Augusta’s newest bar, The Indian Queen, has a backstory dating to early American history.
Owners Ryan McArdle, Brandon Mears and Steven Moore say The Indian Queen is named after a Maryland bar owned by an early Augustan, Peter Carnes.
Carnes moved to Augusta from Maryland in the 18th century and became a prominent lawyer who was part of the welcoming committee when President Washington came to Augusta in 1791. He was also a founder of the Summerville neighborhood, where the bar is at 2502 Wrightsboro Road.
The bar, in the former location of the Gun Cabinet, is scheduled to open this weekend after a final inspection.
McArdle, Mears and Moore are native Augustans and have been friends for years. McArdle works for Blanchard and Calhoun commercial real estate, Mears is a home mortgage consultant for Wells Fargo, and Moore has worked in the Athens-area food and beverage industry for several years.
They had talked about opening a bar for a while, but plans started forming about a year ago when Moore said he was ready to move back to Augusta to run a bar.
“When we heard he was ready to move back home and open a bar, we said, ‘Perfect,’ ” Mears said. “We know we’re going into business with guys we can trust.”
The men have seven employees.
The Indian Queen will be a whiskey bar, and drinks will be made with simple syrups crafted by Crums on Central chef Andrew Crumrine. Wine and bottled beer will also be available, but don’t look for flavored vodkas or schnapps, Moore said.
“We want to get back to making drinks the old-fashioned way, the right way,” Moore said. “It’s a higher quality drink.”
The bar is designed to be conducive to conversations and community, reflective of the close-knit neighborhood, the owners said.
“We want to be a part of bringing this area back,” McArdle said. “We want people to walk over after eating a meal at Crums or 5 O’Clock Bistro, have a drink and enjoy time with some friends.”