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Sonny's reopens in Washtucna

Fried chicken, music, laughs filled the air

WASHTUCNA – Headlights lit up Main Street on Thursday, Oct. 26, as diners headed to the newly re-opened Sonny's Tavern for their first night open since the business's acquisition by Bridget and Paul Coon.

Farmers, firefighters and first responders, who were the inaugural guests during the opening service, were greeted with smiling faces of Farm Bureau representatives, the familiar smell of frying chicken and the sight local farm brands that were burned into the interior walls and supports upon entering.

The opening day event began at 4 p.m., with several tables of locals and supporters already full. By 4:30 p.m., Sonny's was already at half capacity as servers and cooks were working out some of the opening day jitters. By 5 p.m., only one or two seats were left without a guest.

Guests greeted each other, sharing stories and laughs as orders were taken and the beer began to flow.

One Washtucna local, David Baumamn, grew up with the tavern's namesake Sonny. "He liked beer, so he opened up a tavern," Baumamn joked. Baumamns family has been in the area since the early 20th century, with this grandfather Charles farming the land as early as 1918. "Having a business open again in Washtucna is really good," he said.

The tavern is home to many memories for locals. Hooper local Caleb Hudson, who was at the opening with this wife Madison and daughter Ruth, mentioned how his father-in-law would always request going to Sonny's for his birthday and events. "It's really cool to see it open again," he said.

Other diners joked about how they had some really good times, but nothing they were willing to have in perpetual print, including one who rode a horse into the tavern once. Stephanie Jessop, who was there dinning with family, summarized the tight-lipped consensus as, "What happens at Sonny's, stays at Sonny's."

The evening continued and food made it's way to hungry diners, rustling up positive. Henry Harder who there with his wife Linda, Lamont locals and frequent denizens of Sonny's in the past, mentioned after their meal that, "the food is just as good as I remembered."

As the event went on, the soft-plucking of a six-string twanged and thumped as Ryan Stewart tuned his guitar and checked his equipment for his live performance that evening. Stewart, of Royal City, currently plays with his group the Royal City Revival, performing a mixture of classic rock and outlaw country music primarily in the Ellensburg area. His live performance during the evening consisted of a similar setlist including songs like Bob Dylan and Old Crow Medicine Show's "Wagon Wheel", Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down" and more.

As the music played, one prominent local could be seen coming into the bar for the opening, Sen. Mark Schoesler. Schoesler, who represents the 9th Legislative District in Washington, greeted the locals and ordered his meal. When asked how his experience had been so far that evening, Schoesler replied, "A local business reopens and it rains, it really couldn't get better."

While Sonny's Tavern had to close for several days after the Thursday night event, to finish up some last-minute repairs, the restaurant plans to open up their doors to the public for full service beginning Nov. 2.


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