Idaho bar says it doesn’t want your business if you’re from Washington

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho — A local bar is telling Washingtonians to stay away from their business, citing “inconsiderate and rudeness” as reasons for turning people away.

The Corner Bar took to Facebook this weekend to create new restrictions at their bar. In the post, the bar says it won’t give service to anyone with a Washington or out-of-state license.

This left Spokane resident Cheyenne Hendrickson feeling left behind and hurt, especially because she loves visiting Idaho for shopping, eating and trips. Hendrickson’s always felt a sense of community between Idaho and Washington. Now, not so much.

“It just makes me sad to feel that I wouldn’t be welcomed just because of the state I reside in even though I’m helping to stimulate their economy by going and visiting their places,” Hendrickson said. “It’s always felt like one big extended community, and for people to highlight ‘You’re from this state, we’re from this state, you’re the problem, we’re not,’ it adds to the divisiveness of Republican versus Democrat, black versus white, and it’s become such a hateful thing.”

In the past three months, she’s traveled over the border four times. She was planning on doing some thrifting with her friends soon but is reconsidering those plans.

“I would love be able to visit Coeur d’Alene and spend some extended time there, but I think for the time being, I’m going to stay a little closer to home just until everything calms down,” Hendrickson said.

There’s been no explanation from the bar since making the post. After receiving a lot of comments and interactions on Facebook, The Corner Bar deleted the post and deactivated their account. Today, owners wouldn’t make any comment on the original post and their plans moving forward concerning Washington residents.

Police in Coeur d’Alene have been struggling with the bar scene in the area. There’s been a major spike in crimes near these four bars: Miks, Moose, Iron Horse and Beacon. The crimes they’re dealing with include over-serving alcohol, fights, property damage and assault.

All of this has left the police department strapped for resources.

“This is causing a significant drain on our staff. There’s not a lot of people that want to work from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. on a cold winter night to deal with a bunch of drunks,” said Lee White, the Coeur d’Alene Chief of Police.

The department has had to move officers around from other shifts in order to make sure they have enough officers on duty from 10 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays. This has created problems that are now affecting other coverage times.

“That also results in reduced staffing in day shift. What that means is some people when they call for police services, they might have a bit of a delay in order for us to respond simply because we have to shift the manpower to deal with this other issue,” White said.

Hendrickson understands there’s been a jump in crime but says playing the blame game isn’t the way to solve an issue.

“There has been a rise in crime. There is no denying that. There has been a rise with people in Idaho from Washington. I don’t see how we can blame all of Coeur d’Alene’s rise in crime on people from Washington, though,” Hendrickson said.

The police department did a sampling of the last 12 months of incidents in the area. According to their report, 50 offenders were from Idaho. 43 offenders were from Washington. 7 offenders were from other states.