The ‘ol Cochrane Hotel has seen some changes with it’s new owner: The Texas Gate. And in my opinion, just a born and raised Cochranite who has always appreciated the historical charm of this delightful little town, has done nothing good for this local hot spot.
The first thing I noticed, because how you could not, was that they stripped the honkey-tonk’s infamous title “Stageline Saloon”. The second thing I noticed was how quiet and dreary it was on a Friday night. To be quite honest it looked more like a Sunday afternoon in there, all the new T.V’s lit up with some Oiler’s game (???) and only a few people watching. Now the Hotel I remember was always packed on Friday and Saturday night; due to the fact that you could count on there being a live band, may be great, may be bad, didn’t matter much because that was the vibe of this famous little honky-tonk – A LIVE BAND! Which is exactly what my husband I and were banking on when we decided to go out last night. Not only I was super disappointed – I was devastated. The old oak bar sat full of empty stools, and you used to have be a small female to just get to the wood to get a drink. No D.J., no one was playing pool, and you used to have to put your loonie down behind 5 or 6 other’s to just get a game. The old wooden table and chair décor has been replaced with a Buffet Restaurant style equivalent (cheap & ugly) and to top that off they put carpet squares over the old antique hardwood, maybe they took that out too, but CARPET SQUARES!! In an antique historical icon!! Seriously?? Like I said, devastated.
Not one cowboy hat to be had in there last night, not even by the staff, when once there were so many. So if anyone were to ask me if I like the changes to The Hotel? I think its fairly obvious I don’t. This bar represented western heritage and it was a place of social gathering for this ranching community. I believe the new owner’s don’t get it, they certainly do not appreciate the piece of history they have bought and I believe they have done this bar’s history and this town a disservice with their changes. They stripped it’s name, it charm, it appeal, its history and they literally swept it under the carpet.