Back when Kelly's won our prize for Best Place to Meet Your Cowboy, we regaled the Stateline, Idaho, honkytonk with lines from "Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?" — a monster hit from that era by songstress Paula Cole.
While Cole is somewhere lost in the "where are they now?" dustbin of music history, Kelly's is back to roaring life as Nashville North, and it's owned by one of the guys from former owner Kelly Hughes' band. Jeremy McComb joined Hughes' crew when he was 16, a fortuitous leap that eventually led McComb to Nashville before Hughes talked his former protégé into a homecoming of sorts in 2014, when McComb and his buddy Bob Kreaman took it over.
Visitors to the current version of what used to be Kelly's won't find it so different from 1999. Located on a desolate stretch of road, the parking lot fills with trucks for raucous nights of line dancing, boot scootin' and live shows by McCombs as well as regional and touring acts.
A massive dance floor surrounded by bars, seats and pool tables make it a great place for the country-inclined to mingle. As we wrote in 1999, "If you're a single someone seeking a hot guy in snug Wranglers and a cowboy hat, or a lovely lady in a jean skirt and red cowboy boots," this could be your kind of place.
Some things never go out of style, including a good time at the state line.