Workers were tearing out the old at Antlers Saloon and Cafe last weekend in preparation for the new: a remodeled bar and eatery in a space that was in business for nearly 90 years before closing last New Year’s Eve. Photo by Don Nelson

Workers were tearing out the old at Antlers Saloon and Cafe last weekend in preparation for the new: a remodeled bar and eatery in a space that was in business for nearly 90 years before closing last New Year’s Eve. Photo by Don Nelson

By Don Nelson

On Saturday afternoon, a woman with her young daughter in tow stopped by the Antlers Saloon and Cafe building in Twisp to chat with new owner Paul Christen, who has begun an extensive remodeling of the historic bar and eatery that closed late last year.

The woman told Christen she had spent many happy hours in the place in younger days. She and the rest of the community will have the opportunity again when Christen’s makeover is complete.

Christen has stripped much of the old siding off the building, revealing its stucco-covered exterior and some windows that had long been boarded over. Inside, a work crew was stripping the space down to the original ceiling joists in preparation for the remodeling work to come.

Antlers was closed on New Year’s Eve 2013 by its most recent owner, Robin Madison, after almost 90 years in business.

Christen said the “new” Antlers will again include a horseshoe-shaped bar but will also likely have an outdoor seating area, a new kitchen and lots more light now that the windows have been uncovered, among other improvements.

He said it will likely be several months before the work is complete. When it’s done, Christen said, locals who loved the old place will find a familiar space. And long-time regular Bill Hottell is ready to bring back his ragtime band to perform again, Christen said.

“It’ll still be Antlers,” he said.