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Monday, April 14, 2014

#2176 - Oasis Tavern, Skamokawa, WA - 5/19/2013

Pete (mandolin), ?, and Don (dulcimer) at the
Oasis Tavern, Skamokawa, Washington
Update: The Oasis Tavern closed and has been replaced by the Roadkill Saloon.


For most people, the drive from Portland to Seattle is a 3 to 4 hour trip, but I tend to wander and it usually takes me something more like 13 hours. That doesn't mean I don't often wish I had more time, as I definitely did when I dropped into the Oasis Tavern in Skamokawa. The Oasis had been closed for four years, after previous owner Wanda Rudy passed away. But it was very substantially remodeled and reopened by Rick and Eileen Tietje in September of 2012. They used wood paneling recovered from a local friend's collapsed 1897 barn, and from an abandoned house in a ditch. They built an all new bar and created lamps from mason mars and old pulleys.

You're not likely to stumble upon the Oasis by accident -- it's hidden off Highway 4 a piece, just above where Brooks Slough meets the Columbia River, as it starts to widen in the last 30 miles to the Pacific. But if you find it on a day like today, a lazy Sunday with sunbeams pouring through the windows and folks songs strumming out from some of the locals, you feel like spending the entire day there. It's just about as comfortable and pleasant as a bar can be.



It's hard to say how old the Oasis is -- I haven't found any real mentions of it from before Red Almer bought the place in 1981. The owners heard it was the second oldest bar in the state, but such oral histories usually turn out to be inaccurate. But since they also heard that it opened right after prohibition and was always called the "Oasis," I'm going to guess it goes back to sometime in 1933, maybe even a bit before "prohibition" ended in December, and closer to April 7 when the Beer and Wine Revenue Act took effect. In any case, if you have the time, the drive up Highway 4 along the northern side of the Columbia is a lovely diversion, and it's well worth a turn up East Valley Road to have a pint at the Oasis.

8 Fairgrounds Rd, Skamokawa, WA 98612 - (360) 795-8672                
Est. 1933?
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: oasismexicanbarandgrill.comfacebook
Reviews: tdn - yelp - tripadvisor

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