Trout's Nightclub: 2 buildings, one in foreclosure

Published 02/13 2014 07:13PM

Updated 02/13 2014 07:39PM

BAKERSFIELD, CA -- It's considered one of the last Honky-Tonk places in Kern County and it's being recognized by a major institution.

Trout's Nightclub has been a staple in Oildale for 83 years, which is why the Smithsonian will feature the Honky-Tonk in an upcoming exhibit called "Country."

But, the way many people know the nightclub will soon change. The south building, known for its big dance floor and stage, is in foreclosure.

The owner of Trout's, Thomas Rockwell says for the longest time, the nightclub has been comprised of two buildings, each owned by different corporations.

But, Rockwell says the south building isn't making any money and the nightclub will stop renting it soon.

Trout's Nightclub has been a staple in country music since 1931, hosting legends like Buck Owens, Merle Haggard and hundreds of other country singers.

"We commonly put out the claim that we run more live music and scheduled activities than anybody we could find in the continent out here," said Thomas Rockwell, owner of Trout's.

And, officials with the Smithsonian Institution agree.

That's why film crews with the national institution visited Trout's in December to get a feel for the Bakersfield Sound and its history.

"This is a place that you can depend on always being there. 83 years and strong, we're going to keep adapting to technology, economy and where people want to go and offer that great shuffle step that's going to keep you on the dance floor," said Rockwell.

But, it's also a place that will soon experience a major change.

Rockwell says the nightclub is in two connecting buildings, each belonging to different owners.

But even though the south building is in foreclosure, Rockwell says Trout's will be fine.

"Trout's is not affected by that. We're simply going to adjust and add some new technology and go into a new realm that helps us make some money out of it," continued Rockwell.

And, along with money comes national recognition, an effort to keep the Bakersfield Sound alive.

Rockwell says the country exhibit will be featured in Century City sometime in May.

Rockwell says it will also be on television four times in the next year.

The exact details have not been released.

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