Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,595 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, July 27, 2014

#2234 - The Pourhouse, Aberdeen, WA - 7/15/2013

The Pourhouse, Aberdeen, WA
The Pourhouse and the building in Aberdeen, Washington that has housed it, have had some remarkable history. It was constructed in 1897, it is believed to be the oldest wood structure in Aberdeen, it is the only public location that Nirvana played in their home town, and at this writing it appears to be going through a wild legal brewhaha with some, well, let's just call them "colorful" characters.

The Pourhouse, Aberdeen, WA

A 2012 Daily World article says of the building: "It is 115 years old, according to country records, and survived “Black Friday,” the citywide Aberdeen fire of 1903 that ignited two blocks south of The Pourhouse but stopped at Wishkah Street. It was believed to have been a house before that time, and later was a beauty salon during Prohibition. When Prohibition ended in 1933, it operated briefly as a restaurant before becoming a “beer parlor” named the Golden West Tavern, the name it kept until the mid-1960s."

Happier days at The Pourhouese, Aberdeen, WA
At the time of this article the Pourhouse had been closed for three years and was being very nicely remodeled by new owner Tyler Tollefson, preserving the long back bar and adding some nice reclaimed wood to the walls. "There’s actually another floor under the one that’s there now, and the old logger pegged boots are all over," Tollefson noted in the article. He also explained that the music in the re-opened bar would be "mostly classic rock, blues, country and jazz."

The place was named "The Pourhouse" in 1980, and has long been a center of live, original music in the small lumber town. It is claimed that Nirvana performed there three times, with the best documented show on Dec 21, 1988, with Kurt Cobain and Kris Novoselic playing Beatles cover songs there after a show in nearby Hoquiam. Novoselic and possibly Cobain also played there with the Melvin's Buzz Osbourne in September 1986 as the "Stiff Woodies."

"Condition 3" "peaceful protest" at the Pourhouse
(Pourhouse Facebook photo)
The current soap opera over the bar began a few months after Tollefson leased the place to Jacob Cuzdey starting Jan 31, 2014. From an article in The Daily World and the bar's Facebook page maintained by Cuzdey, this is my best attempt to piece it together:  Cuzdey's core business practices apparently did not encompass paying his taxes and eventually would unhappily lead to not being able to pay his lease, employees or liquor license. These facts came to the attention of the bar owners when he informed them that the city had directed him to start paying off the four separate tax liens on the business before worrying about their rent. The owners apparently were not pleased, and sued to get control of the business back. This was accompanied by much melodrama, e.g.  "Two women allegedly punched Cuzdey and others in front of witnesses just after midnight on April 26 in a dispute over the bar" and "Cuzdey claims police stood by on April 28 as the couple and others allegedly took items from the bar that Cuzdey says belong to him." (DailyWorld)

Weapon instructions from the manager of the
Pourhouse, Aberdeen, WA (Facebook)
These events appear to have inspired Cuzdey and two of his friends to stage a "peaceful protest" in front of the bar, with semi-automatic weapons slung over their chests, one in head-to-toe camouflage fatigues, and signs featuring a diatribe about the police chief, mayor, and FREEDOM. The Facebook page featuring photos of the protesters clarifies that this is a "Condition 3" (magazine inserted, no round in chamber, bolt/slide forward, weapon on safe, hammer down) and "AC Yellow" ("relaxed alert") exercise in Freedom protecting. A number of Facebook commenters noted that this was not exactly helpful in convincing people you're a rational person, but Cuzdey countered that he can't "hide in the shadows" while he is being "raped" by the Aberdeen government. It would appear that the building owners wrested control of the sandwich boards shortly after that, as the following day the signs read "Saving the Pourhouse" and "We (heart) Our Mayor."

One does hope that just enough sanity is eventually restored that this bar can be preserved and reopened. In addition to the history, it's a nice little joint in the shadow of the Wishkah River Bridge.

506 E Wishkah St Aberdeen, WA 98520 - (360) 533-4461
Est. 1980 - Building constructed: 1897
Previous bars in this location: Golden West Tavern (30s-60s)
Web site: facebook
Reviews: thedailyworldthedailyworld - yelptripadvisor - link


Anonymous said...

You need to check your "facts" before writting shit like this.

Anonymous said...

Sounds accurate to me. Watched the entire damn thing unfold, and have a friend who is to this day unpaid who worked there.

Unknown said...

Recently, attention has been given to the building formerly housing The Pourhouse bar, which sits on the site currently slated to house the Grays Harbor Gateway Business and Innovation Center(Gateway Center). Portions of the building have sat on the property since the 1890’s and were one of few buildings to survive the Black Friday fire that destroyed much of downtown Aberdeen in 1903.

Community members have voiced their opposition to the demolition of the closed building in preparation for the Gateway Center, stating that in addition to surviving the 1903 fire it was what some have called “the hometown stage of Nirvana”, citing their performances inside the building. These claims frequently precede requests to turn the former bar into a museum to the band.

Krist Novoselić and his recent band Giants in the Trees will be performing on a different stage in Aberdeen on Saturday, September 22 when they will play at the Bishop Center for the Performing Arts.

Novoselić, a transplant to Aberdeen from Croatia, moved to the area in the early 1980’s and formed Nirvana with Kurt Cobain in 1987.

In an interview with Pat Anderson of show sponsor 104.7 KDUX prior to the Giants in the Trees event, he spoke to Novoselić about the band, the upcoming show, and about his memories growing up locally. Anderson asked the former Nirvana member about his memories of local venues.

Specifically, he asked Novoselić about his memories of playing The Pourhouse.