The Buzz on The Roadhouse is Virtually Vibrating through the Valley

Posted: November 4, 2012 in Opening Business in Spokane Valley
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Everyone is talking about The Roadhouse, the new Country rock nightclub that is getting set to open. A good friend of mine, Jim Kuhlman, is setting up the cameras and tv’s and computors and sound and lights. He was our guy for all that stuff at the Rock Inn and now he’s Fred Lopez’s guy at the Roadhouse. I put them together and so that gives me a front row seat to what’s going on with the place.
On top of that connection, I am fairly good friends with Fred and helped in the early stages with design. The bar is my biggest contribution. Not that I designed it, but rather that I convinced him that the old bar had to go and he needed to do something very close to what he created at his other new place, The Ref.
The Ref’s bar is the only bar that you routinely see couples and women sitting at. It is huge and oval with a large bank of flat screens hung overhead in the middle. It is one of the best bars I have ever seen and I lobbied hard for Fred to recreate whatever version of it he thought would work at this new place. Once he agreed, all I did was draw up his idea and then he hired the same guy who built the Ref’s.
It turned out beautiful as the picture below shows even in the middle of the construction scene before it is all shined up and stocked with glistening glasses and beautiful bottles of booze lit up with accent lighting as the plasmas play patiently in the middle above it all. While that picture is still just in my head, I got the one below Thursday when I went down and saw Jim as he was getting ready to start his lonely nightshift working on fine-tuning his many projects.
This visit  prepared me well for all the people we ran into yesterday as Elaine and I went out for an early dinner and then stopped at a few places to visit with friends. I never one time brought up the Roadhouse, but I was amazed at how often it came up.
We started out up at Hogan’s on the Southhill. We had been meaning to eat there for nearly a month since Elaine had waited on the owners where she works at Ferraro’s on Division. They told her she was a fantastic waitress and asked her to come check out their place. What a pleasant surprise. It is right next to Trader Joe’s which had Granola Cruisers and Vegan Heads streaming in and out the whole time I was eating my unhealthy but exquisite pulled pork sandwich and sweet potatoe fries. Elaine’s wrap was much healthier but still tasted quite good.
Elaine, of course,  gets into a conversation with Jen our waitress and asks her how she likes working at Hogans. Jen says it is great but she had just put in her two-week notice because she had been hired last week to be a bartender by Alison who works for Fred at the Ref and will be managing The Roadhouse. Elaine told her we knew Alison and her boss. Jen was very excited about her new job and told us to be sure to come see her. Elaine assured her that we would.
Then we stopped in at Mike’s Tavern, which was amazingly busy for 5:30 on a Saturday, to see Danette who had moved there from Sullivan Scoreboard a few months back. Our friend Jim had seen her at The Roadhouse recently and so Elaine was curious to find out if Danette had applied there.
Turns out Danette had been having lunch at The Monkey Bar with Dianne Record, who owns Sullivan Scoreboard, and curiosity got the best of them so they wandered over to have a look around. She was flabbergasted at how great everything looked and commented that there was nothing like it in Valley, I told her there was nothing like it between Seattle and Chicago.
If we are at a place and it is busy in the Valley, Elaine will get into at least a half dozen conversations with old friends, give out a handful of warm hugs to people she is glad to run into and pass out friendly hellos to at least a dozen faint aquaintences. She is a friendly thing. During the course of her visitations, The Roadhouse kept popping up and I showed off the bar picture on my Droid more than a few times.
On our way home we noticed that Darcy’s had a lot of people and so we stopped. Turned out that there were three different parties going on and the places was hopping and so too was Elaine shortly after arrival. Hopping about hugging and hello-ing like a talkative version of the energy bunny on laughing gas. Pretty soon I am pulling up the bar picture and showing people how cool the place that they keep talking about is going to be.
I also used my Droid to text Fred to see if he and Melanie were doing anything. It was 7:30 and he texted back that he been working at the Roadhouse since 6 in the morning and had just gotten home. I thought my day sounded much funner talking to everyone about The Roadhouse rather than working on it. When we drove past it on our way home I noticed Jim’s truck in the parking lot. I guessed that he must have punched in about the time Fred was clocking out. They better not be slacking because the place is suppose to open November 14th and everyone wants to see it and I can only show a limitted number the preview on my Droid.

Here is the bar Fred dreamed up for The Ref. As far as bar styles go this is a grand slam home run slash Hail Mary touchdown slash half court swish.

This the my 3-D rendering of his new version The Roadhouse.


This is the Roadhouse bar just waiting for the action to get started. Notice the 160-inch high def projection screen in the background. Adjusting and dialing it in was one of Jim’s projects for Thursday night.

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