The oldest bar establishment in Prineville recently gained new owners and a facelift, complete with new flooring, new doors and an updated kitchen.
Despite a brighter and updated atmosphere, the iconic interior décor has remained intact. The original bar, as well as the log walls and original wagon wheel light fixtures still grace the interior. Cody Suing and Chris Powell took over in March 2019. Suing is also the the owner of Sons of Beer. Suing and Powell changed the name from the Horsehoe Saloon to Horseshoe Tavern.
"We heard it was for sale, so we went ahead and purchased the business and the lot in March," Powell said. On Friday morning, they celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony after hosting the weekly Prineville Perk.
When purchasing the tavern and property, they also inherited much more, as the prior owners had surrendered their full on-premises liquor sales license on account of four violations in January 2019. Between 2015 and 2018, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) cited 50 violations.
Suing and Powell have been motivated to turn the tavern around. In March, OLCC gave them a 90-day restricted trial run. In May, they ran into a snag, and OLCC rescinded the 90-day authority to operate. The new owners set out to file an appeal and get things back on track.
They were able to get their liquor license back and opened again on Nov. 1.
"We are in the process of getting the lottery back," said Suing. "That was part of the conditions, that if you don't have a liquor license you can't have a lottery machine."
He added that they are hoping to have that in place in about three months.
They are also working on bringing live music on Friday evenings.
While they were closed in May, they spent time cleaning, and they refinished the floors. They worked hard to brighten up the space. They put in new doors and updated the kitchen. The stage in the center of the main space was removed to open it up.
"Most people's concerns were the dollar bills and pool tables," Suing said, laughing about the iconic parts of the tavern.
Powell said the tradition of the dollar bills goes back to the days that the building first opened in 1941. It started with one person putting a dollar bill over the bar, back when Howard Boise was owner and Art Higgins was one of the first bartenders. Other patrons kept adding to the collection. Today, there is a wide assortment of dollar bills surrounding the bar.
"That's why we bought it. It's the oldest bar in Prineville, and it was going to be shut down," Powell said. "So we went ahead and bought it to try to make it a better place for everybody."
They have added several menu items, including wings, pork chops and broasted chicken. Breakfast is served all day, and there are daily specials for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Takeout is also available.
"Breakfast and prime rib have always been the favorite thing around here — and broasted chicken," said Suing.
Powell added that their food is homemade, and there is homemade soup available on a daily basis. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to midnight, seven days per week. They are only closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
"We just are thanking everybody for their support. We have great food and great service," Powell said.
Owners: Chris Powell and Cody Suing
Address: 410 N. Main Street, Prineville, OR 97754
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Serve breakfast Lunch and Dinner, breakfast served all day. 21 years and older only.
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