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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,326 bars; 1,511 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, June 29, 2013

#2044 - Blue Goose Tavern, Port Orchard, WA - 2/16/2013

The Blue Goose was established in 1948, apparently by a marine and based on one of several military aircraft that have been known by that name (perhaps the B-24 bomber that disappeared in 1942). It had a fun, lively crowd, and we talked to Mike, and MBA who came back to the neighborhood to care for his parents, and now trims trees and bartends. Mike greets everybody enthusiastically and seems like an ambassador for the area, waxing poetic about the lifestyle and his five acres.

1931 Bay St Port Orchard, WA 98366 - (360) 895-8171
Est. 1948
Reviews:  yelp 

Friday, June 28, 2013

#2043 - Hi Tide Tavern, Port Orchard, WA - 2/16/2013

Despite its location in a sort of strip mall, the "Hi Tide Tavern" exterior has a lot of personality, with hand-painted signage and murals of widely varying skill, and an excellent view of Sinclair Inlet from its patio. So it's a little puzzling that inside it looks like a restaurant that should have "Pantry" in the name. The pastel colors, patterned wallpaper borders, and paintings of waves seem like they belong more in a waiting room or senior center than a tavern.

But the folks there are nice, and we had a pleasant discussion with old friends Ernie and Rollie, who spent much of their lives driving delivery trucks for Wonder Bread and Twinkies, respectively.

The menu claims that the Hi Tide has been here since 1926, although it would not have been a tavern since then, and the current building appears to date back to the 1990s. I would have very much liked to have seen the previous version(s).


1371 Bay St Port Orchard, WA 98366 - (360) 876-2248
Reviews: yelp 

#2042 - Pour House Pub, Bremerton, WA - 2/16/2013

An interesting mixture of punks and navy guys, with some fairly good pizza and beer.

(Note: Original Bremerton Pour House was 3 blocks from this one.)

312 Naval Ave Bremerton, WA 98337 - (360) 377-6250
Web site: facebook
Previous bars at this address: Red Rooster, Blue Jacket
Reviews: yelp - urbanspoon 

#2041 - Fuzzy Naval, Bremerton, WA - 2/16/2013

A classic dive bar that appears to have been around since the 30s or 40s (although I found no bar listed at this address until Jesse's Tavern in 1960). It was remodeled in the 70s, and which hoists a fairly boisterous crowd of regulars.

416 Naval Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337 - (360) 782-5487
Previous bars at this location: Jesse's Tavern (1960s)
Reviews: urbanspoon - yelp

Thursday, June 27, 2013

#2040 - Wig Wam Pub, Gorst, WA - 2/16/2013

"Gorst, located on the shores of Puget Sound, is primarily a town consisting of stores, auto dealerships, topless espresso stands, and the county's only strip club." -- Wikipedia

The community of Gorst, sitting in the middle of the Kitsap peninsula where the highway forks around Sinclair inlet, is not a major destination for visitors. But just off the current highway, and easy to miss, is a nifty little tavern with character and history -- and a lot of fine northwest beers.  The Wig Wam was built in 1933, right in time for then end of prohibition, and burned down in 1961. A new concrete version was constructed in 1952. It was closed down for several years recently, and only opened again in 2012 because locals kept dropping by asking the new owners about it. It now features a very nice beer selection and good barbecue.  A bit more historical detail from the Kitsap Sun:

'The tavern was operated by Cliff Whitney and later a second generation, the Chamberlain family. The building burned in 1951 and was resurrected in concrete in 1952....  Lila Goakey ran the Wig Wam with husband Loren from 1973 through 1996.... The Goakeys sold out before Loren's death in 2001. Buying the tavern was a woman who changed the name and got rid of the iconic tepee on the sign. The place did not thrive, and closed in late 2009. There was a foreclosure. The Wig Wam sat empty and disheveled.' 

'Business partners Erik Sweet and George Wood bought the 1.44-acre property late in 2011 with no intention of operating a tavern. They wanted to start a brewery for George's craft beers and may still do so out back where the cabins used to be. As they started cleaning it up, people kept stopping by and saying, "Are you going to open up the old Wig Wam?" said Mike Sweet, Erik's dad, who moved up from Texas to manage the tavern.'

'The new sign, modeled after the old yellow and red one, bears a tepee like those used by Plains Indians, not a wigwam, the traditional housing of tribes from the Great Lakes eastward. The Great Plains motif is picked up on new wood-carved restroom signs, with a chief in feather war bonnet. There's a "liars corner" — a vestige of the old Wig Wam — and a quilters' corner. Yes, the Wig Wam has a nicely appointed area, where ladies ply their craft. Rumor has it the old Wig Wam had ladies who plied another craft in the second story, now gone. "That was something everyone laughed about," Goakey said, dismissing the colorful story as hearsay.'

