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Blackfoot business owners try to put the life back into nightlife

Blackfoot business owners try to put the life back into nightlife

BLACKFOOT, Idaho - Blackfoot hasn't been known as a destination for weekend entertainment or nightlife, but a few of the city's establishments have gone under new ownership in the past few months.

Ed Gorder is the new owner of Stingers Bar & Grill, previously known as Stan's.

"It's something that I've always wanted to do," said Gorder. "bring some Americana tradition back to Blackfoot."

Gorder remodeled the bar, and opened it up just last month. The restaurant connected to the bar is undergoing renovation, and will open in April.

"We have hundreds and hundreds of manhours into remodeling and cleaning this place, making it a really nice experience for our customers," said Gorder.

He wants to preserve the 63-year history of Stan's but offer live music every weekend. Coleman Johnson, new owner of CJ's Rock N Roll Cowboy Haven is also trying to emphasize live music.

"I love this bar, it's a great bar," said Johnson. "It has all the potential in the world."

It's Johnson's second bar, but his first in Blackfoot. He said Blackfoot offers a new challenge, but he sees a bright future.

"We have lots of bars here, and we're all in this together," said Johson. "We're all friends."

Around the corner and down the street, Mandi Jensen just wrapped up her first month as the co-owner of the Tumbleweed Saloon.

"We just decided we wanted to work for ourselves," said Jensen. "We were both in management in our other jobs, and it's a party every day."

Jensen said all of the new owners support each other, because they all share the same goal of reviving Blackfoot's nightlife.

"We want people to have a reason to stay in Blackfoot, instead of going to Pocatello or Idaho Falls," said Jensen. "Because, we used to do the same thing."

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