Alice’s Champagne Palace embarks on new life

Historic bar tries out for breakfast, lunch … and football

by Naomi Klouda
Homer Tribune

HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - Alice’s Champagne Palace will be open more hours this winter, and current bar manager Cindy Burns says she plans to keep limited but consistent hours to offer a variety of winter entertainment for locals.

HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - Alice’s Champagne Palace will be open more hours this winter, and current bar manager Cindy Burns says she plans to keep limited but consistent hours to offer a variety of winter entertainment for locals.

In the lively and comparatively brief history of Alice’s Champagne Palace, there aren’t many firsts a new manager can dream up. However, serving a breakfast of homemade biscuits and poached eggs from the oft-rowdy bar might be one of them.
Under the guidance of new manager Cindy Burns, the infrequently open Alice’s will hold more regular hours this winter to offer residents a variety of entertainment options. Starting with 8:30 a.m.-openings on Saturday and Sunday, Burns said much of the focus will be on the NFL Sunday ticket package within a family atmosphere.
“We’re hoping people will come for the food and stay for the game,” she said.
An investment in five new, wall-size, flat-screen televisions now makes it possible to show NFL games simultaneously. Alice’s opened Sept. 13 for the first NFL game of the season.
“You can watch a Vikings game and a Giants game all at the same time – along with three other games,” said Burns, who has managed restaurants for the past 20 years and currently owns and operates the Fireweed Grill and Golf Course. “We’ll be open more as the need arises, but for now we’re starting small and starting right – with a quality product.”
Burns said Alice’s will feature freshly baked Kaiser rolls for fat, beefy burgers, along with fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, homemade scones, muffins and biscuits.
And every Monday at 3:30 p.m., Alice’s opens for football.
Tuesday through Friday, Alice’s is open for rentals to nonprofit groups, which are already steadily booking for winter shows. Several bands are being booked as well, with announcements to come as events are finalized, Burns said.
Burns is hoping local groups will consider using Alice’s if they need a special movie preview location or would like to gather for fundraising efforts.
HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - The shadow of a once famous mural created by local artist Brad Hughes remains but is heavily faded. Burns plans on exhibiting a picture of the mural in the bar, which newly reopened Sept. 13 in time for Monday Night Football.

HOMER TRIBUNE/Naomi Klouda - The shadow of a once famous mural created by local artist Brad Hughes remains but is heavily faded. Burns plans on exhibiting a picture of the mural in the bar, which newly reopened Sept. 13 in time for Monday Night Football.

Given all the history at Alice’s, Burns said she is also interested in collecting memorabilia into an exhibit to place on show for the public. Story has it, the building was shipped up from a turkey farm and rebuilt on the spot. Others say it actually came from a pig farm, and that some of the corrugated metal came from local canneries when they were dismantled. The solid wood planks on the floor look suspiciously ancient, though several had needed replacing after being worn down by dancers through the decades.
“The history of this building is that everyone has a history with this building,” she said. “Everything from this being the place where husband and wife met, to stories that can’t be printed.”
A number of famous musicians from around the world have played at Alice’s since it was first founded in the 1970s. It was named for owner Alice Cochrane. Homer artist Brad Hughes’ sign with nude figures caused a community uproar and was made famous in an account by Joe McGinniss in “Going to Extremes.”
While the mural is long gone, there is photo of it being preserved and possibly enlarged for exhibiting in the bar soon, Burns said.
In 2005, the bar was sold to the English Bay Corporation, which continues as owners.

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Posted by on Sep 23rd, 2009 and filed under Entertainment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

2 Responses for “Alice’s Champagne Palace embarks on new life”

  1. stina says:

    With all those wall sized flat-screen TVs… sounds like it would make a great dance club(alcohol free) for the youth on Friday and Saturday nights. The youth need more healthy activities in this community. It would be nice to see Alice’s provide some venues for younger people as well.

  2. levon says:

    it would be good – LD

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