Scotty Reckord and The Sullivan Scoreboard

I should not like Scotty Reckord as much as I do considering the best employee we ever had at the Rock Inn left us to join him when he opened Scotty’s Bar and Grill three years ago. Like a lot of people, Kristina Hanks went way back with him and as she told me, ” If Scotty’s opening a place, I’ve got to be there.” Scotty has a way with people and that’s why Kristina, his old babysitter, left us, why I still like him, and why I would not bet against him at the Sullivan Scoreboard.

But I was skeptical when I went by the place January 2nd, the day he got the keys. Rundown would be a euphanism to desribe the condition the former owners left it. “We’ll be open in ten days,” Scotty assured me. That was 14 days ago. But it will open this weekend, unless it opens next weekend.

But like he did before at Scotty’s, he is doing it right by spending the time and money it takes and by again letting Patty Bostus, his former partner at Scotty’s, pick the colors. Her choice of soft mocha wall paint, dark-blonde hemlock trim and mauve carpet is perfect. Further details await, but Scotty says he got a hold of some nice full-back burgandy apholstered chairs and plans to have four TVs behind the bar with three or four more spread out around place. All told he figures he’ll spend $30,000.

Beyond his personallity and Patty’s good taste, Scotty has a few other aces up his sleeve. One is his outdoor sportscourt/ picnic/ party area that is roughly the size of an indoor arena football field.

“That’s the party out there, bud,” he said, ” I’ve got a vision.” Personally, I think he is on to something. With the privacy fence enclosing the volleyball court, horseshoe pits and picnic party area, he has the opportunity to throw shindigs that are part backyard barbeques and part summer parking lot beerfests with the cozy feel of a Couer d’ Lene lake cruise complete with hot bands and cold beer.

Another ace in Scotty’s hand is his passion for the business. During the short time he was out of the industry, the guy was kind of lost and just wanted back in. When I would run into him and ask why, he’d say, ” It’s the only thing I know how to do. I love kissing babies and shaking hands.” Scotty is the kind of guy who works his bar hard from cooking and serving to B.S.ing with and driving home the patrons his employees might inadvertently over-serve.

For those who will be doing their own driving, the location is another thing working in Scotty’s favor. You can either duck into Taco Bell and pull onto Sullivan munching a soft-shelled burrito or slip behind the old K-Mart and dissapear into the neighborhood. Sadly, these things are crucial to a watering hole’s success now days. The 60,000 cars going by each day on Sullivan doesn’t hurt either.

They say most new places go under because they are under capitalized, but really it is because most new owners don’t know what they are getting into. Not having enough money to cover all their miscalculations is just the final fatal flaw. This is the biggest reason I believe Scotty has a good chance.

Scotty’s biggest advantage is his track record. When he ran the Scoreboard from 92 to 98, the place was cranking. Then he and Patty opened Scotty’s on Argonne with a bang and that place is still going strong. This is a guy who knows the importance of great food, great service and he knows what it takes to deliver and what it all costs.

Expect to see Scotty there every time you walk in, working the crowd and working the grill. And expect the kind of place that only a guy who loves people and loves the business can deliver.But don’t expect to see Kristina working behind the bar. Unlike me, Patty knows how to hold onto the best employee she ever had.

Check out the Sullivan Scoreboard website.

One Year Update
It has been a year since I wrote the above story and I must say that both Scott and I were unusually accurate.I have watched every place that has opened in the Valley very closely for the last 6 years and so I am not surprised that I was right in my prediction, but I am relieved to say that Scotty’s gamble proved to be a solid bet.
Scott really has done a lot of things right and he is one of the only overnight success stories I have seen in 6 years. The most crucial thing he did right involves hiring the right people. I would say that he came up with a staff better than he deserves,
how did he get so lucky? Dianna, his manager, is way too sweet for Scott. The other gals that work there  are attractive, good at what they do and perhaps most important and unusual,they are very likable people with smiles on their faces at all times. The bottom line is all his help are nice,attentive and ,frankly, good looking, except for the cook, Tom. Actually Tom is Scotty’s best catch. He worked for us at the Rock Inn our first year or so and the guy just has a gift for great cooking. What ever he makes always tastes good.
But beyond his taste in women, and cooks, Scott himself is a great owner. He works his joint (though he does not work the grill) and he shows his genuine appreciation for his customers. You don’t come in or leave without his greeting or thanks. I wish I could drive every owner out to the Scoreboard and say “this is how you do it.”
Beyond all that, Scott has done what you have to do in the business- he is the “third place” for a lot of people. By third place I mean, first there is home, then there is work and then there is the third place  where people hang out. Scott is that place for a lot of people and he did it by making the place fun.
He was not just whistling Dixie when he said he had a vision for the patio. People had a great time out there through the warm months listening to Sammy Ewbanks on Fridays. The golf tournament he hosted last summer was over the top as was the Dodgefest competion. And as the weather got cold, Scott made sure fans could watch whatever NFL game they wanted and every Gonzaga game was always broadcast.His Super Bowl party was as good as the fourth quarter of that game. The guy doesn’t miss a trick.
A year ago, Scott Reckord was just a current scoop for me and a guy that I kind of knew, now he is one of my favorite owners whose success story I am quite glad to write.

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