The Empire Recovery Center has been serving Northern California since 1971. The buildiing itself has been a part of the downtown area since 1912, although the building as you see it today was finished in 1918. Originally, it had three separate buildings and businesses, including a cafe, bar, and the hotel that often was a thriving part of the “red light” district.
In the 1930’s, according to our former sheriff, there were more than 127 bars on California Street between Eureka Way and Jack’s Grill. In the late 60’s, Butch Williams, the bartender for the Old Crow Bar, began drying out drunks in downtown Redding.. Noticing his efforts, the city fathers asked Butch to open a place for drunks. Thus was born the Empire Hotel for Alcoholics. Butch enlisted a board of directors, and the program became a non-profit in 1975, and eventually became one of, if not the first, licensed alcohol treatment facility in the State of California. Our license number is 450001.
In the late 70’s, Evelyn came to the Empire, and caught the attention of Butch, becoming his wife and eventually, took his role as the Executive Director.