Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,829 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, October 08, 2011

#1495 - Pete's Tavern, Nampa, ID - 7/2/2011

At Pete's Tavern, Nampa, ID - July 2011
We were in Nampa for a celebration of the 100th anniversary of my cousins' ranch house in the area, and looking to kill a bit of time.  I had no particular reason to think Pete's Tavern would hold much of interest for other than the fact that it has my name.  What a splendid surprise to find that this place in the old part of Nampa is full of character and pregnant with history.

The current owner, Linda, informed me that it's been a bar since 1945 and is in a building constructed in the 19th century (I thought she said 1869, but Nampa wasn't around until the 1880s, and most buildings in this area were destroyed in the great 1909 Nampa fire).  Before it was Pete's, it was the Owyhee Lounge, and before that it was a butcher shop, a Chinese laundry, and a speakeasy.  

The walls collect various local history, including a Playboy centerfold which we were informed was the daughter of a local doctor, thus causing a local scandal. The bar cat lounges at the end of the bar, in front of a neon sign with some strange letters that can lighten your wallet a bit if they get you too curious. Things got even more interesting when Linda took us in back, to a portion called "The Cave."  This has indeed been made to look like a cave inside, and contains vestiges of its illicit past in the massively thick door and sliding peephole.  

Back for another visit in June 2021,
with friends Mike and Janet Thompson
Finding this place was a great bit of bar history serendipity, but I was later to find out there is even more to it. In the north Idaho town of Pierce I was chatting to a bartender who came from Nampa and she told that there was also a set of underground tunnels, which still had some old game equipment. She suggested I ask the owner Gary (Barr -- Linda's husband) if he would let us have a peek down there.

On a return visit in 2021 we failed to track down Gary and get down there, but one of the locals shared some pics (unfortunately the gaming equipment is no longer there), and added his personal experience to the stories of the space being haunted, telling us that the closer he got to one corner, the colder and heavier his body felt.

11 12th Avenue South, Nampa, ID - (208) 466-9280
Est. 1945
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