Longtime local watering hole, The Roadhouse, has met its demise.
A front end loader could be spotted on Wednesday tearing down the walls and leaving piles of splintered wood and jagged spires of metal in its wake.
The off-sales depot and the consignment store, And Again, have also been flattened.
Con Lattin, who owns the site, is planning on redeveloping it. By next spring he’s hoping to have several new business buildings open, with apartments located above the businesses.
Six units are planned so far and there’s a possibility of adding four more later on.
With the buildings crumbling in the background, Lattin spoke to the News in the parking lot.
He recalled the opening days of The Roadhouse, when everything seemed to go off without a hitch, until the second day.
They had met a goal of opening during Rendezvous weekend and entertained a full house on that first night.
“We got all the plumbing in beforehand because you can’t dig in the winter and it was just a matter of connecting it all,” he said. “We opened up and everything went fine until the next day when everything started backing up. The city had never connected the pipes. We had to shut it down the next day and stayed closed for a few days. It was a hell of a clean up.”
The Roadhouse, with its last incarnation on Second Avenue, has called a few locations home. The original site was where the government building now stands on Main Street, when it was known as The Bamboo. When that site was bought out, the bar moved across town, into a location near the airport.
Yukon balladeer Hank Karr was leasing the airport chalet at the time. With hopes of opening a cabaret, he and his partner purchased The Bamboo and moved it.
Later he found out they couldn’t open a bar unless they owned the property outright. That arrangement fell through and the building sat unused for close to a year until Lattin stepped into the picture.
From there it made its way back downtown.
Eventually, Karr leased it back from Lattin and ran it for a short time.
Karr became a regular fixture, playing nightly gigs and weaving tales about life in the North.
“The purpose of me leasing it was to play gigs in there and help bring in a crowd,” he said. “It worked for awhile and then, like anything else, it got old.”
Lattin said redevelopment of the site was something that’s always been in the back of his mind and after looking into getting some renovations done on the property he decided it was time to push forward with a new project.
“Lots of things have gone down there,” he said, pointing to the remnants behind him. “It’s been around a long time - but now is the time.”
Lattin, who at one time lived in Whiskey Flats, has seen a lot of change over his time in Whitehorse.
“It has changed tremendously,” he said. “It used to be more or less White Pass owned all the properties. It was a railroad town. I wish I had some pictures from back then but I couldn’t afford a camera. I guess it’s still changing today.”
Contact Sam Riches at firstname.lastname@example.org