Historic Bobbi’s Bar on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation, on Hwy. 5 in Plummer, Idaho, will celebrate its twentieth anniversary on Nov. 27, during Thanksgiving weekend, with comedy and the blues. There will be a pig barbecue and potluck at 6:30 p.m. Uncle D’s Comedy Show with Don Parkins starts at 8 p.m., and live music with Robb Boatsman and Rampage begins at 9:30. Robb Boatsman was nominated best male vocalist, blues guitarist, and blues performer, and Rampage as best new blues band by the Inland Empire Blues Society in 2010. Admission is free.
Interesting facts about Bobbi’s:
· More than $25,000 has been raised by the community at Bobbi’s to help people ride out hardships caused by medical emergencies.
· Part of the 1998 release Smoke Signals by Sherman Alexie, was filmed there.
· Bobbi’s is reputed to have a friendly female ghost.
· Bobbi’s Bar still has the original 100-year old oak dance floor.
Twenty years is a long time to run a bar, and so far, owner Roberta Doupé, has persevered three times longer than any of the previous owners. She does it all: bookkeeper, bartender, and bouncer. Rez bars are notorious for getting a bit rough at times, and Roberta has seen her share of drama, but the diminutive local Irish girl who grew up on the reservation near the Jesuit mission at DeSmet, takes it all in stride. She views her bar as a welcoming, eclectic, gathering place filled with people laughing, and having a good time most of the time.
“One reason I came back from Seattle and bought this bar on the rez where I grew up is that people come to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company, not cry in their beers about everything that’s wrong with the world,” Doupé said.
The camaraderie takes place in one of Plummer’s original buildings. Roberta’s grandfather-in-law, Wheeler Gilbert, remembered it as the Plummer Mercantile in the early 1900s. Later it became the local American Legion Hall, with smorgasbords and dancing on weekends. Bill Murphy, who owned the building in the 70s, called it the Main Street Mill, and gave the place a logger theme with a shake roof over the bar and logging memorabilia on the walls. Roberta kept the logging theme going, adding cross cut saws, peaveys, log dogs, choker hooks, caulk boots, wedges and other items from her own collection.
“It’s the only logging memorabilia collection in Plummer, and serves as the town’s unofficial museum. People come in just to see the relics and reminisce about the areas logging heyday,” Doupé said.
An Irish girl in a rez bar with a logging theme and the blues. Somehow, it works.