By Sherry Lind
It’s been known as the Outgate, Sit N Bull, the Hub Bar and Floyd’s Bar, now it’s called One More and is owned by long-time Binford area residents Mark and Nikki Willows. They took over ownership of the bar last June on Father’s Day. “The town, I feel, needed to keep the bar,” said Nikki.
The weekend following the purchase was Binford Days with the PBR rodeo so they worked hard to get as much remodeling done as possible that first week of ownership. Carpenters gave up their Father’s Day to put pine up on the walls and paint the ceiling of the front room candy apple red. By the end of the week, they had new pine siding on the front façade. They have also put in a new air-conditioner, furnace, windows, and front door. They plan to carry the décor in the front room throughout the rest of the bar and hope to be done remodeling in January after they install a new roof and insulation.
Recently they had help ‘making their mark’ in town when they held a branding party and Rocky Mountain oyster feed by Chugger Johnson of the Finley/Sharon area and his crew. Everyone was welcomed to brand their cattle brand onto a pine board. The branding party was very well received, having 47 brands mark the boards that night. Those brands are now hung up behind the bar. Most are local brands, but they have some from Kensal, Minot, and South Dakota. There’s one brand that is very special to Nikki, “I even got my grandfather’s brand. . . on the wall.” Her grandfather was George Raymond Hines.
The brands are helping One More to form an identity. Not only are the Willows cattle ranchers, but also their bar is the place to go to see NFR and PBR rodeo on their TV. You could say that it is a hometown, county bar where rodeo is the ‘sport.’
Besides taking in a rodeo with your beer, you can participate in a dart league on Wednesday night. The league is played in conjunction with the bars in Sutton, Glenfield, and McHenry. Electronic dartboards keep track of all the scores. You can also play gin rummy on Wednesday nights. Pinochle is the game on Saturday afternoons at 1:00 p.m. They also have a pool table that costs only 50 cents game.
One More is right next to a restaurant and they share in interior door. Because of this, you can get a meal from the adjacent Binford Café during the hours they are open, which is 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. So you can have a beer with your Uffda Taco on Thursday or a mixed drink with your steak or shrimp on Saturday.
After the café closes you can get a pizza at the bar. One More is open until 1:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. If you’ve had a long day and don’t feel like staying for a drink, you can buy a six-pack or a bottle of your favorite off-sale there and bring it home.
Binford is a beer town and all the beer at One More is from cans except those that don’t come in cans. The reason they decided to do that is for a good cause. They save all their cans and donate them to the three Kulsrud brothers of Grace City who are suffering from PKAN, an extremely rare neurological disease that fewer than fifty people in the entire nation have. They also sell sweatshirts and t-shirts covered in cattle brands in support of the kids.
One major difference from the previous bars that have been in that location is that One More has been smoke-free since the Willows took over. They do have a cigarette machine for the convenience of their customers, but they need to go elsewhere to smoke.
The purchase of One More came at an opportune time in their lives. “Both our kids are grown up and gone now. We’ve got a bunch of cattle and wanted something that would bring in a little more income,” said Nikki. She needed a job and the bar purchase gave her one. She had helped out at events, but this is her first experience as a full-time bartender. “It’s been going pretty good. There’s slow nights where I’m about ready to walk out the door and three carloads show up.” It’s just the two of them working the bar and the hours can get to be long. Nikki enjoys being her own boss and couldn’t have a better helper. “Mark has been wonderful. He takes care of the cattle and he comes in and scrubs the floors from front to back twice a week, at least.” They take turns to give each other a break and they are closed on Sundays.
Even though it’s been hard work, they are enjoying it. “We’re having fun and it gives us the chance to get out and see other people,” said Nikki. Her husband agrees. “It’s been fun,” said Mark. “I was born and raised around Binford and Binford always had a good bar and it’s fun to make sure it keeps going. It’s been a lot of work getting things cleaned up and fixed up, but it’s starting to shape up.”
Where did the name One More come from? Nikki used to be a customer who would sit at the bar and ask for one more. When asked about the name, the explanation often gets a chuckle. Nikki responds “isn’t that what you come in here for? One more?“
Nikki encourages everyone “to come in and check it out.” Perhaps you won’t leave until you’ve had one more.