Lifelong country music fan Jessie Anderson has wondered why Whatcom County has few choices to dance, so she decided to do something about it.
On Friday, May 13, Anderson opened the Kickin’ A Saloon & Dance Hall at 5225 Industrial Way in Ferndale, near Walton Beverage. The 4,500-square-foot saloon has a 1,300-square-foot dance area with music five days a week. The hall also will offer dance lessons from 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. Tuesday through Friday for those who want to learn line dancing, the two-step and country swing.
It took about two years for Anderson’s idea of a local dance hall to become a reality. A Whatcom County native and a Western Washington University graduate, Anderson moved to California for a job, but then decided to to move back to Whatcom County to be closer to family after the birth of her son.
While in California she enjoyed the variety of country music venues and wondered why there were so few options in Whatcom County. After doing some research and putting together a business plan, she decided to move forward and start one herself. Construction of the dance hall got going in February and her dad, Ken Anderson, did some of the finishing work to get the place completed at the end of April.
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Having the dance hall in a business park may seem unusual, but Anderson saw a lot of benefits to it. A warehouse offers much more space and easy parking options than a downtown spot. She also noted that country bars are more of a destination place for people; they are there to listen and dance to music, not go bar-hopping.
Along with a bar for drinks, Anderson said she plans to offer a small appetizer menu to start and eventually have an expanded menu with a full kitchen. She also is considering the idea of having food trucks on the property.
She plans to have live music on most Saturdays to start; she’s already discovered a lot of talented groups in the area and has all four Saturdays in June booked. In general, the music will include traditional country as well as current offerings.
Based on early feedback, Anderson believes her hunch about opening a country dance hall is correct. People from ages 21 to 80 have come up and thanked her for doing this because they’ve enjoyed country dancing but couldn’t find a local place to go.
Kickin’ A is open from 6:30 p.m. to close Tuesday through Thursday, 6:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. For details on the dance lessons or the business itself, visit its Facebook page or kickinasaloon.com.
NEW FOOD TRUCK OFFERS CUBAN FOOD
The food truck business continues to grow in Whatcom County, with the latest addition offering Cuban food.
CubanoCubano got rolling last week in Lynden and will be hitting different areas of Whatcom County. Started by Sean Beanblossom, the truck offers a variety of dishes, including a Cubano sandwich made with slow-roasted pork shoulder and served on pressed Cuban bread, according to a company news release. Side dishes include Cuban black beans, slaw and rice.
On Thursday, May 19, CubanoCubano will be stationed at McEvoy Oil at 4040 Irongate Road in Bellingham from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then at Overflow Taps at 106 Fifth St. in Lynden from 5-10 p.m. For details on the truck’s schedule, visit its Facebook page or CubanoCubano.com.
A tenant improvement permit application was submitted to put in a Pita Pit at 2426 James St. in Sunnyland Square, near Trader Joe’s. ... A permit also was submitted to put in a First Federal Savings bank at 960 Harris Ave., Suite 101. ... Xavier Cortes, the new owner at Northwest Chevrolet of Bellingham at 3891 Northwest Ave., is hosting a grand opening celebration 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 17. Along with food and drinks, football star Jake Locker will be on hand. ... Bellingham tenant improvement permits were submitted for the Urgent Care Clinic at 3130 Squalicum Parkway and The Mail Room at 784 Kentucky St. ... Boundary Bay Brewery and Wander Brewing each took home medals from the 2016 World Beer Cup, held earlier this month in Philadelphia. Boundary Bay won a silver award for its Old Bounder beer in the Barleywine beer style category while Wander won a bronze for its Wild Warehouse beer in the Wood- & Barley-Aged Beer category. According to a news release, the World Beer Cup had 6,596 entries from 1,907 breweries in 55 countries and 253 beer judges.