After serving as the flagship home of Prohibition, Westerville doesn't have many historic alcohol-related locations.

After serving as the flagship home of Prohibition, Westerville doesn't have many historic alcohol-related locations.

But thanks to Jimmy V's Grill & Pub owners Jimmy Velio and Mario Nedelkoski, the city may soon have its most famous liquor landmark back.

The pair purchased the site of the former Corbin's Saloon, 39 W. Main St., and plan to return the building to its former glory.

Uptown Deli and Brew and Temperance Row Brewing owner Toni Cabilovski, who has worked with Velio and Nedelkoski on other projects, will rent and manage the space along with two partners.

But Velio said restoring the saloon has been on his radar for some time.

"Since we got into the Westerville business, we've been trying to bring back that bar," Velio said.

Corbin's Saloon was the site of controversy in the mid- to late 1870s, as owner Henry Corbin ignored protests and liquor laws and continued to sell alcohol despite a local ordinance banning it. The building was assaulted by residents with gunpowder bombs multiple times, and the period is often referred to as the Whiskey Wars.

More than 100 years later, Velio said the timing is perfect to bring the saloon back to Westerville.

"(Westerville) was dry for so long, and now it's turning into an absolutely great small town with a large population and Otterbein University there," he said. "It's growing and a lot of things are coming back, and the times have proved that Prohibition did not help the economy."

The building's sale has only been complete for a few weeks, and Velio said his lawyers are working on liquor permits and other licenses.

He said he's learned that it's too early to make timeframe promises or concrete plans, but the bar will be "as close as possible to the bar it was 100 years ago."

In the process, he said he'll have to strip the building, formerly an embroidery business, "down to the bone."

But the work is worth it for Velio, who embraces the site's heritage.

"Bringing back the Corbin Saloon is important to the history itself," he said. "It's the icon of Prohibition. That's where it started. ... So bringing it back 100 years later, the history is coming back. It's great to be able to bring it back after a lot of effort it took us to achieve it."

Zoning and other dealings with city officials are in the works, but after CNN did a report on the building's history a few years ago, Velio said one city employee is already excited about the additional exposure of bringing it back.

"One of them said, 'Oh my god, if you do that, I'm going to call CNN for you,' " he said with a laugh.