A new chapter for Barman's

S-E Staff Reporter

It was easy to spend hours walking around the different levels of Barman's Country Store looking at all it had to offer before sitting down to one of its 16 ice cream flavors inside a fresh waffle cone.

The historic 26,000-square-foot building has been a fixture on Colville's Main Street since the 1890's, purchased by John and Jeanie Acorn in 1994. At the time, they had been owners of the nearby Acorn Saloon for five years.

“It's been a lot of fun, but since John died five years ago it's just been too hard to do justice by both of these businesses,” shared Jeanie Acorn. “I feel like I could run either one a lot better than I have been, but not both of them together.”

Right after John passed away a rumor spread that Barman's would be closing.

“People assumed running two businesses would be too much work, and as it turns out, they were right,” said Acorn. “But I didn't want to close it. I still don't.
“It's a different chapter in my life.”

Acorn said by not splitting her time she'll be able to do more for the Acorn Saloon.

The Tri-County Community Health Fund was looking to purchase the building for the Hope Street Project, but funding fell through with a lack of community support (see 'Unyielding in the face of dissent' in this week's S-E).

Acorn said she is “a little disappointed the building didn't sell,” but she has no doubts it will eventually.

“It's a great old building,” Acorn said while seated at one of the tables near the back of the store, admiring the interior and heart of the building. “I think it would have lent itself very well with what those buyers were going to do with it.”

Hope Street was going to use the building to train individuals in vocational skills while creating a source of income for the project to support wrap around services and tiny home projects. Having owned both Barman's and the Acorn Saloon, Acorn is more than familiar with job training, and said vocational training is something Colville needs more of.

Acorn said, “I didn't want one more empty building on main street.”

Barman's will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sept. 23, which will be it's last day. According to Acorn, items for sale are 50 percent off.
After Sept. 23 the remaining merchandise will be put to auction on Sept. 30.


Jeff Owens out of Spokane will be holding an auction inside of Barman's Sept. 30 starting at 10 a.m. A store preview will be available starting at 9 a.m. the day of sale.
Merchandise inside the building will be auctioned off, including antiques, restaurant equipment, furniture and the like.

There will be iconic pieces like the coin-operated carousel and Wurlitzer Stereophonic jukebox (see ad in this week's S-E for a greater list).

Robyn Westergard of Westergard Real Estate, the broker for Barman's, said she was sad that the sale fell-through because the kid zone would have given kids something to do.

“Somebody will walk in when things are gone with a different vision,” noted Westergard. “It's like walking into a vacant house, you can put yourself and your ideas into it. If you walk into somebody else's house you see their ideas.”

For anyone interested in purchasing Barman's, contact Westergard at (509) 675-5540 or (509) 738-9378.

When the building does have a new owner, if they have any questions or need help with the old building, Acorn will be just next door willing to lend a hand.

Read the full story in this week's S-E.