This elegant bar located in Smithtown has quite a history. It used to be the J. H. Bishop Candy Shoppe before becoming a bar. The building has been rumored also to be a speakeasy during prohibition. The current owner, Brian, purchased the bar from a friend for a few hundred dollars but with the bar also came the bar’s debt and he worked hard to make it what it is today.
At first it was a fairly average hangout but with the coming of Napper Tandy’s and other more upscale bars, this one too went in for an overhaul in order to compete. The bar was so important to him that he sold his motorcycle and his home to pay for renovations. Even that was not enough so he rented the lower level out to psychics for readings. It is easy to see that a good amount of passion and effort was invested in the bar.
Currently, Katie’s is a stunning example of elegance and coordination. It is one of the nicest bars in the area. The bar will be featured in an episode of Paranormal State and also has a MySpace page devoted to it.
The building to the right of the train station is Katie's. This may date back to when the bar was a candy shop.
Note the ornate designs on either side of the door. This shows the care taken in building and shows the buildings age. Perhaps this dates back to the candy store days.
There are several main threads we ran into in terms of stories and encounters. The first centers around a man named Charlie. Brian, the current owner, rented the room to psychics, to help fund finishing the renovations. They would often tell him that there was a spirit around named Charlie. He has supposedly been spotted at least once nearby the bar as well. To an extent, this was not taken very seriously, however there was more to Charlie. When Paranormal State decided to investigate the location, they called together a meeting of local residents. Brian was not invited to the meeting to ensure that he would not sway the answers of anyone at the meeting, or give away any information. The team asked the locals if the name “Charlie” rang a bell with anyone in connection to this bar. One elderly gentleman stood up and said that there was a Charlie Stein who was a bartender at that bar and lived across the street from him. He said that Charlie Stein liked good wine and a good cigar, and that he had committed suicide. He also stated that every one of his kids had seen and spoken with Charlie. Brian likes to suppose that perhaps Charlie is still hanging around the bar looking for a nice glass of wine.
There is also a story about the glasses hung above the bar. Two girls were working as bartenders one evening. One was by the sink and the other a few feet away down the counter. Suddenly, the glasses flew off of the overhead rack and smashed to the floor between the two girls. At the same time one of the barmaids said she felt a wet hand on her back. On the floor, the wine glass left a wet residue but strangely it had been dry when it was on the rack. The barmaid who felt the hand also has a damp print on her back. Perhaps Charlie tried to pour himself a glass?
One story we were told concerns the men's room. As you can see in these two pictures, there used to be a door to the outside that is now unused. This outer door is lined up with the men's room. On one occasion, a patron claimed to have seen a man walking right through the men's room door out into the bar. Perhaps this spectral visitor was coming in from a long forgotten doorway?
On the left is the inner men's room door. The photo on the right, shows the outside entrance that you can clearly see is no longer being used. Spirits often do not seen to be aware of certain structural changes. It is almost as if time never passed for them.
There is another legend, and this one we find to be the most disturbing of them all. While all these renovations to the bar were taking place, Brian often would spend the night in the basement. He experiences a number of night terrors when sleeping there but thought nothing of it. One night, he awoke from a dream to find himself out of his body, and looking at himself. Suddenly, his dog came down the stairs. This particular dog had been put down 6 months prior but Brian accepted it and was just glad to see his pet. The dog seemed very happy to see him and acted as if he had been in a long vacation. They played a bit but then the dog would run up the stairs and come back down, acting as if he wanted Brian to follow. He would not follow for fear of getting too far away from his body and the dog kept coming back and forth until at one point, it was pulling on Brian’s pant-leg. Now this dog knew a certain trick that everyone in the town knew and had seen the dog perform. Brian gave the signal to the dog and he didn’t perform the trick. He began getting wary. He tried to coerce the dog but it seemed as if the dog had no recollection of the trick at all. Brian then said, ‘You’re not my dog.” and the dog ran up the stairs and did not come back down. Now Brian knew something was wrong, and that something had tried to deceive him into going upstairs and he tried to get up but could not move. Sensing the danger and realizing he was in a vulnerable position, he said in his mind that if this was it and he was going to die, he would kick its butt all the way across “spirit-land”. Suddenly it was as if a weight was lifted and he was able to move again, and he did, right out of the bar. He refuses to ever sleep down there again after that ordeal. Clearly, if the story is true and something ethereal did disguise itself to get at him, such a malevolent spirit could cause the rumored bar’s curse.
Yes, we did say curse. Since 1985 at least thee bar not only made no money, but lost money. This was why his friend had sold it and this is something Brian did experience. The bar is located in a prime area on a major road and should be doing very well. Because of this, a rumor began to circulate that the bar was cursed. After Paranormal State came through, Brian did mention that suddenly the bar began to make a profit and the malevolent spirit that hovered over the place seems to have gone, but Charlie may remain, sitting until closing time with a cigar and a glass of wine.