After months of construction, the Mousetrap has reopened its doors under a new name, the Retreat.
Located within walking distance just across Kennedy Blvd., the Mousetrap was a popular bar for UT Students. Convenient location, cheap prices and laid back atmosphere brought many patrons to the barstools. So when doors were locked in September, many customers were confused and saddened by the loss of the bar.
Those patrons were relieved when construction quickly began, and from the sidewalks, customers could see the Mousetrap slowly fall apart and the Retreat grow from its rubble. When the doors reopened in December, patrons were surprised to find a brand new bar.
Fresh countertops, new bathrooms and sparkling television sets are among the most obvious changes. The track lighting dangling from the ceiling and mahogany wood covering the bar edges and walls create a new atmosphere in the once dreary bar. The Retreat looks brand new.
“They put boards over all of the old. Everything is different except for the floors,” said bartender Stephanie Verandah.
While almost everything has changed on the inside, there is one sign of the old Mousetrap. The cartoon caricature still hangs on the wall. The caricature, which was painted sometime in the 1950s to commemorate the bar’s most loyal patrons, will stay in its place.
Painted almost sixty years ago, the caricature was created when the bar was known as its original name, the Retreat. The most recent owners, Rick and Steve Caldaronie, have decided to return the Retreat to its roots, giving the bar the name it had when established in 1938. After being known as Alby’s, the Peanut Gallery and the Mousetrap, the Retreat is finally back to its original state. But the Caldaronie brothers are not done with the bar’s transformation. The new owners plan to expand the bar into the neighboring caf