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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,240 bars; 1,489 bars in Seattle):

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

#2241 - Pine Tree Inn, Shelton, WA - 7/25/2013

The Pine Tree Inn was established in 1957 and is said to be the oldest restaurant in Shelton, an old logging town near the southeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula. "It used to be Wilson's, going back to the 20s, I was told by Mel, a regular who has been coming here since about 1960. The bar portion of the Pine Tree is the sort of dive that attracts bikers and elderly locals during the day, eating diner food, drinking coffee and beer, then a younger crowd at night drinking fireball shots and candy-flavored cocktails. Behind the bar, hidden by pulltab bins, caked in dust, and long neglected, is what once was a fine diorama scene with a working waterfall and a model train circling the tracks.  I'd presume this was installed by Alfred Munoz, who I believe founded the place in '57, and it remained working at least into the 60s. A TripAdvisor reviewer who grew up in the area describes the earlier days:


"It is located on the corner of 1st and Railroad. Highway 101, before the Shelton bypass was built, ran right along 1st Street, so this place was ready to serve up the traveler's meals. In addition, it is located only a few blocks from the big sawmill plant in town, so lots of loggers came in here. When I was a child, we were not permitted to go there due to the rough logger crowd. Later, in the late 60's they had GoGo dancers in the bar (which my brother peeked in the window to see)." (rubbertgator, tripadvisor)



The place can still be rough around the edges, and some of the locals are decidedly not fans of the current ownership, as can be seen in some detail at the BoycottThePineTree facebook page, e.g. a former owner posting 'You must be proud of the business you run, as Alfred and I did for many years..we cleaned the place up, run off most of the ''riff-raff'' and ran a good business after that..what happened makes me sick to my stomach!! You have to be there to make sure it runs right, and not let the help run it into the ''DUMP''..'


It's dirty, with patrons who can be gruff to outsiders, and the scent of pot continually wafting in from the smoking tent out back. But at least it's still there. For fans of old dives, it might be regrettable that no one has bothered to even dust the old train layout for many years. But then again, if someone had aggressively cleaned the place up, the faux mountains and waterfalls that take up space more conveniently occupied by pulltabs and cigarettes, the place probably wouldn't have much character, and I would never have had this glimpse of what the old place used to be.

102 S 1st St Shelton, WA 98584 - (360) 426-2604              
Est. 1957
Web site: pinetreeshelton.com - facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - urbanspoon

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