3548 W Belfair Valley Rd, Gorst, WA 98312 - (360) 813-3548
Est. 1933 - Building constructed: 1952
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: pubwigwam.com - facebook - blog
Articles: kitsapsun - portorchardindependent - yelp - taphunter

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#2039 - MoonDogs Too, Port Orchard, WA - 2/16/2013

Port Orchard, originally "Sydney," is the oldest incorporated community in Kitsap county, and Moondogs Too is housed in a building constructed on the main business street in the early 1900s, shortly after fire had destroyed most downtown businesses in 1895, and after Sydney won a battle with nearby Charleston in 1903 over which town could rename itself "Port Orchard." According to the Moondogs web site, it was originally the Port Orchard Pool Hall (e.g. listed in 1938 and 1942 city guides), became the Port Orchard Tavern in the 1950s, the Harborside from 1999 to 2004, and MoonDog Bar and Grill in 2005. The current owners liked the MoonDog name, and adopted it in slightly modified form when they acquired the place in 2007.

MoonDogs Too now seems to center the small, somewhat touristy downtown area of Port Orchard (which could nevertheless require a lot of police activity on certain evenings). They serve fairly broad selection of mostly typical bar food and drink options, and host open mike nights and booked acts on weekends -- playing either in a small area of the first floor, a stage area upstairs, or on a pleasant patio. It includes a fine old back bar said to have been constructed in the 1880s.


714 Bay St Port Orchard, WA 98366 - (360) 895-2300
Est. 2007 - Building constructed: Early 1900s
Previous bars in this location: Port Orchard Pool Hall, Port Orchard Tavern, Boomer's, Harborside, Moondog Bar and Grill
Web site: http://moondogstoo.com - facebook
Reviews:  yelp - tripadvisor - pugetsoundblogs

#2038 - South Pacific, Bremerton, WA - 2/10/2013

This place appears to have a colorful past, and now it seems to want to be a bit of everything: tiki bar, sports bar, D-List style nightclub. I haven't found much info online about previous bars in this space, but I got word-of-mouth info from several different people. From Jenny I heard that they used to have a two-lane bowling alley downstairs, and murals of Popeye-like characters probably done by Popeye creator E.C. Segar while he was stationed in the area during WWII. While they are clearly from the hand of a deft cartoonist, the latter story doesn't really check out, as I later found explained in a Kitsap Sun story:
"Pam Kruse Buckingham of the Kitsap County Historical Society said the facts don't support that story. Buckingham's research showed the building was built in 1913 and it housed Flieder Bros. Grocery until the late '30s. The building remained vacant until 1941, when it became the Rendevous [sic] Beer Parlor, she said. Segar died in 1938, according to his biography on the King Features Web site."

Between the Rende(z?)vous and South Pacific, it has been called "Cheers" and before that, the "Bowl and Bash," I was told. In the bar I talked with Misty, a pretty bartender from Kentucky who calls the customers "Honey," and Ike, who has been in and around the navy and coming in the place for many years. Ike had several stories about the old days of the place, including when it had a mynah that told customers "fuck you" as you walked in the front door, and a drunken night he hooked up with a women and they lost her prosthetic foot.



"Not afraid to over-serve.  I once had a J├Ągerbomb with each of my first nine beers and the barkeep never batted an eye." (Skattman)
Thankfully, so far it has been able to resist the people and forces that seem to think that urban renewal calls for the elimination of all vestiges of charm and character. It's not the kind of place I would be likely to go to regularly if it were in Seattle, but its jumbled themes seem to work here, and I might be here often.

218 1st St, Bremerton, WA 98337 - (360) 479-1657
Est. Dec 15, 2002 - Building constructed 1913
Previous bars in this location: Rendezvous Beer Parlor (30s), Bowl and Bash, Cheers
Web site: southpacificsportsbar.com
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - kitsapsun - waterfront development

Sunday, June 23, 2013

#2037 - Drift Inn, Bremerton, WA - 2/10/2013

Blue collar Bremerton, dominated by its naval station, sits on the Kitsap peninsula just 2 or 3 miles southwest of Bainbridge Island, but a world away in culture. The city has essentially been in decline since WWII, with the submarine base in Bangor draining much of its labor and the shopping mall in nearby Silverdale draining its commercial center. But the area around the ferry dock features substantial modern development, with a convention center, hotels, and art galleries. Locals say that the divey "Drift Inn" Tavern is the only thing that hasn't changed in the area.

The Drift is a fairly lively that has been around since the 1950s, with other bars preceding it in this space ("Bottoms Up" is listed here in the 1934 Polk Guide, Sullivan's in 1938 and 1942).

