The year of the Dirty Dog

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Stock Image The Dirty Dog Saloon (formerly Dirty Ernie’s) has undergone several changes over the past few months, including new ownership.

KELLOGG — Change is a good thing, especially in regard to the old Dirty Dog Saloon.

After decades of operation as Dirty Ernie’s, the iconic Kellogg bar underwent a name change and slight facelift after Mike Kennaugh and his family purchased the bar from Bob and Deb Cameron.

That concept of a family owned and operated business really resonated with Kennaugh, who wanted to find a business that his family could run together locally and that his daughter could work at.

“We wanted to have some kind of business that we could do close to home that wasn’t an online business,” Kennaugh said. “Also, my daughter Mikayla had an interest in bartending. She had thoughts of possibly traveling Europe for a year or so. Bartending is a really good paying job that she could do anywhere in the world. We tried to get her a job at a couple of bars in Kellogg, but they said she was ‘too young.’ She was 22 at the time. So, long story short, we just bought our own bar.”

Upon purchase, Kennaugh instantly made the place more of a social gathering place rather than just a local watering hole, which is perfect because he and his family are all incredibly social by nature.

Jumping in feet first, they began the process of renovating the bar’s facilities, including the bathrooms, behind the bar, the ceilings, the floors, all have been replaced or fixed in some form or fashion and along with a fresh coat of paint, the Dirty Dog is looking pretty good these days.

Kennaugh is also quite the philanthropist, something that he believes he inherited from his mother.

“My mother instilled in me a giving heart. She was the most generous person I ever knew. She passed away September 2017,” Kennaugh said. “She gave to countless charities, and individuals. Some of those charities and individuals are right here in Kellogg. We will continue her tradition and donate to a different charity each month. Giving to the community is a win-win situation. The charities benefit, while also creating long-term customers for our business. My mom would be proud I think.”

Such charities like the Pinehurst Playground Project, Kellogg High School’s Brawl for the Ball, the Shoshone Pet Rescue, and many others have benefited from Kennaugh’s giving spirit through silent auctions, 50/50 raffle, full donations from profits, as well as just giving of their own monies.

The Silver Bee Community Garden is the charity that will benefit in March and the Kiwanis Club is slated for April.

Last month’s fundraiser raised $1,500 for Shoshone Pet Rescue.

While they’re not finished with their renovations, they aren’t planning on too many more changes, but in January, Kennaugh purchased another building that had grown in popularity — The old Best Shots restaurant building.

As of right now, Kennaugh doesn’t have any specific plans for the restaurant, but has tossed around ideas such as leasing it, or even opening a restaurant-movie theater hybrid where folks can be served food and drink while taking in a newer movie.

If Kennaugh has his way, the building is going to serve the community well.

The Dirty Dog fundraising day for the Silver Bee Community Garden is set for March 21.

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