Verde Heritage 1970: CHAPARRAL OPENS

After the Bridgeport Tavern was torn down Jim and Virginia McGowan moved to their new Chaparral on South Main Street in Cottonwood.

"A grand opening celebration will be held Sunday [September 20,] at the Chaparral of Jim McGowan and his wife, Virginia, formerly of Bridgeport Tavern."

"Free refreshments of turkey and ham sandwiches, potato salad and garnishes will be offered from 2 p.m. on that day at the bar and package goods establishment on 89A [in the 300 block] across from the A & W Root Beer Drive In."

"The handsome 30 by 50 foot building was built by John DeWitt and Tony Stadelman was contractor for the interior construction and setting up the bar and equipment."

"Sub-contractors were Terry Tasa of Tasa Electric; Jim Moss Refrigeration and Heating; L. J. Birdsong, Jr., refrigeration work; Bill Wombacher and Arthur Moore, masonry and block work; Smelter City Iron Works, metal work; Ray Mejia of Ray's Furnishings and Custom Upholstering, carpeting and upholstery; Jim Osborne and Sons, building designers; Eddie's Plumbing; and Jim Andrews, signs. Al Loomis helped in the construction."

"The color scheme and décor were by Mrs. McGowan and Mrs. DeWitt. The attractive interior has seating for 54."

"Enough parking is provided in the front and on the side of the building to accommodate 50 cars. The Chaparral is open the legal hours six and a half days a week."

"Mr. and Mrs. McGowan had owned and operated Bridgeport Tavern 20 years when it was torn down on January 5 to make way for the new bridge over the Verde River."

"In that type of business many years, Mr. McGowan had the Purple Sage here [925 N. Main Street, now, Nick's Italian Steak & Crab House] from 1948 to 1950, and before that operated the famed Rimmy Jim's on Highway 66 from 1945 to 1948. In 1935 he operated Patrick Park Tavern in Phoenix and in 1937 he opened up Mormon Lake Lodge in the spring and the Museum Club in Flagstaff that fall."

"'The Chaparral, as our other places have been, is a "neighborhood bar" and we hope to see all our old friends and customers here for the grand opening,' McGowan said."

(The Verde Independent; Thursday, September 17, 1970.)

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