12/3/2012 9:38:00 AM If the Horse is rockin'...Come on in Rockin Horse Saloon filling live music void in Prescott Valley
Rockin Horse Saloon owner Rich Schauwecker with employees Randi Dorothy and Brittney Dean Friday night behind the bar.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Rebekah Simpson rides the mechanical bull at the Rockin Horse Saloon in Prescott Valley Friday night.
Photo courtesy Les Stukenberg
Ken Hedler Special to the Tribune
Residents here no longer have to drive to downtown Prescott on Friday and Saturday nights to listen and dance to their favorite bands.
The town coffers in turn will benefit from the collection of sales tax proceeds on alcohol that the Rockin Horse Saloon serves, owner Rich Schauwecker said. The overall sales tax rate in Prescott Valley is 9.68 percent, and it is built into the price of drinks.
Schauwecker, 47, of Dewey-Humboldt said he opened Rockin Horse in February at a former moving and storage building at 6851 E. 1st St. to fill a music void in Prescott Valley. He formerly owned CycleZone Motorsports Apparel Parts & Accessories in Prescott Valley before selling it in June.
"You want to try to keep people in Prescott Valley," he said. "Wouldn't it make sense to try to keep people here?"
Schauwecker said he tries to hire local bands, and draws bands from throughout the state. Rockin Horse focuses entertainment on Friday nights on rock bands and country bands on Saturdays. The 3,500-square-foot bar also features a mechanical bull, two billiards tables, two videogames and a punching bag.
He acknowledged Rockin Horse has benefited from fewer venues in Prescott, mainly the closure of Coyote Joe's south of Whiskey Row Sept. 11 after a dispute over the payment of tax liens.
"I don't want any club to close," Schauwecker said. "The fact is if there are less clubs or nightclubs to choose from, it helps (his business)."
So far, Rockin Horse has hired a number of bands that formerly performed at Coyote Joe's and have played other venues in Prescott, including The CheekTones, Filabusta and Road One South.
The fans follow the bands, and the appearance of The CheekTones Nov. 10 drew a mix of the downtown Prescott crowd and cowboys who played pool and rode the mechanical bull.
"First of all, it was a great place to play," CheekTones lead singer Don Cheek said. He said the Rockin Horse has a good-size stage and a "great" lighting system.
Cheek, who has been performing with his classic rock band for six years, said he expected the sound system to be poor because the ceiling is 28 feet high. Rockin Horse also has plenty of room to dance, Cheek said.
"If you wanted (to find) a negative, the owner, Rich is working on it," Cheek said. "The walls look like a warehouse. He is working on that. Just try to get it to look like a bar. What was really cool is so many of our fans came to see us. It turned out to be an awesome night."
Besides the bands and fans, Rockin Horse has attracted some other familiar faces from downtown Prescott. Bartender Randi Dorothy formerly tended bar at both Coyote Joe's and Lyzzard's Lounge, and Steve Reynolds, formerly at Coyote Joe's, said he helps out.
"I would like to say it is nice to be back in Prescott Valley," Dorothy said. "It is kind of a different scene in Prescott Valley, and I enjoy it."
Dorothy, who lives in Prescott Valley, waited Nov. 16 on Patricia Meredith and other customers at the bar counter.
Meredith, a 30-year-old auto-parts consultant who lives in Prescott Valley, said she has patronized Rockin Horse for four months. She said she likes the "atmosphere, the people, the bands," and visits a few times a month. She also plays pool.
Rockin Horse that night drew first-time patrons Luke Munday and his girlfriend, Krystal Richberger, both 24 and of Diamond Valley. They arrived before country band Aces n Eights was due to play at 9 p.m.
Munday, a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning installer, and Richberger, a caregiver, said they enjoy riding the mechanical bull.
"I think that is an extra selling point of this bar," Munday said. He added the bartenders make "very good drinks."
Munday made some suggestions as well.
"There is no jukebox here," he said. "I would like a jukebox. You've got to be able to play your own music."
Munday said he wished bands performed earlier than the 9 p.m. starting time.
Schauwecker took Munday's criticisms to heart. He said he is working with a vendor to supply a jukebox but is not sure when is the best time for bands to arrive.
"You don't know if you should start at 8 or 9 p.m.," he said.
Rockin Horse, which has no cover charge, features live bands from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Karaoke nights take place Wednesdays, and Thursday nights are ladies nights, with $1 drinks.
Rockin Horse is open from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
For more information, log on to Rockin Horse's page on Facebook.