Jim Westfall: Sierra City sees a relaunch
I’ve now been in Sierra City for 17 months. I had sat all winter long, the most incredible winter in many years, watching car after car and truck after truck just blow through Sierra City with no reason whatsoever to stop because there was nothing to stop for.
I had a guest at the Buttes Resort tell me one time that they had stayed in Downieville to catch the Downieville Outfitters van up to the bike trail, but they didn’t recall ever passing through Sierra City, although they must have.
I had always wondered why the Buckhorn Bar had sat on Main Street empty for such a long time and began to ask around about the history and why it was closed. I heard that the building was in jeopardy of losing the liquor license because it has been shuttered for too long. That’s when my idea sprung into action. I didn’t want to see the license expire because I knew that the building would remain empty for all time and eternity without one.
It was a Monday when I decided to call the owner, Dennis, to inquire about the building and he asked that I contact his daughter, Sierra, because she just happened to be coming up that weekend! I thought, you’ve got to be kidding me, what a great opportunity to meet and discuss the future of the building.
When Sierra arrived, we toured the building and talked about the community and how the Buckhorn and Mountain Creek were such a big part of not only Sierra City, but her mom Joanne’s dream and vision for the community.
The kitchen and building were a mess as you might imagine, and it took months to clean and get it back to a standard that Joanne would be proud of. On Oct. 24 we decided to pull the trigger and open, not knowing what to expect.
I had learned long ago that when you try something new, especially on this scale, you will never truly be ready until you do it and learn how to make it better. You just have to be mostly ready. We really wanted a “soft” opening but after a social media announcement, we had guests all the way from Oroville. It was standing room only on our opening night and guess what?
We were not ready for that, but certainly appreciated the complete support from the community.
We are very proud and blessed to be able to bring this building back to life and we hope that it will be the spark that is needed to help Sierra City begin to swing the other way— back to prosperity and make it a place that people will once again take a few minutes to stop in and say hi.
The Mountain Creek Restaurant and Buckhorn bar is open 3 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sundays. Call 530-862-1171 or visit http://www.mountaincreekrestaurant.com to learn more.
Jim Westfall lives in Sierra City.
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