Longtime bartender buys Wild Bill’s | SummitDaily.com

Longtime bartender buys Wild Bill’s

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkBill and Sandy Parshall are the new owners of Wild Bills Pizza and Saloon in Dillon. A grand reopening is set for today, when Rhythm Pig will play at 9 p.m. and drink and food specials will be offered all day.

DILLON – As the new owner of Wild Bill’s Pizza and Saloon in Dillon, Chicago native Bill Parshall doesn’t expect to tend the bar very often, but said he would pull a shift once in awhile because he likes to socialize with the customers. Parshall started slinging drinks more than three decades ago as a part-time bartender at a shot-and-beer joint in North Riverside.It’s just a coincidence that Parshall won’t have to change the name of Wild Bill’s, the establishment he bought in February. The casual locals’ bar has been in town for about 30 years.While he put on a suit and tie every morning for 27 years working for a construction equipment company, Parshall’s been bartending since 1972. He has owned two other bars, in Chicago and Florida, and said he likes to see people engage in casual conversation at his bars.

“In a bar you have every walk of life from a garbage man to a lawyer, and once they get into the bar atmosphere, they’re all friends,” Parshall said. “Out in the business world you don’t see that, but in a bar everybody talks to everybody.”Parshall and his wife, Sandy, moved to Dillon last year. Along with a new condominium, they decided to buy the business when a golf outing with Sandy’s son, Allan Hedin, ended up in the restaurant, and an ensuing discussion with former owner Jeff Lawrence revealed that the place was for sale.The 15 employees are still on staff, and the menu will stay mostly the same with a few additions: Chicago-style pizza, which offers up the cheese on top instead of under the toppings and “garbage salad,” an everything-included dish that is a meal in itself.The Parshalls also cleaned up the establishment by putting in a new floor, new booths and adding pictures to the walls. A new gas firepit and furniture makes the patio more inviting.

The couple wants to offer more activities for their customers such as bus trips to Colorado’s casinos, but will also keep specials for football games and the popular live music.The Parshalls moved to Summit County from Pompano Beach, Fla., where Bill owned the Anglesea Pub, a seafood restaurant. He sold his share to his wife’s cousin and business partner, then made the move to Dillon.Sandy is a former corporate vice president for a health care company. A promotion in her career transplanted the couple from Chicago to Florida about five years ago.In Chicago, Bill owned Willard’s in North Riverside, which he sold when the couple moved south. He said he always liked working in a casual establishment, instead of the corporate culture.

“This is the type of business where your customers are maybe not as critical of you,” he said. “It’s just a place to come and enjoy yourself. I’d rather provide that type of business … (where) you don’t have to get up in the morning and dress up in a suit.”Wild Bill’s is currently open, but a grand reopening is set for today, when Rhythm Pig will play at 9 p.m. and drink and food specials will be offered all day. The bar and restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily.Kim Marquis can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 249, or at kmarquis@summitdaily.com.

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