Reminiscing at Rusty Moose

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The opening of The Rusty Moose Tavern and Grill has been a long process but Dan and Jill Nystrom are ready to welcome customers.

BONNERS FERRY — For many, the opening of The Rusty Moose Tavern and Grill will be a walk down memory lane.

You may remember the place as the Sportsman’s Club and later the Sportsman’s Bar and Grill.

Vacant for many years, Jill and Dan Nystrom decided to revitalize the building and open the Tavern and Grill.

Jill Nystrom has owned the neighboring Jill’s Cafe for nine years and will continue to operate both under the new name, The Rusty Moose Tavern and Grill.

“It was time,” said Jill Nystrom. “I’ve been thinking about it the last few years. I think it will be great.”

When the opportunity presented itself, Nystrom said she “jumped in with her eyes wide shut.”

Remodeling the space has been serious work but they have found surprises along the way.

In the ceiling, they found a cigar box with old receipts from downtown businesses and Fish and Game licenses from 1952 to 1954.

Underneath the five layers of flooring, they found the original barstool holes from the Sportsman’s Club.

Customers can reminisce about the good old days with memorabilia displayed, including Jill’s grandfather’s rod and reel, crosscut saws and other sporting gear.

“I want it to be a fun place to hang out,” said Nystrom. “We want it to be family friendly.”

The Rusty Moose is smoke-free and features favorites from Jill’s Cafe lunch menu. The dinner menu specializes in steaks.

They also plan on serving a Sunday brunch in the near future.

People can hang out after work, grab an ice-cold beer and watch spors on the 55-inch flat screen TV as they eat peanuts.

They also serve wine. Nystrom is hoping to occasionally have live music.

The atmosphere may be reminiscent of the good old days but the inside has been completely redone.

As Nystrom found the collection of old receipts from downtown businesses, she was making her own collection of receipts from local businesses as they remodeled.

The new copper ceiling came from Badger Building Center, the tables from Dick Schnuerle, windows from Bonners Ferry Glass, and flooring from McCoys and Thick ‘n’ Thin Beams and Flooring. North Idaho Iron Works designed and made signs.

Dawn Wagner painted the logo for the walls and windows.

Opening in early September, The Rusty Moose Tavern and Grill is open six days a week: Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Rusty Moose is located at 7211 Main St., across from Huckleberry Variety.

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