Oldtown: Riverbank Restaurant

The Riverbank Restaurant: Some say original owner never left By Andrea Evans

If you ever hear an old 1950s song playing on the jukebox in Ed and Jake's Sports Bar, don't bother putting your quarters in to hear it again - it's probably not in there. The owners say it's just Fay McEvers, the original owner of the bar and adjoining Riverbank Restaurant in Oldtown, having his way again, even though he died in 1985.

But fay is seemingly hanging around his old pride and joy just to make sure it's running alright and mainly to help out.

Ed and Kat Gordon, the new owners of the restaurant, said Fay has especially helped them. With the help of Ed's mother, Wilma, the Gordons purchased the establishment this past June 4. The Gordons are now the fourth owners of the Riverbank. But the restaurant was, and apparently still is, Fay's passion. He built the place in 1963 and successfully owned and operated it until 1985. After he passed away, his family decided to sell it. Twice the place was sold and given back to the family. Now it belongs to the Gordons, who plan to keep it running. But without Fay's help, the Gordons said they might not be doing as well with it as they are.

Fay Emerges Debbie Schultz, Fay's daughter, said her father first "came out" when the family took the restaurant back over in 1989. At first, she and her mother would just see things, like she could see him in her peripheral vision. After that things would turn up missing on occasion. Then he seemed to only come out when things got tough, Schultz said.

"It just became part of life," Schultz said.

Wilma, Ed, Kat and Ed's brother Jake started noticing some strange things happening when they started cleaning up the restaurant, the day after they bought it. The first project they decided to tackle was cleaning up the walk-in cooler. The floor was warped and so covered in mold that they had to tear out the first layer of flooring. The floor was pretty damp, so Ed and Jake put some fans on the floor to help it dry. But the fans kept turning off. They would turn them on, but they'd keep turning back off.

"I kept running around yelling at everybody," Ed said, thinking it was someone there turning them off. The fan in the rear corner was turning off the most, so Ed decided to check the wiring. When he got to the back of the cooler, he fell five feet through the floor into the crawl space. Had he not gone back there and fallen through, he may have not known that the entire floor needed to be replaced, right down to the joists.

Shortly after that incident, the two men were working late one night, as they often did, and were taking a break around 10 p.m. They kept hearing hammering sounds, like someone was working under the building, Thinking they had a prowler outside, the two headed under the building to investigate. Whenever they got near the sound, it would keep moving further away. After about 20 minutes of crawling around under the building chasing that sound, they were at the last place they heard the hammering. And it was there they they discovered a concrete footing that had been washed out from rain runoff. hey two repaired it the next day.

"I would have never gone back there," Ed said.

Fay must have been feeling especially helpful the day Ed was up in the attic replacing the deep-freeze insulation. While Ed was handing down the old insulation to Jake, his drop light went out. It was completely dark in the attic. Ed could feel his way back when he felt something push him down. he said it scared him"something fierce." He scrambled for the attic way and Jake got the lights back on. Ed discovered that right were he had been pushed down, there was a bare 220-volt wire that he would have walked right into.

"I would have been electrocuted." he said. he also said he felt like there was somebody up there with him the whole time. Kat Gordon said she often times sees something out of the corner of her eye, but when she turns to look, there's no one there.

Jumpin' Jukebox Fay apparently also loved music. The Gordon's said he has made this evident by playing songs on the jukebox, and he seems to be having fun with it. The vendor dropped it off two days before the restaurant opened. Ed had the vendor eliminate the random play - he didn't want it blaring out in the middle of a game in the sports bar. At about 10 p.m. that night he and Jake were finishing up a few things. Ed's back was to the jukebox and Jake was facing it.

Suddenly Jake asked what was going on with the jukebox, and said he saw the pages flipping. Ed turned around, saw nothing and told Jake he was a lunatic and that he'd been working too long. Then "In the Heat of the Night" started playing. Thinking it was probably just Fay, Ed went to cancel the song. When he was looking to find what page it was on he discovered that song was not even in the jukebox.

Another time, while discussing what the bartenders should wear, one line of an AC/DC song blurted out of the jukebox. The line was "back in black." It wasn't the whole song, just that one line, then silence. So taking Fay's "advice" the two decided the bartenders should wear....No more of the article can be found

NOTE: The story was posted with permission from The Newport/Gem State Miner Newspaper - Fall 2002 Horizon

Not Researched


Comments:

  • Submitted by:

    Submited on: Friday 5th of November 2010 12:52:00 AM

    There is so much more that has happen there!! What I liked about it was, Fay was a great ghost to have around!! He helped us to run the business,he really did, I was never ever afraid to be there with him. >>
  • Kat Gordon

    Submited on: Friday 5th of November 2010 12:41:53 AM

    This is a very true story!! I'm Kat Gordon, Ed and I are still married ,living in oldtown. Wilma,...well she was not liked much at all,..Fay didn,t want her there,.. We however loved our business and our customers loved that we were there also. We had GR >>
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