Bartender Jenny talked to me about other old bars in the area, and told stories about the Drift. One involved a band performing during "Driftmania 2" wearing a fake bomb on his chest, and apparently deciding to leave it wrapped around a tree in front of the bar when they left for the night. The next morning, Drift employees attempting to open the bar could not get in because the FBI were sweeping the place.

The Drift Inn delivers on the dive bar basics: inexpensive, stiff drinks; engaging bartender; interesting cast of characters.

204 1st Street, Bremerton, WA 98337 - (360) 479-2339
Reviews: yelp
Previous bars in this location: Bottoms Up (1930s), Sullivan's (1940s)
Token:  tokencatalog.com

#2036 - Monica's Social Club, Bremerton, WA - 2/10/2013

"Good people watching - if you enjoy prison documentaries." - Rick D. Yelp

This is an odd social club. Most the decor is standard dive bar -- cheap paneling, beer company paraphernalia, a couple very regular drinkers on the bar stools. Then there's the sort of stage area, with dusty stools, and old hot dog cooker and a rake (?). But the drinks are cheap and strong, and the bartender is nice.






818 6th St, Bremerton, WA 98337 - (360) 377-4386                     
Est. June 30, 1985
Reviews: yelp

Friday, June 21, 2013

#2035 - Bethel Saloon, Port Orchard, WA - 2/10/2013

The Bethel Saloon appears to be one of the older bars in the state, said to have become a tavern shortly after prohibition ended in 1933. Known previously as "Big Bottom" and "Black Bottom," the Bethel district of Port Orchard sits about a mile from Sinclair Inlet on the Kitsap Peninsula, just across Elliot Bay and Bainbridge Island from Seattle. The building definitely has a great old feel, with uneven wood floors and an old wood burning stove, and appears to date back to the early 1900s. By approximately 1928 it was one of the nation's first official Texaco stations, in the first nationwide chain of gasoline service stations. It is said to have hosted a dry cleaners, pottery shop, general store and cafe before converting entirely into a bar many years ago. I talk to regulars Patty and Dan, and Dan remembers bringing pop bottles in his wagon to cash in at the little store that once occupied the side that currently features the physical bar.

Now the saloon positions itself as the only biker bar in the area, and seems to also host an interesting set of regulars. One fellow, dressed in a vest and fedora with his white beard tied into two neat little sections with two gold beads beneath his chin, seemed to be winning out among some fairly skillful pool players. Rev. Horton Heat was playing on the jukebox, and the regulars and bartenders Jeannie and Jen were all quite friendly. It's well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.


3840 Bethel Rd SE, Port Orchard, Washington 98366 - (360) 876-6621
Est. 1933 - Building constructed:  early 1900s
Web site: bethel-saloon.com - facebook - blog

#2034 - Littlerock Tavern, Littlerock, WA - 2/10/2013

While driving to pick up a taxidermy wahoo, I stumbled upon the Littlerock Tavern, in Littlerock, Washington, just southwest of Olympia. Littlrock is one of those places that is well off the major highways and not on the route to any other real destination. So there are probably very few non-regulars who drop in at the tavern, and as I found out later from a friend who lives in the area, the afternoon crowd is significantly different from the evening crowd. When I walked in and sat down at the bar, the five old guys sitting there all stopped talking and stared at me. Four of them eventually started talking among themselves again, but the guy in the red shirt kept staring a me for pretty much the entire 45 minutes or so I spent there -- looking at me with that exact expression in the photo I discretely snapped with my phone.

The brown paper bags contain hardboiled eggs because it was egg day. On egg day, you can buy an egg for $.25, and in addition to the egg itself, there's a little sticker on each egg that tells you how much you get discounted off your drink. The bartender knows exactly how many drinks and how many eggs each of the locals wants, so she pops their little bag in front of them as soon as they sit down.

With my bar project, every now and then I'll step into places where people have the immediate sense I don't belong. Sometimes I'm the only white person, the only straight person, the only white collar person, or the only person who doesn't come in every day. Sometimes people just seem surprised you're there, sometimes they make it clear they don't think you should be there. But the thing about these places, is pretty much every time, if you don't act like a jackass, make a joke or two, and join in the conversation without shoving yourself in, people almost always warm up to you and eventually seem to welcome you.

I had to ask about the bags -- no one volunteered the egg day details. I bought two eggs and they were both labeled $.25. As I headed out to hit the road, I noted, well, I guess I have a perfectly even lifetime record for egg day, and the guy who'd been glaring at me the whole time gave out a loud, friendly laugh. I'm not at all sure of this, but I believe that if I'd had another hour to spend there, we probably would have had a friendly chat. Sometimes you just have to give people a little time.

