Last year, local chef Bill Hughes purchased the Campbell Club to return the nearly century-and-a-half old building to a private dining facility. Hughes and his crew, along with several area artists, have spent the last several months breathing new life into the Victorian home to create the Cupola Club — Owensboro’s latest private dining facility.
Hughes has owned and operated Eat @ Bill’s — a dining staple in Owensboro — for more than a decade and is eager to embark on the new adventure.
Set to open on March 1 and craftily named after the building’s iconic bell tower that once provided a picturesque view of the Ohio River, Hughes said the facility will “offer an oasis for people who love food, beverage, and entertainment.”
“It’s 1959 meets 2022,” Hughes said. “In evolving with society, our decor and dress code is more relaxed than in years past. The remodel has exceeded expectations, and we are uncovering nooks and crannies that invite even more ideas for the facility.”
According to the National Register of Historic Places, the home was built in 1880 and is the last of its kind to grace the commercially dominated north end of Frederica Street. Hughes sought to maintain the integrity and architecture of the building and pair it with a contemporary vibe.
On the first floor, the front dining rooms offer a stately feel, accented by fireplaces and natural sunlight which gleams through the arched windows. The back is the antithesis to the front, offering an urban ambiance with an updated bar area and a set of contrasting murals created by David Jones.
“It’s another historic building and local institution that needed to be resurrected,” Hughes said. “We went as far as we could at Bill’s in the old Callas building. This was my first job in Owensboro in 1989, so when it came available, it just made sense.”
While Hughes looks to preserve many of the dishes that brought him to fame at Bill’s, he said he’s excited to explore other culinary creations. With a more limited audience and several kitchen upgrades, he’s enlivened to offer a curated menu that changes quarterly.
“The menu will be structured slightly differently from Bill’s with more mainstays for people who value consistency to go with our daily specials,” he said. “It will feature more accessible food with easy choices.”
Open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. and for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m., members can peruse a menu chock-full of steaks, chicken, seafood, burgers, calzones, hot browns, meat pies, and more. The menu will also boast soup and salad specials for lunch and a substantial wine selection.
“The world is so ‘small’ now that we can be creative in what we offer — we can source products from all over the world,” Hughes said. “We have great farm resources, and our wine distributors are as good as there are in the country.”
The second story features banquet facilities for up to 64 available to members at no cost. Memberships are available for $65 per month, or $55 per month for the first year if paid in advance.
The Cupola Club will also offer entertainment ranging from wine tastings to the occasional painting and yoga class.
Those interested in joining can stop by the location at 517 Frederica Street between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or visit the club’s Facebook page here.
“This is a place for people to come and have fun and eat good food with like-minded people,” Hughes said.