Friday, February 9, 2018

Kern County Raceway is for sale for a cool $15 million, the indie band Darlingside heads to Bakersfield and remembering an old saloon in town

Friday, February 9, 2018

Welcome to Bakersfield Observed, now online only. We celebrate life in Kern County by focusing on newsmakers and events and the local characters who make this such a special place. We value your feedback. Email your news and notes to

 * ... RACEWAY: Did you see that the Kern County Raceway is now for sale? Coldwell Banker's

Gary Belter and Georgia McCaffrey have listed the property for $15 million, a bargain if you believe it was a $40 million project. The raceway has room for 3,000 general admission seats and another 1,000 reserved seats, plus 22 luxury suites. The raceway is located just off Enos Lane and Interstate 5.

* ... OUR WORLD: What does it say about our society when the two top local stories recently were the City Council approving a "shot spotter" system to locate gang shootings and a program reminding parents they can relinquish their children at a local fire station?

* ... COKE AND PEANUTS: Growing up in the South, my summers were spent drinking an ice cold Coke with salty peanuts. That's right, we'd take a few swigs from the Coke and pour in a small bag of salty peanuts, creating a tasty and crunchy summer drink that never failed to satisfy. When I mentioned this on my radio show (KERN NewsTalk 96.1) a caller said he too drank the same concoction while growing up in Shafter. They called it an "Okie float."

 * ... SPOTTED ON TWITTER: "Don’t you hate that person who almost never answers your calls or texts… then when you see them they can’t put down their phone?"

 * ... SPOTTED ON FACEBOOK: "Love is like hearing your favorite song for the first time. Then listening to it over and over again til you hate that song."

 * ... DARLINGSIDE: One of the hottest groups in America, an indie folk band called Darlingside, is coming to Bakersfield on Wednesday, March 7, at the Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame. This four-man group from Boston features incredible vocals and lyrics and is a can't miss event if you are into music. Go to to get your tickets.

* .... MEMORIES: I loved these pictures of an old Bakersfield saloon featured on the "Kern County of Old" Facebook page. The entry from Todd Walker read: "Jean Eyrauds Saloon...While on one of my history seeking adventures about 25 years ago, I met the owner of an old home in East Bakersfield. The owner of the home happened to be the great grandson of Jean Eyraud, the proprietor of the Jean Eyraud Saloon. Now, most of you probably have never heard of this saloon or even knew it existed, and neither did I at the time. Anyways, after we got to talking a while about Bakersfield and its history, he mentioned that his great grandfather, Jean Eyraud, had owned a saloon on Sumner Street across from the old train depot, and that he had a trunk containing old family photos and pictures of the inside and outside of the saloon and other businesses on the block. Trying to hold my excitement back I said I would love to check it out. He took me down to the cellar of the old house, and there it was an old trunk from the 1800s! After looking through the old trunk, he had mentioned he wasn’t interested in anything in it, and that he had planned on selling or getting rid of it. Being a collector of old Kern County photographs I gladly purchased just the photos of the saloon and the various buildings around it from him. I told him that he should at least keep the pictures of his family and the old trunk. Anyways, that was 25 years ago and I’m not sure whatever happened to him. Since then I have researched the old photographs and believe them to be from around 1890 to 1900. I have yet to find any old advertisement or any other photographs from this saloon besides the ones I have. Here’s all the pictures I got from him. Notice the picture in front of the saloon with everybody holding old bottles, lots of details! Notice the 'Ladies Entrance' in the picture with the restaurant in it. Definitely different times back then! Hope you enjoy these pictures, I’ve been wanting to contribute them to Kern County photo collection for years."

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