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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Huckleberries Online

Restoring a bar’s reputation

Bob's 21 Club owner Bobby Wilhelm looks over a table top that was recently renovated with historical artifacts encased in resin as part of a makeover of the bar on Friday at the bar's Post Falls location. (Jake Parrish/Coeur d'Alene Press)
Bob's 21 Club owner Bobby Wilhelm looks over a table top that was recently renovated with historical artifacts encased in resin as part of a makeover of the bar on Friday at the bar's Post Falls location. (Jake Parrish/Coeur d'Alene Press)

Bobby Wilhelm took what his late father told him to heart. "Before dad passed he said, 'Bobby, you're mostly to blame for the bad reputation for Bob's 21 Club; now you've got to clean it up,'" Wilhelm said. "And he was right." Bob's 21 Club, which will celebrate its 50th year next year as one of the area's oldest family-owned businesses, gained a rough reputation in the 80s and 90s. "Fighting, cops chasing me through the place, poolstick fights, cocaine on the bar, after-hour parties," Wilhelm said, summarizing the themes. "I was the worst customer dad ever had — without exception." It's been a hard reputation to shake. "Every time a story was repeated, it would keep getting bigger and bigger," Wilhelm said. So Wilhelm, who owns the bar with sisters Tina Swanson and Keva Wolfe, went to work this summer on a remodel in anticipation of the 50th anniversary and to fulfill Bob's wishes/Brian Walker, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

Question: Have you ever bent the elbow at Bob's 21 Club?



D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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