Curto’s Saloon (Shute’s Bar)

Location: Calumet  Interest: Email or Print

Despite Calumet’s outward appearance of modernity and civility it was still a frontier mining town at heart. For the thousands of its residents that spent most of their days toiling deep underground a stop at a local saloon was the highlight of their day. Saloons often segregated themselves by nationality, with specific bars catering to specific ethnic groups. Because of this some 78 saloons could be found scattered about Calumet by 1910, tucked into every nook and cranny of the village.

Curto’s Saloon was built in 1900 near the recently erected Calumet Opera House. The saloon operated for decades until federal Prohibition shut it down along with every other saloon in the nation. For the next dozen years Michael Shute operated an illegal speakeasy in the building’s basement – selling home-brewed moonshine. As soon as Prohibition ended in 1932 the saloon went back into business as Shute’s – its intricate Tiffiny-styled back bar still intact.

NOTES: This building continued to serve as a saloon for several more generations, up until its closure in 2008. It is not open to the public.

DIRECTIONS: The saloon is currently Shute’s bar, and sits long 6th Street in downtown Calumet. Upon entering Calumet along US41 turn north onto 6th Street Extension (the road with the stop light). Continue down the road into town, the saloon is on the right just before the Calumet Theater.


Be sure to stop by the Copper Country Forum to discuss anything related to the Keweenaw!