Not only did Geyserville need a “local watering hole,” but it needed to be one “created for everyone from farmer to field hand to city folk,” according to Dino Bugica, who took over the building next door to his Diavola Pizzeria and opened the Geyserville Gun Club and Lounge in the historic Odd Fellows Building.
In naming it Bugica paid tribute to Geyserville history.
“Way back when, a bunch of the good ol boys like Harry Bosworth and Dick Dilworth, had a shooting range in the basement,” Bugica said. “They would shoot guns and drink whiskey and beer. There were still gun racks in the basement when I took over the space. It’s a part of Geyserville history.”
Bosworth, 80, who grew up in Geyserville, said the California State Guard, as it was called then, originally used the building during World War II.
“They put steel plates on the walls down in the basement and turned it into a small-bore range and used it as place to shoot .22 rifles and pistols,” he said. “It was ideal for practice shooting because there were no windows.”
But now, every Saturday night the bar has free live music. The bands are nationally touring, West Coast and local.
“Whoever is in the area and we think is high-energy and a good dance band,” said Kasey Drady, who is in charge of “booking the bands and the muscle.”
“We are looking to bring a crowd in every Saturday night,” said Drady, who has been bartending since the day of his 21st birthday. “We book all types of music. We’ve had acoustic, crazy Irish punk, rap, blues, jazz and anything else that has high energy and great musicians. We’ve had every form of dancing imaginable on that dance floor.”
The bar will occasionally have live music on Friday night if a band is in the area and that is the night they are available. They also host special events such as a Bourbon and Burlesque Night where bourbon was tasted, and two burlesque dancers did three different acts.
The only comments that Bugica has heard about the name is that there is not a single gun on display as part of the décor.
The long, narrow room is exposed brick with reclaimed walnut and black oak woodwork, bar and tables. It is a beautiful, yet rustic room that glows with subdued lighting. The bands set up at the farthest end of the room with tables relocated to make a small dance area in front of the musicians. The music they book is chosen to be danceable so there is dancing in the walkway between the bar and tables as well.
A stunning hand-blown glass antler chandelier is the first piece of art that greets patrons. In addition to a rotating piece loaned from area artists, the bar has art that Bugica likes. A large poster of Sophia Loren is his ideal “of the most beautiful woman ever.” The rest are those he “Feels good waking up in the morning to,” pieces, including a chopping block painting with a large knife, cut vegetables and a toy-like bunny that band booker Drady says is a window “into the sick mind of Dino Bugica.”
Playing For Relief
What: Band Together Bay Area: A Benefit Concert for North Bay Fire Relief
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco
Admission: $49.50-$199.50. Remaining tickets are limited.