College Hill’s new friendly nightclub – The Daily Evergreen

Crybaby Cafe owners Etsi Bravo are expanding their horizons with a third business in Pullman

COURTESY OF LANCE LEJEWSKI

The Emporium is the newest of three businesses owned and operated by Cory and Blake Preston. The couple also own Etsi Bravo and Crybaby Café.

For the past few weeks, College Hill residents may have noticed a long line and pumping bass coming out of Adams Mall every weekend. The source of the commotion is Pullman’s newest nightclub, The Emporium.

Owners Cory and Blake Preston have run the ropes a few times when it comes to owning a business in Pullman. The Prestons opened Etsi Bravo in June 2015, Crybaby Caféstar in August 2021 and now The Emporium in January of this year.

Blake is a WSU alumnus with a degree in hospitality business management, and Cory is a graduate of the University of Idaho’s design program. Cory said the two met in 2012 when they were both bartenders at a restaurant in Pullman, and quickly hit it off. In 2016, the couple married Etsi Bravo.

“We’ve always, you know, admired bars on campus and never thought we’d have a chance to find a place there,” Cory said. “Because of the pandemic, the opportunity kind of presented itself, and that’s something we had to jump on.”

The Emporium is the perfect three-in-one: restaurant, bar and nightclub, Cory said. It is located in the Adams Mall, next to its sibling, the Crybaby Cafe.

Double-major publicity and broadcast junior Gabby Durante said she’s no stranger to The Emporium. In the last month the business was open, she was inside and outside every weekend.

“There are a lot of people dancing on the dance floor; there are tables where people can eat or drink,” Durante said. “I’ve never been there when it’s not crowded. I feel like every time [that] I go there, I’m always next to people.

Durante’s favorite drink is “Get it Girl”, a blend of vodka, passion fruit and citrus. Like Durante, senior criminology major Alex Peterson said he was a “get it girl” type.

“The ‘Get it Girl’ is pretty much fire, I’m not going to lie,” Peterson said. “It’s so good; it’s a staple there.

Peterson said the prices are cheaper than other bars, the drinks are stronger, and the location is ideal. While The Emporium stays quite busy, there are three different bars inside, so queues are never too long.

Blake said they have several events planned for the coming months.

This Thursday, The Emporium presents an evening on the theme “80s in Aspen”. 80s music will be played by DJ Macfie and 80s drink specials will be available. Blake said customers should also be on the lookout for cash giveaways and a best costume prize.

“We will be hosting events with Sanctuary, the downtown yoga studio; the details aren’t fully settled, but it will be for all ages,” Blake said. “It will actually be at the Emporium with instructors from the Sanctuary, so it will be a barre class followed by brunch.”

Additionally, The Emporium will host popular DJ, Troyboi, at 7 p.m. on March 3. Limited tickets are available through upandupfestival.com and it will be a 21+ event, she said.

The Emporium is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. on weekends. After 8 p.m., minors are not allowed inside.

“We are delighted to be on the hill. It’s an exciting opportunity for us, and it’s been really cool [to have] the support we got from other companies,” Cory said. “It’s really cool to be part of this community here, you know, we all sort of have the same goal of bringing nightlife to campus.”

Jerry C. Greiner