Going country - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

A new place to kick up your boots Going country

Former Rendezvous night club to become western-themed bar

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Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:17 am, Tue Feb 26, 2013.

COEUR d'ALENE - Moose Lounge owner Dave Pulis and company are chasing a niche in the market they can't believe hasn't yet been tapped in the heart of North Idaho.

Wine bars, biker bars, sports bars, even high-end locales with fancy appetizers dot Coeur d'Alene's dining and drinking landscape - not that there's anything wrong with that.

But something, Pulis said Monday, has always seemed to be missing.

The biggest city in the otherwise rural Idaho Panhandle doesn't have a kick-your-heels-up kind of country music bar. Not a bar that hangs a poster of John Wayne and calls itself the Wild, Wild West, but a good ol' fashioned country bar with a music stage, dance floor and a casual atmosphere where you eat "peanuts and popcorn and throw your shells on the floor."

"I just felt the Coeur d'Alene market was perfect for country," said Pulis, touring the 5,500-square foot-building Monday, formerly home to the Rendezvous night club, that will house the new live music hall, The Country Club. "There are a lot of country music fans here."

Pulis, Mike Lyon and Jack Tawney purchased the building, 216 E. Coeur d'Alene Ave., from the Rendezvous owners, and the deal closed last week. Pulis and Lyon are co-owners of the Moose Lounge in downtown Coeur d'Alene, but their new venture won't be tied to the popular Sherman Avenue watering hole. In fact, the Moose owners are working on extending their lease there when it expires in four years.

But the new business could open by mid-April, after renovations and the liquor license transfers. The Country Club, as its name suggests, will be all country. A 15-foot-by-19-foot stage will be set up in the northeast corner of the building so country artists can do their thing, while a dance floor will be set up in the center so dancers can do theirs.

"It's going to be a fun venue," Pulis said, as workers gutted the inside of the building. "It's going to be a lot more targeted to North Idaho."

The non-smoking bar will offer 20 beers on tap, employ around 20 people, have pool tables but not a kitchen for at least the first year. It will keep the decor in tune with its country theme, and add lighting from, guess what, wagon wheel lights in spots. Nothing too gimmicky like a mechanical bull, Pulis said, but cowhides on the wall and barn wood wainscoting will lend it flair. And six Makie speakers will give country singers the sound system to fill the hall with twang and acoustics. Local and regional acts will be a staple, but the goal will be eventually attracting national country names. Weekend acts will come with a cover charge.

"It's definitely going to be country," Pulis said.

The Rendezvous night club owners couldn't be reached for comment Monday. The website, LoveCdA.com, reported the nightclub closed after the sale and said the bar may open again if owners find a suitable new location.

The Rendezvous night club was a bikini bar that took over ownership from the Torch Lounge, which caused a stir around town when it opened in the spring of 2003. Several high-profile crimes occurred at or outside the bikini bar, including a recent stabbing that resulted in an attempted murder charge in 1st District Court for Jeremy D. Lyght of Post Falls.

As for country music, Pulis said he flirted with the idea of bringing a country bar to downtown Coeur d'Alene for more than three years.

It seemed like a perfect fit, he said. So much so, he figured others had to be thinking along the same lines.

"I am sort of surprised," he said, of not getting scooped on his idea. "I've been just dreading opening up the paper one day and seeing how somebody beat me to it."

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  • TNT posted at 3:11 pm on Wed, Mar 6, 2013.

    TNT Posts: 1

    This is so exciting!!! I agree below...FINALLY A "SMOKE FREE" Country bar. The other bars mentioned below do not practice this. Smokers in these establishments are down right rude. Blowing smoke and ridiculing like the dancing is a joke. Cigars are the worst!!!! Such a god awful stink. I think the writing will be on the wall when this place opens and people gravitate to this new establishment. Wake up Idaho.

  • hiway90 posted at 10:49 pm on Wed, Feb 27, 2013.

    hiway90 Posts: 61

    Thank you, Thank you Thank you...FINALLY,,,A "SMOKE FREE" Country Bar, where you can actually go into and hear real music, dance and not die of 2nd hand smoke inhalation. Yes there are a few country bars around but they allow you to go home smelling like a cigarette but, and your throat is sore for a week.
    My wife and I can hardy wait, I know many that will join you. THANK YOU

  • BoxcarBill posted at 8:53 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    BoxcarBill Posts: 1074

    Here's one nobody thought about either. An establishment in this area that serves consistently good food and drink at reasonable prices.
    They're all over Portland when I go there every year.

    This area is way too much like the white areas of western Canada when it comes to food.
    Think there's good food around here? One person's ceiling is another's floor.

  • aayupp posted at 5:39 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    aayupp Posts: 311

    good country music like merle , johnny, waylin, new riders, grateful dead---yeah! bring it on.

  • FromNIdaho posted at 1:50 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    FromNIdaho Posts: 48

    TST, I am curious about your credentials. Where do you live? What do you do for a living? What is your education level?

  • FromNIdaho posted at 1:49 pm on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    FromNIdaho Posts: 48

    TST, I am curious about your credentials. Where do you live? What do you do for a living? What is your education level?

  • flattopramen posted at 10:50 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    flattopramen Posts: 140

    If this place becomes a real venue for real country music... then I can't wait.

    Though I see no reason to get rid of the strippers... Just make them wear cowboy hats

  • The Simple Truth posted at 10:09 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    The Simple Truth Posts: 563

    Somebody has to pull the local yokels out of the last century.

  • SamuelStanding posted at 8:23 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    SamuelStanding Posts: 474

    It will be interesting to see, the Slab Inn in Post Falls is country and draws fairly large names/acts and is busy. Then there is the old bar that Kelly Hughs played (forget the name). So there are country bars in the area. Downtown CDA has always drawn the younger "Club music" crowd or older diners (Wine Cellar).
    It would be nice to see 20 ppl employed, so I hope it can work?

  • mister d posted at 7:33 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    Yehaw, it's about time.

  • Timeless posted at 7:06 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    Timeless Posts: 476

    Wheels: I could not agree with you more!

  • NoName posted at 7:05 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    NoName Posts: 253

    TST, you take every opportunity in the CDA Press blog to put down, name call and insult locals. If you are so unhappy with our local culture why do you stay? Based on your 119 posts it seems like you'd be much happier in San Francisco with the other Uber Libs.

  • The Simple Truth posted at 6:49 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    The Simple Truth Posts: 563

    Finally, Cletus the Slack Jawed Yokel will have a home away from the trailer park.

  • wheels1 posted at 6:23 am on Tue, Feb 26, 2013.

    wheels1 Posts: 389

    Finally..Victory...the Rendezvous (Torch) is history. Hope the city leaders learned a lesson with this debacle.Keep this garbage out of downtown.

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