"The copper dragon sculpture is pictured hanging on Monday in the now-closed Copper Dragon bar and brewery in Carbondale. The sculpture was sold to Barret Rochman to be used in the park created in memory of his son, Jeremy “Boo” Rochman." Isaac Smith
CARBONDALE — The Copper Dragon’s namesake sculpture won’t be flying away from Carbondale any time soon.
The massive copper beast that hung above the stairs at the now-shuttered bar and brewery will have a new home in Carbondale after it was sold at auction to Barrett Rochman.
The dragon and everything else from Pinch Penny Pub and Copper Dragon were auctioned off after the Karayiannis family announced they were closing the Carbondale mainstays after nearly 50 years in business. A yet unnamed business development will be moving into that real estate.
CARBONDALE — The memorial Barrett Rochman created for his son, Jeremy “Boo” Rochman, has now become a place of dreams for many in Southern Illinois.
Jimmy Karayiannis said the dragon was commissioned by his mother, who he said was a medieval history major in college. In fact, the original copper dragon that once adorned Pinch Penny's beer garden was the reason the brewery and event space next door was named The Copper Dragon. This decision is what led to Jimmy’s mom to have the creature created.
Because of this family connection, Karayiannis said he was nervous about what would happen to the fixture.
“That was a very dear thing to my mother’s heart,” he said.
But, once he heard Rochman was the purchaser, he was relieved.
Rochman plans to put the massive copper statue in the park he founded in his son’s memory. Rochman conceived of the park as a way to honor his son, Jeremy “Boo” Rochman, who died in a car accident in 1994 at age 19 and was a big fan of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons.
“When we knew it would be for sale, we thought we did need the dragon for the park. It shouldn’t leave Carbondale,” Rochman said.
Karayiannis said knowing that not only is the dragon not leaving town but is going to be enjoyed by the public is a good feeling. It doesn’t hurt that he was good friends with Boo — the two played soccer together.
Longtime college hangout Pinch Penny Pub will close for good on Dec. 30 after nearly 50 years as a Carbondale mainstay.
“They have some of the same passions we do and my mom did,” Karayiannis said of the Rochmans.
But, before the dragon can be perched at the park, Rochman has to get it out of the Copper Dragon, which is no small task. Speaking on Tuesday, Rochman said he knows the wings of the sculpture will have to come off to get it out of the building but he speculates that the stairs might have to be removed, also, in order to make room.
Those details are still being worked out, as are the plans for where the dragon will go in the park. But, at the moment Rochman and Karayiannis are just happy to know the dragon will stay in the Carbondale family.
“We’re just real happy for everyone involved,” Rochman said. “I think the community wins with this one.”