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Posts tagged: Joe Peak

Snake Pit Has New Owners

Joannie and Kim Gittel finalized a deal Friday with the Peak family to purchase the Enaville Resort — commonly known as the Snakepit — roughly a year after the restaurant shut down. The Gittels own four restaurants in North Idaho and will add on one more with their plans to have the Snakepit fully open within the next two weeks. They own Rusty’s in Hayden, El Patio in Post Falls, Bo Jacks Pub and Grille in Coeur d’Alene and The Bedroom Goldmine Bar in Murray. “This is a very iconic place,” Joannie Gittel said of the Snakepit. “It’s a landmark not just in Idaho. We wanted to continue the tradition”/Gordon Rago, Shoshone News-Press. More here. (George Rago Shoshone News Press photo: New Pit owners Joannie and Kim Gittel, far right, meet with Jacque Haler and Andy Peak, the son and daughter of the late Joe and Rose Mary Peak)

Question: Do you plan to check out the new Snake Pit?

Peak Has Snakepit Running Again

Joe Peak is still running the Enaville Resort – the Snakepit, as locals know it – along the Coeur d’Alene River north of Kellogg. As he’s battled cancer and mourned the death of his wife earlier this year, the 66-year-old owner found a way to bring the legendary Silver Valley restaurant and bar back to a five-day-a-week operation this summer. For now, he’s taking it day by day. The place is for sale and he’d like to retire and tend to his health, but Peak keeps going for the sake of his loyal customers. “You know, it’s a young man’s game,” he said. “We just need someone in here who’s got a little more pep and energy and is willing to put their lives into this place. We gave till we can’t give anymore”/Scott Maben, SR. More here. (Kathy Plonka SR file photo of Joe Peak)

Question: When did you last visit the Snakepit?

Carlson: Joe Peak Vs. Hitchens

(Syndicated columnist) Kathleen Parker will never meet Joe Peak (pictured). It’s a shame because he too is an iconoclastic, one of a kind character. For years Joe has operated a well-known watering hole a few miles off of I-90 up the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River, a former bordello called the Snake Pit. Full of ambience and odd historical relics, as well as Joe and wife Rose Mary, it has been a must stop for years for thousands of fly fishermen seeking a burger and an adult beverage, along with advice on where to find the wily cutthroat. In recent years additional hundreds of bicyclists traveling the 76-mile Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes from Plummer to Mullan have made it a must pit stop. Joe is the epitome of Will Rogers’ old saying that he’d never met a man he didn’t like. Always gracious, the Wyoming native and intrepid follower of his Wyoming alma mater’s football team, the Cowboys, he is as good a listener as he is story teller. Joe and Rose Mary walk the talk of “faith, family and friends”/ Chris Carlson, Carlson Chronicles. More here.

Question: Who is most iconoclastic person you've met?

Future Of Snakepit In Jeopardy

Rocky Mountain Oysters have been on the menu at the Enaville Resort since the 1950's. Now, the dish, as well as the future of the Snakepit, are in jeopardy as owners Joe & Rose Mary Peak battle health issues. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

Joe Peak (pictured) remembers the first time he walked into the Snakepit. “The bar was three deep with loggers and miners,” Peak said. A jewel- bedecked, elaborately dressed woman tended the bar. Paintings and stuffed animals and Western memorabilia covered the walls and hung from the ceiling. Smoke thickened the air. It was January 1978. “It was surreal, it really was,” he said. “A pretty rowdy bunch.” Within weeks, he owned the place with a partner. Since then, Peak and his wife, Rose Mary, have kept the Snakepit, aka the Enaville Resort, open virtually every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas – a place for a meal, a drink (legal or otherwise), some gossip, a dish of complimentary huckleberry ice cream and a blast of wood-hewn “atmosphere”/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever eaten Rocky Mountain oysters?

Health Issues Force Snakepit To Shut

The future of the historic Enaville Resort (also known as the Snakepit) is uncertain now that owners Joe and Mary Peak are both battling cancer. Visitors to the famed eatery/tavern found this message on a whiteboard under the word “CLOSED” printed in capital letters Friday: “Due to ongoing medical issues we will be closed for some projects. It has been our sincere pleasure to serve you since 1978 - 2 days closed each year! Stay in touch … Rose Mary & Joe need your support.” In a Coeur d'Alene Press weekend story, Peak, who has operated the Enaville Resort with his wife since 1978, said he had a stem cell transplant in his battle with cancer and his wife is in Hospice care. He said quietly: “I don't know what we're going to do.” The Shoshone News-Press is asking readers for testimonials for a special edition to be devoted to the Peaks. You can read a 1997 SR story by Bekka Rauve about them here. And see a 2007 video by Annie Bishop here.

Question: When did you last visit the Snakepit (Enaville Resort)?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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