Local bar to celebrate 110 years of business

Family business to bring in games, new brews to thank customers for a century of support

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JESSICA HARJA | THE DAILY EVERGREEN

Rico's Pub Owner Tawny Szumlas says to-go orders spike around lunch and dinnertime but are low for the rest of the day.

MADDY BEAN, Evergreen reporter

Rico’s Public House, Pullman’s oldest bar and grill, will recognize its 110th anniversary tomorrow.

Owner Tawny Szumlas said this is a celebration of what she feels every day owning the business. It’s also a gesture of good faith for all those who supported her over the years.

“You know, there are people that came here all 33 years when he [my dad] owned it, and every time they purchased a beer here, they helped put me through college,” she said. “I just want to give back and say thank you.”

The pub originally opened in 1909 as a men’s-only smokehouse, Szumlas said. But Rico’s has changed much since then.

Rico’s hosts game nights every week to accompany its American-style dining, and this celebration will be no different, as Szumlas promises giant Jenga, lawn games and barbecue grilling.

“It’s just going to be a lowkey, good time,” Szumlas said. “Which is kind of how we like to do things around here.”

For those over 21, the bar will serve new beers on tap for the occasion. Breweries, like One Tree in Spokane and Deschutes out of Portland, Oregon will send representatives to provide Rico’s with their brews, Szumlas said.

The kitchen will offer specials just for the occasion throughout the night. Signs hanging in the pub read that it’s “110 nickels for craft pints, 110 dimes for macro pitchers,” so be sure to bring your change.

Robin Dittmore, a janitorial worker at Rico’s, said the pub helped her find a special spot when she moved to Pullman.

She said the staff feels like a family that welcomes new members every time someone walks through the door. Dittmore’s family also likes the pub.

“My 20-year-old’s a very picky eater,” she said. “And so, when we find an establishment that he will actually eat at, it makes it that much better for us as a family.”

The celebration lasts from 5-9 p.m. Thursday and is open to all.

“It’s like my dad always said,” Szumlas said, “it’s like having a party, and everyone’s invited. That’s just what it is.”