Winner - 2003
|If I was given title to an old style
west saloon, I'd call it BIG JUNE'S SALOON and hire a flamboyant lady who
I'd call "Big June" to run it. This lady would wear a sequined gown, an
ostrich feather wrap, and sit at the piano all day and
all night playing honkey tonk music and telling jokes.
The establishment would boast a long wooden bar, crystal chandeliers, card tables, and Wanted posters. If there wasn't an upstairs, I'd add that on. Girls dressed as wild west saloon gals would flirt with the guy customers and invite men and boys (all in good fun) upstairs. Beer and whiskey would be served in bottles with the BIG JUNE'S BREW label and root beer would be served to kids. After the saloon caught on, that label would be marketed nationwide and internationally too.
There'd be no electricity, only kerosene lamps. I'd hire actors to play various parts-Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Soldiers, and Crazy Horse. Plus, there'd be a psychic named Wise Turtle who could read the tourists' fortunes as they swilled down shots of whiskey and glasses of beer at the bar. I'd stage fights inside the saloon, such as Doc Holliday calling the Clanton brothers cheats at the card table and inviting them out for a gunfight. Of course Big June would keep things from heating up by telling jokes and getting Doc Holliday and the Clantons to join her in a verse of "Coming Down the Mountain," and then all the tourists would be encouraged to join in the fun.
There'd always be some threat from outside to keep things interesting, such as an outlaw like Johnny Ringo riding in with his gang on horses to take over the town. Wanted posters could be signed by the outlaw and given away as souvenirs. With all of these real life characters making appearances from the Wild West, my saloon could be marketed as educational and that would bring the families in. Requests could be made for various lawmen and outlaws. Also, kids could go outside and pat the horses and maybe ride with one of the cowboys. And there'd always be this guy dressed in black sitting alone at the end of the bar with his own bottle of whiskey-his name would be "Badman" and he'd always be willing to have a gunfight with any of the characters who represented the side of the law.