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‘Sort of magical:’ Vegas country bar launches offshoot in Emmett – with a different vibe (and racetrack)

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Country music tunes will soon waft from a portion of the old Boise Cascade laminate plant in Emmett. And Chris Lowden hopes to bring acts representing the future of country music to the middle of Gem County.

Past the sawmill, over a railroad track and winding around some equipment is the new Stoney’s Roadhouse. The massive event space sits under the canopy of the old factory, and Lowden has big ideas.

“It’s obviously an event center, but we hope to be open every weekend,” he said. “It’s a place to dance, have some beers and enjoy good food.”

A place to dance

The centerpiece of the space is a massive 2,300 square foot dance floor, accomponied by an elevated stage of about 1,200 square feet. In the future, Nahsville acts may cycle up to Emmett after appearing at Lowden’s Stoney’s Rockin’ Country, not too far from the Vegas strip. But even though the two joints share ownership and have similar names, Lowden said the vibe in Idaho will be diferent.

“This is not Stoney’s Rockin’ Country in Las Vegas, It’s nothing but a place to dance and have a good time, with a local GM and local crew,” Lowden said.

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The ‘other’ Stoney’s plays into what you might expect in Vegas – with female bartenders in revealing outfits. While Lowden says he will hire about three bartenders, which will most likely be women, he says it will be “more toned down” than Vegas.

“This isn’t a Hooters or a Twin Peaks. We don’t want this to be crazy, we want it to be fun.”

Blue Valor Raceway

Blue Valor Raceway
Work is underway on the future Blue Valor Raceway. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

In addition to the large stage, Stoney’s sits next to the future Blue Valor Raceway. Originally called Gem State Raceway, the project changed course a bit since we first told you about it last year. Instead of a road course, owners put in an oval-shaped dirt track, which is under construction and should open in April. The bar and restaurant sits in the corner of the future raceway.

With COVID-19, the parade of up-and-coming artists at Stoney’s in Vegas has slowed, but Lowden says once they get rolling again, there’s a big opportunity to bring them to Idaho. They also expect car shows and more.

Tables, a mechanical bull and bar and food trailers round out the space, which Lowden calls temporary – for now.

Seating at Stoney’s. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

“None of this is permanent. Let’s check it out for a while and see if we can build a market. This is a temporary project. But it’s sort of magical. But more importantly, people can come and dance. Drive up with your motor home and spend the night and hang out.”

A dry camping area means folks can come from surrounding states – or the Boise area – and stay the night and enjoy music, drinks and food – and maybe even a race or two.

And about that food.

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“We aren’t serving hot dogs and French fries,” Lowden said. “The food will be elevated. We want people to eat good food. Most definitely comfort food. High fat and salt and sugar,” he said with a chuckle.

Stoney’s Roadhouse should open in a few weeks, with the raceway this spring.

What would a country bar be without the bull? Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev
Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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