Andys & McCabes is a building, actually 3 buildings, that holds some mystery and intrigue for me.
The building was constructed in 1891. The original McCabes Lounge was a barber shop. In 1944 owner, James McCabe decided a tavern would be more profitable and DeKalb’s First Night Club began. It was the 2nd business in DeKalb to be issued a liquor license after prohibition. The first was Andy’s.
Andy’s was owned by Andy Pleasa when it opened in 1933. At that time Andy’s was located on 10th Street.
The building that currently houses Andy’s was a pharmacy and a Rexall drug store in the very early 1900s. When the pharmacy moved out the Pleasa family moved in. There was a restaurant in the basement, a bar on the main floor and they lived on the upper floor.
The Pleasa family owned and operated Andy’s until Sept. 1, 2000, when Bob Goering and a partner took it over.
The rest of the chronology is a little sketchy. It appears McCabes as a business might have bounced around to a few different locations within DeKalb landing at it’s current location in 1976. Further, I gather it’s been through several owners. My interpretation from the little I’ve been able to find out is that Bob and Glenn Goering bought and owned the business until 1991 when they sold it or lost ownership somehow and bought it back in 2,000 for $156K. It also seems like McCabes the building may have seen service as a bank, a hardware store and a restaurant.
That was is the intriguing part here’s the mystery. According the Northern Star newspaper, Andy’s and McCabes is part of the Renew DeKalb project. You can even seen the development plans here. It’s one of the coolest looking buildings in DeKalb so that makes sense and comparing this image to the plans you can see some of the work was done. According to various forums discussing DeKalb and especially those frequented by NIU students McCabes was a happening place where most everyone ends up. Yet, the business is closed. So what happened?
I thought Bob Goering may be able to help me clear up the chronology of the building and update me on the current circumstances. Being not completely without resources through property, business, tax and license records. I’ve identified a fair amount of information about Bob Goering. But none of the associated phone numbers are in working order.
So, if anyone who reads this has more information about the history of McCabes or the history of this building at 315 E. Lincoln Highway, please drop me a comment.
Courtesy of Curtis Clegg a local photographer:
“In front of the far right doorway of this building, a horseshoe is embedded in the sidewalk. It probably dates back to the time in the 1870s when Phineas Vaughan had his blacksmith shop there. Vaughan was instrumental in helping Joseph Glidden manufacture his patented “Winner” barbed wire.”