You may have heard that the central coast is a great place for comedy; funnily enough, the disbandment of a local Elks chapter contributed to that reputation. In 2015, the Lincoln City chapter of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks closed due to steady declining membership, leaving two properties for sale: a beautiful campground and two-story building with a large meeting room and bar. Luckily, a few of the former Elks members were from families that have been in the area for generations. Their established roots with the area and the Elks drove them to invest in these two opportunities.
The Geddes family purchased the campground, Wapati Park. One of the Geddes's was a member of the Elks when they first developed the campground in the 1970s. When he passed away, his ashes were mixed in concrete and made into a large planter. Once, working on an assignment, I visited the campground and took a photo of three generations of the family sitting on the planter, effectively making it a four-generation photo. The campground is privately owned, but Elks members get a generous discount if they stay there.
The second property has been carefully restored and retrofitted into a popular events center, the Beach Club, by Mike and Lila Bradley. Although there may have been a bit of ribbing when they told me the story, Mike and Lila say that opening the Beach Club all started with a game of pool.
“Mike joined the Elks when he was 21 because he wanted to play snooker,” Lila said.
Years later, when the Lincoln City chapter closed and the building went up for sale, Mike bought the original table that he had played on for so many years.
“That’s how this all started,” he said. “I needed somewhere to store the table, so we ended up buying the building.”
The new bar still has elements of the old Elks Lodge, like the pole (to the left) with years of BPOE stickers affixed
The Beach Club serves bar food and full meals, but also they are becoming known as a comedy destination. L.O.L.-ing Comedy is a series where professional comics take center stage at the Beach Club, and you can catch them at their next performance on Friday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets go for $10 a head, and you can purchase them at the door.
Seaside laughs continue at the Chinook Winds Casino Resort has a series called Comedy on the Coast. The lineup includes talented actors and comics. Tom Clark has appeared on TBS's Conan, CBS's Late Late Show, The Bob & Tom Radio Show and Comedy Central's Premium Blend. Kevin Bozeman has been entertaining crowds with his comedy routines since 1999, and he won the Midwest region of HBO Comedy Competition in 2000 and was a semi-finalist on NBC's Last Comic Standing in 2010. And hailing from Los Angeles, Willie Macc has garnered over six million views on the Laugh Factory Instagram page and pinned a "modern day Eddie Murphy." Tickets are $15 each; reserves yours ahead by calling 1 (888) 624-6228, online or at the Chinook Winds Box Office.