opened as “The Swing Door Saloon” serving beer only to the locals. During prohibition from 1920-1933, the building operated as a grocery store & pharmacy and often sold moonshine under the counter in prescription bottles. After prohibition, the tavern resorted back to serving cold ones & obtained it’s liquor license in which it still holds today, making it the second oldest operating liquor license in the state of Kentucky.

In 1939, the bean soup that we all know and love was introduced. The bean soup isn’t the only classic that is still available. The house-made chili and old fashion dipped dogs are still available as well.


The establishment at 1000 Powell St. started around the turn of the last century as Hosbach’s, a combination grocery and saloon. The business changed hands a couple of times until 1945, when it was acquired by Metzger’s father, John Albert Metzger, and became Metzger’s Market.

In 1962, Metzger formed a business partnership with his lifelong friend and Holy Name School classmate Joe Tigue, establishing Metzger’s Tavern at his father’s former grocery.



Gleaner: Legendary Henderson tavern owner Don Metzger dies at 93, by Chuck Stinnett