After surviving COVID restrictions, Belleville restaurant temporarily closes


BELLEVILLE, Ill. – The owner of Copper Fire Bar and Eatery in Belleville could not believe it at first. After surviving months of restrictions due to COVID-19, her business is now temporarily closed because of water damage.

The deep freeze caused a problem with a sprinkler system in the restaurant’s building at 200 E. Main Street. Water damage destroyed her restaurant’s kitchen Friday afternoon. She hopes to reopen her bar on Friday, March 5 and plans on having bands performing that weekend.

“I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for us,” said Renae Eichholz. “We could have lost everything.”

She said she’s grateful for an outpouring of support from the Belleville community. Copper Fire’s three-year anniversary is St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

“We plan to be open,” Eichholz said.

She said even if it takes a while for her kitchen to be operational, she hopes customers will stop by for a drink or even bring in food from other restaurants to enjoy. She’s even sharing updates on social media.

“We want everyone to have a great experience,” she said.

Conni Tilley co-owns Venue on Main, an event space a few blocks down Main Street. COVID-19 restrictions also hurt her business but she’s amazed with Eichholz’s resiliency.

“She amazes me because she just keeps on going,” Tilley said. “She just never gives up.”

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