Bucer’s of Moscow hosts community block party

Kicking off school and celebrating summer, Bucer’s Coffeehouse and Pub joins forces with Keeney Bros. Music Center and Mingles Bar and Grill to amp up their annual block party.

Bucer’s block party began two summers ago as a community event featuring live music. One of the first bands to perform at the block party was a locally-based group known as Simba and the Exceptional Africans.

Pat Greenfield, owner and operator of Bucer’s, said the city was receptive to the idea of a block party, leading them to research on laws and costs to put on the event.

“[We] learned along the way how to close a street for an event like this [and] how much to charge,” Greenfield said. “Then you find a band … that people like to dance to if they wanted to dance.”

Bucer’s has been in business for 16 years. Their menu features coffee, alcohol and baked goods made in-house in their full commercial kitchen. They also make the bread for their sandwiches, roast their own coffee and sell cigars and tobacco.

The interior of Bucer’s utilizes a mix of exposed brick and a variety of furniture pieces. They also have a wall of shelves filled with used books for customers to read and purchase.

Abraham Bratrud, a senior at St. Andrew’s College, works behind the counter at Bucer’s. He described Bucer’s atmosphere as friendly and supportive.

“It’s kind of like a sarcastic family,” Bratrud said. “Like everyone ribs each other but in a loving way.”

Jessica Van Dyken, another employee who graduated from Eastern Washington University, has worked at Bucer’s for a year and a half after seeing her siblings work there. Having worked the block party before, she described the event as a relaxed way to unwind.

The atmosphere of the block party is similar to the farmer’s market, where patrons can enjoy music, do something different and meet people in their community, Van Dyken said.

“[My favorite] is the combination of music and … being able to enjoy that, and also being able to sit outside and enjoy a glass of wine at the same time,” Van Dyken said.

Bucer’s features music each week, with a range of genres from jazz and bluegrass to Irish pub and folk songs. The musicians are mainly local talent, including music students and professors from University of Idaho and WSU, Greenfield said.

“We have such a pipeline … [of] two colleges who have music majors,” she said. “In their free time, they might have a rock or a jazz band.”

The Eric E. Band will play at the block party, a band known for mainly jazz and blues tunes. The audience also has a chance to name a year and the band will play a Top 40 song from that time, Bratrud said.

Greenfield said block parties like this can be expensive. But even if they just break even, it is still fun to see people enjoying themselves from the little kids dancing before bedtime to the adults busting a move after dark.

“It’s a perfect way to wrap up the summer,” Van Dyken said.

The Main St. Summer Block Party will take place at 7 p.m. tomorrow between 1st and 3rd street in Moscow. Admission is free and open to the public but concessions, including drinks at the beer gardens, cost extra.