Historical notes: Europeans began settling in the area known as "Little Rock" in the 1850s. There is, apparently, an actual rock after which it was named. The still unincorporated community was platted in the 1890s, while it was temporarily called "Viora," and now includes a post office, grade school, upholstery shop, expresso stand, two churches, a gas station / grocery store, a posse hall, and the Littlerock Tavern. (Hillbilly Beans). When I asked how long the Littlerock tavern had been around, the bartender say "Really, really old -- early 1900s." But I haven't seen any primary sources or nor artifact of any kind. So I'd love to find a bit stronger source for the age and history of the place. The 1934 Olympia Polk Guide lists simply "The Tavern" in Littlerock, but lists no address.

6520 128th Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98512 - (360) 753-9952

#2033 - Picadilly Circus, Snohomish, WA - 2/9/2013

With the exception of an odd dome-ceilinged pool room in back, this bar is decorated like little old ladies think of England, with paintings of fox hunts and myriad other cliches. On the the Saturday afternoon that we came in, this was accentuated with bad country-western ballads and an overwhelming caramel smell from a scented candle. "I don't want my bar to smell like a bar," the owner explained. She was nice, but I prefer my bars to feel, sound, and smell like bars.



1104 1st St, Snohomish, WA 98290 - (360) 568-8212                      
Web site: piccadillycircuswa.com
Reviews: yelp - urbanspoon

#2032 - Cat House Pizza, Snohomish, WA - 2/9/2013

Not quite what people expect in a "New York style" pizza, but it's brick-fired and of fairly average quality. The folks there are nice. It has a few beer and wine choices and basically a sports bar theme, in an old Snohomish building that presumably once hosted women of ill repute and their clientele.

1120 1st St, Snohomish, WA 98290 - (360) 863-3626
Web site: cathousepizza.com - facebook
Reviews:  urbanspoon - yelp

Sunday, June 16, 2013

#2031 - Old Inn Tavern, Snohomish, WA - 2/5/2013

"Snohomish had a sensational shooting match Saturday night, in which one man was killed and two wounded. Two highwaymen, John Moore and Ed. Collins, attempted to 'stickup up' the bartender of the Inn saloon resulting in the death of Moore and wounding of Collins. Shortly after 11 o'clock Moore and Collins, who had bought drinks at the saloon earlier in the evening, appeared and ordered all hands up. Gus Olson was behind the bar and jumped for his gun. Moore opened fire on but missed. At this juncture Patrolman Byllings appeared and took a hand in the melee. Moore was shot through the left eye and 'died' instantly. Collins was hit in the neck. Moore had wounded Byllings in the left leg. Collins says he met Moore working on the Cedar river dam, near Seattle. They quit and went to Everett, and after having a few drinks decided to go into the hold-up business, selecting Snohomish as the easiest place to begin operations. Moore was about 30 years of age and Collins is 27. Patrolman Byllings was congratulated on all sides for nerve he displayed and his good marksmanship."

John Moore and Ed Collins Attempt to Hold Up the Inn Saloon and Meet Their WaterlooMonroe Independent, Jan 13, 1913

 As we can see from the preceding article, the "Inn Saloon," which became known as the "Old Inn Tavern at some point during the 1940s and still operates under that name today, is one of the oldest bars in the state of Washington. I do not have primary sources to confirm these exact dates, but from Don Thompson, the current owner, it appears that the the Inn Saloon dates back to 1898, and the building it has been in all this time dates to 1889, constructed at the end of the Union Pacific railroad line and providing rail workers a place to sleep and have a cold beer.  Along with Merchants and the Brick, this would make it one of the three oldest bars in the state, in terms of establishments that have been running with limited interruption (e.g. prohibition) and under basically the same name.
Archaeologists say that man has been living in this river valley since at least 12,000 years ago. Many millenia later, members of the Tulalip, Pilchuck, Snoqualmie and Snohomish tribes numbered about 1,000 people here. Europeans arrived in 1858 from Seattle, with agriculture and logging dominating the community for 100 years. As the town declined with the closure of the mills, it re-made itself into a historical and antiquing destination, including a lively bar scene.

The Old Inn Tavern is now a very comfortable local joint, off the main drag, and with the owner's appreciation for its history manifest in the large vintage photographs on the walls and artifacts like the newspaper article above. Snohomish is a fun little area for nightlife, and the Old Inn is well worth a visit for a night on the town and a piece of state history.





502 3rd St, Snohomish, WA 98290 - (360) 568-7835
Est. 1898 - Building constructed: 1889
Web site: oldinn.webs.com - Don Thompson Linkedin - tokens
Reviews: yelp