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5:38 PM Mon, Nov. 12th

Cordes Junction 'Backseat Bar' to open in October

Workers finish the concrete foundation for the new Backseat Bar in Cordes Junction Friday. Owner Jerry Schultz said he expects the walls and roof will be in place by Wednesday. <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->BBNPhoto/Heidi Dahms Foster

Workers finish the concrete foundation for the new Backseat Bar in Cordes Junction Friday. Owner Jerry Schultz said he expects the walls and roof will be in place by Wednesday. <br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 --><br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->BBNPhoto/Heidi Dahms Foster

Jerry and Robbin Schultz are adding on to their 50's Backseat Diner what they hope will become known as a local social gathering place.

The new addition will be a 1,500 sq. ft. bar area that will accommodate 100 people. Additionally, the construction will include an outside screened, covered patio area, beer garden, gazebo and a PGA putting green.

"We want people to feel like it's a place to let their hair down and relax," said Jerry Schultz.

The décor will highlight active local people with photos and memorabilia - a photo of American Legion Cmdr. Ron Johnson in 1950, Tom Thurman's walking shoes from his participation in a death march commemoration with veterans, a signed Globetrotter basketball from Tim's Toyota Center, a broken bat from one of Mayer Fire Chief Glenn Brown's games.

"They won't see big time athletes," Schultz said, "but regular people who are still involved."

The bar area will feature an open ceiling, stained concrete floors, and tufted booths. Schultz said he and his wife have traveled a lot and looked at décor "that is working today."

The new addition enhances the Schultz's motel, RV park and diner in Cordes Lakes. The area has become a popular stopping place for people traveling from the valley to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. Additionally, Schultz said, motorcycle and auto clubs have made the diner a stop on their rides.

"We've had people from other cities, and other countries. They get off the plane in Phoenix and don't have a concept of how far the Grand Canyon is. They get up here (to Cordes Junction) and this is a good stopping point," he said.

With their new addition, the Schultz's are investing in what they feel will be a spurt of growth in the next couple of years, largely because of the new I-17 interchange project.

Contractor Larry Leonard said he expected the building to be watertight this week.

Schultz said Yavapai County officials have been "more than accommodating" and helpful through the permitting and inspection process for th addition.

Schultz said he is planning a grand opening for October 1, and expects to hire at least six people.

"It could be sooner, but we're not in a hurry. There are a lot of details. We want the 'wow' factor, not a marginal finishing just to open up," he said.