WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — The Neon Cactus a popular bar in the West Lafayette Levee, has closed permanently according to its owners Jim and Sheila Cochran. The 28-year business housed a dance floor, pool tables and a piano bar where Bruce Barker, also known as the "Piano Man," played several times a week.
Jim and Sheila Cochran owned and operated the bar. They released this statement Wednesday:
"It is with great sadness that we are announcing that the Neon Cactus has filled its last mug and has closed as of September 1, 2020. We have spent the past months working with several advisors and health officials to explore a variety of options to continue business. Unfortunately, the loss of the final months of the spring semester, fall sporting events,and six months of business, combined with the current and indefinite health restrictions, left us unable to find a viable path for the coming months. Over the past 28 years, we have enjoyed working with our team members and serving the countless students and members of the community who celebrated with us. We will cherish the good times that we all had together."
The Cochran family spoke with News 18 Thursday about the establishment's closing, and they expressed their thanks for the years of support they received from the Purdue and Greater Lafayette communities alike.
"It’s just been fun and exciting and we have met so many good good people," said Sheila. "I will never forget it, and that’s the greatest thing, I will always have all these memories."
"You have a dream and you make it work," said Jim Cochran.
"You put all your effort into it and eventually it works out, and we are very fortunate, we are very fortunate."
They hope to continue their business and entertainment ventures in the Greater Lafayette area in the near future.
"I don't know that we will ever retire," said Sheila.