It’s that time of year to deck the halls. But at the oldest bar in Scottsdale, the motto is more like “Deck the halls, the walls, and the entire bar!”
Christmas decorations are a big deal each year at the Coach House in Old Town Scottsdale. So much so that the staff at the historic tavern started setting up the day after Halloween.
A head start is necessary, consider the massive amount of festive decorations that are involved. Practically every inch of the Coach House’s exterior and interior is adorned with colored bulbs, cheery wrapping paper, bulbous ornaments, and shiny tinsel. It’s been an annual tradition of the Bower family, which has run the rustic-looking dive since it opened in 1959 and has decorated the joint for more than 25 years.
Other decorations: A total of 25 strands of garland, 100 square feet of wrapping paper, 50 candy canes, and more than 200 ornaments are featured inside the Coach House.
The estimated electric bill: Irene believes they spend around $1,500 per month to power the lights.
Why do you decorate? “My father [Jim Brower] always loved putting up decorations at the bar every year. His birthday was on Christmas Eve, so it really was a special holiday for him,” she says. “My brother expanded things in 1985 and started putting up all the wrapping paper and the ornaments. Each year it’s morphed into more lights and more decorations.”
The Coach House is known to many as “the Christmas bar” since it’s one of the most fun, festive places to visit during the holidays. The day after Halloween, every year, employees begin decorating. They invest about 1,000 hours covering every inch of the inside and outside, top to bottom, with thousands of twinkling lights, sparkling wrapping paper, garland and ornaments.
The Coach House is open from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. every day of the year, and the holiday decorations attract new and returning customers every holiday season. The decorations will remain up until Super Bowl Sunday.
The glow inside is warm and bright. Every surface twinkles with lights, tinsel, garland and ornaments. Candy canes hang everywhere. Wrapping paper covers the walls and ceiling.