Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,200 bars; 1,476 bars in Seattle):
Bars where Pete has had a drink
Sunday, December 30, 2012
#1874 - Arnie's Horseshoe, Ellensburg, WA - 8/25/2011
I do not know how old the Horseshoe is, but a 1970 article in the Ellensburg Daily Record describes it as being sold to a new owner in 1918 (this account may not be entirely correct, as it describes that year as "a year before prohibition became law," and prohibition was in effect in Washington state Jan 1, 1916). Also, there is no bar listed at this address in either the 1937 or 1949 Polk Guides (I did not check under other business types), however there is one listed in 1911 under "Whitman & Lee" and again in 1913 under "C E Whitman."
In any case, the article recounts a storied history, back to the days when bars on the street were open 24-hours and the owner did much of his sales in gold. As was not unusual northwest bars in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Horseshoe also appears to have served as a bank, payroll office, and employment office -- e.g. distributing payroll to thrashing crews.
The current version of the Horseshoe positions itself as a sports bar, but more closely resembles a class, rural dive, with hunting trophies, paraphernalia for watery, corporate beers, and stickers sporting dopey jokes. Some of the latter evince a bit of the douchebag element that currently tends to hang out there ("Are all women on the rag the same day?" "Speak English or get the fuck out"). It can sometimes have a high BBCS (Backwards Baseball Cap Score), but most the folks there seem pretty agreeable.