Get ready Walla Walla. T-Post Tavern is coming.
“The general idea is just a kick-ass, old-school country bar,” says owner Dan Thiessen, founder and managing partner at Denim Hospitality. Thiessen is also a managing partner at Yellowhawk Resort, Walla Walla Steak Co., and Crossbuck Brewing.
Located across from the Walla Walla Fairgrounds, T-Post Tavern will focus on live music, dancing, and food.
“I’m a firm believer that these country bars that we grew up around, I don’t think that the concept died,” Thiessen says. “I think that the operators moved on.”
Today, what little remains of country bars has morphed into places like Coyote Ugly and Cowgirls Inc. “That’s not what I’m going for here,” Thiessen says.
At T-Post Tavern, there will be neon signs, there will be long-neck, iced beer bottles, there will be live music as well as a jukebox, there will be dancing, and, yes, there will be a mechanical bull.
“I tell people, ‘Imagine Road House meets Urban Cowboy, without the cage,’” Thiessen says with a laugh. “It will be rough and tumble. More than anything, I want to let people have fun, come as they are, and be in a safe environment where they can dance and party it up a bit and have some really great food.”
In terms of the menu, it will focus on smoked meats, burgers, pizza, and flatbreads, or what Thiessen refers to as “killer bar food.” While T-Post Tavern might have some rough and tumble, it will be family-friendly until 10pm.
“We have kids. I think a lot of communities need a cool entertainment venue that is family friendly through a certain time,” Thiessen says.
In addition to being open for lunch and dinner through closing, Thiessen also plans to open for brunch on weekends, with food served family-style. Over time, there will be coin-operated pool tables added upstairs and a downstairs with private function rooms. T-Post will also do event catering and leverage its location across from the fairgrounds.
“It’s on the highest trafficked intersection in the entire county,” Thiessen says.
The tavern will be able to accommodate approximately 150 people indoors. There will be an outdoor patio that can seat an equal number of people.
Thiessen received permits to start work renovating the building last month. There is, as of yet, no planned launch date. Instead, Thiessen says, as he has with his other ventures, it will open “on a Thursday in 2023.”
“I think there’s a need for it,” Thiessen says of T-Post Tavern. “There’s no other dedicated space in Walla Walla that you can have consistent live music and dancing, and no matter what anybody says, country music has been and probably always will be one of the number one genres of music in the United States.”
In addition to T-Post Tavern, Thiessen has been busy with other projects. Walla Walla Steak Co. and Crossbuck Brewing are now open in Woodinville. Yellowhawk Resort, located on the former Basel Cellars property in Walla Walla, is currently working to build a set of bungalows. The property already has an event space that can accommodate up to 350 people.
T-Post Tavern will be part of the Revelers Club, which includes Aerlume, Aqua by El Gaucho, El Gaucho, Crossbuck Brewing, Walla Walla Steak Co., and Yellowhawk Resorts. T-Post Tavern, however, will be under the Denim Hospitality brand, which includes Thiessen Ranch.
“This one is really true to my roots,” Thiessen says of T-Post Tavern. “Being raised on a cattle ranch, I grew up around this stuff.”
If past is prologue, expect the T-Post Tavern concept to move beyond Walla Walla County’s borders. That means a kick-ass, old-school country bar could be coming soon to a place near you.
“This will not be the only T-Post Tavern around the Northwest,” Thiessen says. “I think it’s something that’s replicable.”
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