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Ranchman’s relics — including mechanical bull — for sale in online auction

Click to play video: 'End of an era for Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall as COVID-19 forces it to close' End of an era for Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall as COVID-19 forces it to close
WATCH: Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall is selling off its assets amid a forced closure due to the downturn and the pandemic. As Tomasia DaSilva reports, one of the men behind the iconic honky-tonk is sad to see it go but says it may not be gone for good – Jan 6, 2021

Barstools, picnic benches, beer tubs and even the mechanical bull from Ranchman’s Cookhouse and Dancehall are up for grabs in an online auction.

Edmonton-based auctioneer Stewart Belland Sales launched the liquidation on Monday.

Interested buyers can view the items up for grabs online or in-person on Friday, Jan. 8 (by appointment only).

Aside from furniture, the auction is also offering up Ranchman’s shirts and hats, glassware, beer, coolers, energy drinks, neon signs, a party bus and sound equipment.

Read more: Calgary’s famous Ranchman’s country bar up for lease; iconic rafter saddles seized by bank

As of noon on Wednesday, bidding for the mechanical bull was at $625.

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Bidding closes for different items on different days ranging from Jan. 11–13, depending on the lot number.

Winners will be contacted by the auctioneer but must pick up their items on Friday, Jan. 15 at a location on Venture Avenue in southeast Calgary.

The iconic honky-tonk closed on Mar. 17 amid COVID-19 restrictions and was later put up for lease in the fall of 2020.

One of the men who originally started the rowdy dancehall toured the Ranchman’s building on Wednesday.

Kevin Baker and his business partner, the late Harris Dvorkin, opened the cookhouse and dancehall in 1972.

Over the course of the next 42 years that they owned and operated it, they dramatically transformed it into much more than just a bar.

“It’s very sad,” Baker said of the closure.

“Kenny Rogers, the first time that he ever sang Lucille on the stage, was here at the Ranchman’s. Conway Twitty played here. Tammy Wynette played here.”

“It won Country Club of the Year 14 times in a row. You don’t do that if you’re just a bar,” He added.

Read more: Rodeo families look to secure future of saddles on display at now-closed Ranchman’s in Calgary

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Aside from the great music and the great partnerships with the rodeo community, Ranchman’s was also a big moneymaker for many charities including the annual Cowboys vs. Firefighters Charity Pole Climb.

“Over the course of time we probably raised in excess of $2 million,” Baker said.

Realtor Rob Campbell was also on hand Wednesday to show Global News what was left of the place.

He’d been a regular since he was in his late teens.

“To walk in here after the doors were closed and we locked up and to see it quiet — was heartbreaking,” he said.

But while there is no much left, both men believe not all is lost — at least not yet.

“Tables and chairs don’t make a bar,” Campbell pointed out. “The heart and soul of this building is walking around it. Look at the pictures on the wall.”

Baker couldn’t agree more, and added he’s not ready to give up on the building he put so much work and love into — just yet.

“Hopefully once we get through all of the pandemic, the Ranchman’s will rise again,” he said. “Just like the phoenix.”

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Nightclubs across the province are included in Stage 3 of Alberta’s relaunch strategy and are not yet allowed to open. Stage 2 began on June 12, and the timing for when Stage 3 will begin remains unknown.

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