Friday, March 28, 2014

New bar opens in downtown Idaho Falls

Deb Reinhart, operator of the Steinhouse Bar, 335 A Street.
At 520 square feet, the Steinhouse Bar at 335 A Street, which opened March 22, might be the coziest drinking establishment in Idaho Falls.

"This is basically a quiet bar, where people can come and sit and talk," said operator Deb Reinhart, who got her liquor license from the state the old-fashioned way, by applying for one and then waiting years.

Beer and wine licenses are easy enough to get, but Idaho bases the number of liquor license a community can have on population. This arrangement has led to some exorbitant prices being paid by people in a hurry.

Now that she has received a new state liquor license, she must "perfect" it over the next six months by staying open 10 hours a day six days a week and selling at least one drink each day.

The property is across the street from Great Harvest Bread Co., where a barbershop had been since the 1950s. The remodel had some archaeological interest, with papers and old clipper heads from the Eisenhower era. Reinhart opted to keep the black-and-white-checkerboard linoleum floor, but said she would not care to repeat the experience of cleaning it on her hands and knees.

Because the use of the building was being changed, she was required to put in a handicapped-accessible bathroom. "This is probably the smallest bar with the biggest bathroom you'll ever see," she said.

The name comes from the collection of beer steins on the shelf. Reinhart said there is no place she would rather be than downtown. Other bar owners have stopped by to wish her well.

"I love downtown," she said. "The people are so friendly."

For more information, call (208) 680-6232.

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