It’s a sad day for the country fans as Fremont’s The Saddle Rack club will no longer be reopening its doors after almost 44 years. The club is another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic, which has sent countless local businesses into major financial hardship.
In a note posted on Instagram, The Saddle Rack club shared their tough decision. “We are deeply saddened that we must lose the place that so many of have called home over the past years, but are also extremely thankful to have created the relationship with everyone who has walked through our doors. We have guided each other through some of the best and worst times.”
The Fremont venue said they had considered different ways to evolve the business that stays true to their heritage. Unfortunately, they were not able to come up with a sustainable solution. “Even when the coronavirus goes away, how are you going to tell people they have to stand 6 feet apart on a dance floor or in a close bar?” Andy Buchanan, who is one of the original owners of the club, asked.
The Saddle Rack club opened in the 70s, and ever since then, it has been a beacon for country music fans. It first opened in San Jose but was later closed around 2002 when its property was sold to make way for condos. Just a year later, Buchanan and his co-owner Gary Robinson reopened on Boscell Road, in the middle of a row of warehouses near Fremont’s Pacific Commons shopping center.
The legendary county music venue then blessed the Bay Area residents with all the trappings of a rural honky-tonk. This includes a mechanical bull, Tex Mex food, and of course, line dancing. Big stars like Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, and Blake Shelton, have played on its 800-square-foot performance stage too. That’s when it’s not occupied by Diablo Road, the club’s house band led by local vocalist, Jewels Hanson. And the club is filled to capacity during weekends.
“We’ve always been a fun place that wants everyone to have a good time,” Buchanan once said. “As long as people are doing that and not bothering anyone, we’re happy.”
But the club is even more than that. They had hosted charity events too, like Make-A-Wish Foundation, The Special Olympics, Relay For Life, and so much more. This is the legacy The Saddle Rack hope will never be forgotten.
The Saddle Rack Management ended the note with: “Thank you all again for making The Saddle Rack such a fun place we could all call home. We will miss you all, but home to be back together soon.” This ends one of the longest runs of any major nightlife spot in the South Bay. The country and western music bar scene in the Bay Area will never be the same again.
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