Pubs on the Palouse: Red Card Pub named for soccer

Soccer based pub co-owner devoted life to opening, never missed a day of work



Alfonso Ortega works behind the bar at Red Card Pub


The couple that owns Red Card Pub had zero experience in the bar and food service industry but were ready to take a risk and create a great experience for Pullman locals. 

Greg Sheen, Red Card co-owner and former WSU soccer coach, worked with his wife Gena to open the pub in 2020. 

When Sheen retired from coaching, he decided to stay in the Pullman area because his granddaughter and her family moved here. 

Sheen said when he first became a grandfather, he and his wife knew nothing about being grandparents similarly to how they didn’t know anything about opening a pub. 

“You know, you devote your life to something you’re passionate about and you show up to work every day and you create a space that’s welcoming and good quality,” he said. 

That’s the recipe for success in almost every aspect of life, he said. 

Alexis Rose, Red Card bartender and WSU senior neuroscience major, said she started working at Red Card last May and loves seeing the regular customers.

The bar is family-oriented, and isn’t described as your typical college bar, Rose said. People go in and they laugh at Greg’s jokes and love Gena’s cooking. 

With Greg’s sense of humor and Gena’s kindness, they provide a very down-to-earth experience for their customers, she said. Everyone has a great experience because of the way they treat and interact with their customers. 

The name ‘Red Card’ came from a term in soccer, Sheen said. If you get a red card in soccer that means you are ejected from the game. As someone who spent his entire life in the sport of soccer, that’s where the history of the name stemmed from. 

The atmosphere of the bar is inspired by Sheen’s love for soccer. Soccer infiltrates the walls, the TV’s and the games they play.

“It’s a very small space but intimate and there’s not a whole lot of room to hide,” he said. “You come in and you end up talking with other customers just because of how small the space is.” 

For anyone that hasn’t visited the pub before, it’s very community driven with lots of regulars, Sheen said. Anyone that walks into the pub is greeted by one of the owners, if not him, then his wife. 

Sheen said in his two and a half years of working, he hasn’t missed a day of going to work. 

From a food perspective, Red Card brings a little bit of a spin on traditional Mexican food, he said. It’s more tex mex cuisine that is unique to the area. 

They have tacos, quesadillas and nachos, he said. They offer anything from a standard chicken taco to a brisket taco. 

Sheen’s wife, Gena, also makes homemade creamy salsas sold in jars that the community dies for, he said. She has been cooking for a long time and runs the entirety of the backhouse of the kitchen.

Red Card gets a very healthy mix of all ages and points of life that visit the bar, he said. Such as grad students, professors, WSU coaches, students and Pullman locals. 

“We’re not your standard college bar,” he said. “It’s very chill and very lowkey and I think our customers appreciate that.”