By KATIE DOUGLAS
(WARRENSBURG, Mo., digitalBURG) – Cadillac Ranch opened its doors in October 2006, and the boots came stomping in. Fast forward to November 2012 and the pounding of boots on the dance floor has stopped – momentarily.
Cadillac Ranch, also popularly known as “Caddy,” was in the process of being sold by its owners, Andrea and Cliff Gower, when the plans fell through.
“We, in fact, are still the owners,” Cliff said. “However, I do have a (new) manager and the look is different, so it does have a different feel as well.”
The building at 822 S. Maguire St. has not always been home to Cadillac Ranch. It was originally a bowling alley called Plaza Bowl before it became a line-dancing bar.
Before becoming a bar owner, Andrea was a bartender at Smitty’s throughout college.
“I realized I could make it a career if I worked hard and wanted something to call my own,” Andrea said. “After graduating, I was approached with this opportunity to take over this vacant building (Cadillac Ranch) and turn it into the bar I always wanted.”
Andrea is the original owner of Cadillac Ranch, but Cliff, her then boyfriend and now husband, has been by her side since day one to help her through the whole process.
“No big struggles really,” Andrea said of opening Caddy. “But I was still very young and had a lot to learn going from just a bartender to an actual bar owner. Some people think it is a dream job and it is so easy. I can promise you that is the furthest thing from the truth.”
Andrea said her favorite memories from owning Cadillac Ranch were the holiday parties – Halloween and New Year’s especially. Cadillac Ranch’s last night open was supposed to be Oct. 27, which was also its annual Halloween party.
Andrea, dressed in camouflage, tended the bar while also running to and from the back room, and talking with customers.
The bar was fully decorated for Halloween and was packed with people who came to support what they thought was Cadillac Ranch’s last night under its original owners.
Spider webs separated the bar from the dance floor, candy covered the tables, and Michael Jackson’s, “Thriller,” blared over the sound system. There was a Marilyn, a Dracula, and a number of witches that filled the area.
Eric Hughey, 23, who has been going to Cadillac Ranch since he turned 21, was there on Halloween night.
“There were more people there than I had seen in a long time,” Hughey said. “Everyone was dressed up and in the Halloween spirit. I think a lot of people were reminiscing on the good times they had at Caddy from over the years.”
Hughey, who originally said he was surprised to hear that Cadillac Ranch was sold, is now relieved that the bar has reopened.
“I like Caddy because it is a country music venue,” Hughey said. “All the people are there just to relax and have a good time. It’s just a good all-around atmosphere.”
With Cadillac Ranch officially reopened, Andrea and Cliff have their hands full.
“I currently own The Garage on Pine downtown,” Andrea said. “So now that we have expanded and are offering a full menu I am very sure it will keep me busy.”