Spancky’s Bar under new management

By Ricky Solomon

Published: Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 13:09

 Spancky’s Bar is under management by one of Sonoma State University’s own.

“Never in my life did I think that I would own a bar, especially here in Cotati,” said SSU alumnus Kevin Gingher.

Several months ago, Gingher took over the bar, which is located in downtown Cotati and is part of the Cotati Crawl. Gingher was born and raised in Cotati, and has developed a deep connection to the town and its residents.

According to Gingher, he graduated from SSU in 2004 and attended law school shortly after. Upon finishing his schooling and passing the bar exam, he entered the work force only to realize that law was not his passion.

After trying several professions, he landed a job as a bartender and bouncer at Spancky’s. Ten months later, the opportunity to purchase the bar came up. Gingher contemplated his decision for some time, but realized that it was a chance of a lifetime.

“Some things just fall into place,” he explained.

He added that it was a very big step, but it was one that he was willing to tackle.

Gingher said that his plan would never have come to fruition if it was not for his family and the great support system that they provided him.

“This bar, in many ways, has become a family business,” he said. “We all pulled together and now work side by side to make sure everything runs smoothly.”

Once he purchased the bar, his mother was able to retire early and work at the bar several days a week. His aunt also works at the bar now, leaving Gingher overjoyed to have his family members involved in the business.

“My parents and my aunt have been there from the start, and I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Gingher enjoys the sense of community that comes with Spancky’s. While there is a large range of age groups that currently attend the bar, Spancky’s originated as a biker bar and, although he enjoys tradition, he would like to create a new atmosphere.

Many SSU students feel that the bar is a bit intimidating, due to the stigma of being a biker bar. When discussing the change in management and new format for the bar, more students were interested.

Local Jamie Schenone said, “The bar has changed completely. It used to be a very loud, rock and biker bar, but now it’s super fun for all ages with good drink specials.”

Gingher said he wants everyone to feel welcome, especially students. When talking about SSU students, Gingher had interest in including clubs or organizations in his business.

He added that he enjoys getting to know his customers and would love to work together to create fun events in the future and envisions creating an inviting atmosphere and catering to what the people of Rohnert Park and Cotati would like to see.