YUKON — As the guitarist for the red dirt rock band Cross Canadian Ragweed, Grady Cross saw the inside of a lot of bars and music venues.
So when the band split last fall, he tapped into that expertise to open his own: Grady’s 66 Pub, which opened Jan. 1 at 444 W Main in Yukon. With nothing but beer and music on the menu, he’s using the venue to stay connected to the music scene yet remain closer to home.
“I really want to bring music to Yukon,” Cross said. “I think that’s something we’re lacking.”
He bought the former 50 Yard Line Club downtown on Route 66, a bar that was the very first venue Cross Canadian Ragweed performed in 1991.
There’s live music Thursday through Sunday nights, and Cross is attracting national acts, including Stoney LaRue, who played for the grand opening party.
“My place isn’t that big so a lot will come through and do acoustic which is cool. Singers like that. They like to get away from the big stages and back to their roots,” Cross said.
His brother, Nathan Cross, manages the pub. He’s had a hand in other local bars including Maker’s Cigar Lounge and the Wormy Dog Saloon.
According to the Yukon Chamber of Commerce, 65 new businesses have opened in the past year, including lots of new retail.
“We are doing much better this year than we were before,” said Paisley Hopkins, the chamber’s executive director. “We are becoming a larger trade area and have people coming in from the Clinton area to shop.”
The retail development at Interstate 40 and Garth Brooks Boulevard continues to be popular, but the downtown area has seen a renewed interest, she added.
New Yukon retailers include The Nines Boutique, Best Feet Forward, Yukon Health & Fitness Club, The Pink Bowtique, The Herban Market, Big Boys Tire & Wheel, Yukon Donuts, Lil’ Bear Beads and more, according to the chamber.