The historic Ranch Club in Garden City is getting a makeover. Soon it will reopen with a new name – and focus.
“We are doing a gay bar for the LGBT community here in Boise,” owner Rob Covert told BoiseDev.
The bar will drop the Ranch Club moniker, and instead, go by “Somewhere.” It fills a gap in the market left when Lucky Dog Tavern on Fairview Ave. closed to make way for a new Boise Police substation.
“Over the past year it’s been kind of a rough thing for our community,” Covert said. “Even though our whole community still fits together, it’s still kind of uncomfortable for people who go out on a date or need a night out.”
Somewhere to replace Ranch Club
Remodeling work started this month – including new siding and updates to the interior. Though the Ranch Club name will go away, a well-known landmark on the building will remain.
“We are going to keep the horse on the top,” Covert said. “It’s kind of an icon.”
Covert said they decided to change the name after a slew of owners came and went in the building. The Ranch Club changed hands several times over the last decade.
The Ranch Club opened in 1949 and operated under one family until 2002, according to the Idaho Statesman. It closed and changed ownership several times, including 2002, 2005, 2017, and 2019 and last year.
The bar features in the 1982 Clint Eastwood film Bronco Billy, which filmed around the Boise area.
“It’s been through so many different people as the Ranch Club, we thought ‘let’s give it a new beginning.’ That’s the reason we thought we’d make a change. Since it’s going to be an LGBT bar, we wanted to change the whole clientele. That’s why we decided to give it a totally different brand.”
He said he hopes to welcome “the entire LGBT community.”
“It’s not just a boys’ bar or a girls’ bar. We want the whole community to have a safe place to enjoy. That’s really one of the things about having a community is it brings a strong connection. When everyone can get together and enjoy a comfortable and safe place it makes it more enjoyable for everyone.”
The interior of the bar will see a new configuration.
“It’s going to be a beautiful space inside,” he said. It’s large – it will have a game room on one side with tables and dart boards and people can watch football – and the other side is more of a lounge-type with nice lighting. Towards the stage, it’s going to be more entertainment. We’ll have drag shows, we’ll have live music – we’ll just roll with what people want to hear.”
Unlike previous incarnations, Somewhere won’t offer food directly. The facility’s kitchen will convert to a commissary model. Covert said he hopes to make it available to food trucks, caterers, and others to use on a leased basis – and those vendors could offer food service to Somewhere patrons.
Covert said his goal is to start with a soft opening in February, and a grand opening in March. The process to find a permanent home for Somewhere took two years, but despite the pandemic, he hopes the time is right.
“We were a little nervous because of the situation with the pandemic,” he said. “We thought ‘gosh is this a great time to do it? Yeah, it’s a good time.’ We’ll have people wearing masks so they are comfortable and keep our employees and customers safe.”