BLACKFOOT— Blackfoot's classic bar Cowboy Haven, now has rock-n-roll in its name and rock-n-roll playing inside. Musician, businessman and ex-cop Cole Johnson took over the bar in November and changed the name to CJ's 'Rock n Roll' Cowboy Haven.
Johnson, a retired police officer from the Seattle area, took over the bar in November with the intention of turning it into fun, clean and safe place for live music, dancing, karaoke, darts and pool - geared around classic 'rock n roll.'
Johnson said he didn't want to completely change the name of the bar since locals have know it as Cowboy Haven for the past 20 years, so he added "CJ's" (initials for himself and his two sons Cole Jr. and Cortland) who will be helping him with the business. And, of course, rock n roll, is in the name because Johnson believes this will be the draw to his business.
An accomplished musician - proficient at keyboards, drums, guitar, bass, violin and vocals - Johnson has performed throughout the country - even having his own one-man 'rock n roll' tribute show in Las Vegas and playing with original band members from the Coasters.
Johnson, whose family is from Fruitland, said he got tired of the traffic and the city life and that he and his wife Karen wanted a simpler life - a place with land and horses.
"I brought my wife to Idaho and she fell in love," he said. "We moved to Idaho in 2008 and found a piece of land outside of Moreland in 2009."
"Who would've thought a musician and ex-cop would buy a bar in Blackfoot, Idaho?" he joked. "I've always played music in bars and I like it. I tried to retire, but it only lasted a few months."
He is looking forward to performing at the bar along with his son Cole Jr. (who plays the saxophone) and his bartender (vocalist) Danica Bradford in a band that they call "Seduction."
Johnson said that the bar will host live music on Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7 p.m. Then, at 11 p.m. there will be DJ dance music until closing time. Thursday night is karaoke night. In a few weeks, Johnson will have a new game room for darts and pool where he will host game leagues and tournaments.
Eventually, Johnson plans to offer bar food such as finger steaks, fries and burgers.
"This is a place for everyone to enjoy," he said. "Everyone is welcome. We don't discriminate here and everyone is expected to be respectful of each other. I want people to feel comfortable and safe while they're here."
Johnson said his motto for the bar is: "New owner, new vibe, new fun."
This weekend, the popular Pocatello band "Rocking Horse" will perform at CJ's 'Rock n Roll' Cowboy Haven at 50 N. Spruce St.
Johnson encourages everyone to keep up on the bar's events by finding CJ's 'Rock n Roll' Cowboy Haven on Facebook.