Pit Stop

Pit Stop: Dirty Shame Saloon

By Casey O'Leary / Photography By Amanda Ranth | September 15, 2015
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The Dirty Shame Café & Saloon

Crouch, Idaho

Behind craft cocktails and enchanting farm-to-fork dinners lies the underbelly of Idaho’s food culture—the bars that sling burgers, fries and beers in countless sleepy towns. These are the places of gossip-gathering and good-timing, of politicking and passing the hours. In the mountain town of Crouch, the Dirty Shame Saloon remains the sole bona fide watering hole. Here out-of-towners, the numerous kayakers and river rafters who come to play on the Payette, stand at the ready, side by side with the locals. Passing late nights at the Shame, I’ve witnessed several testosterone-fueled brawls between tight-jeaned locals and Chaco-clad kayakers. A line from the David Allen Coe song, “Long Haired Red Neck,” captures the essence of some nights at the Shame: “Where bikers stare at cowboys, who are laughin’ at the hippies, who are prayin’ they’ll get outta here alive.”

Holly Perazzo, a Shame veteran, observes that those tensions are loosening. Some locals boast that it’s them, not the tourists, who keep the bar going through the winter (a common problem for mountain towns with high numbers of summer tourists and very small yearround populations). So, the Shame walks a line between welcoming boaters in the summer and engaging locals in the winter with a pool league, poker night and theme parties. Ultimately it’s the way the bar brings people together. Live music and dancing is a regular feature. I’ve seen everything from country swing to speed metal shows there. “Everyone ends their night at the Shame, no matter what else is going on,” Perazzo laughs. “I think every town ought to have a Shame,’” she continues. “We celebrate people’s lives. If somebody dies, or if there’s a wedding, or an engagement, people gather here.”

Article from Edible Idaho at http://edibleidaho.ediblecommunities.com/eat/pit-stop-dirty-shame-saloon
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