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Sunday, December 21, 2014

#2306 - City Hall Saloon, Cumberland, WA - 9/27/2013

You won't find the City Hall Saloon while driving to someplace else. It's about 25 east of Tacoma as the crow flies, but if you're not a crow, you'll have to take some backroads. There in the unincorporated old coal mining community of Cumberland, amidst the Cascade foothills, the old, barn-red, two-story building that the locals call "the community center" rises above a large beer garden with various mannequins, vintage signs, and biker paraphernalia.


City Hall Saloon, Cumberland, WA
On Taco Thursday you'll find 500+ bikers there. Inside at the bar you'll find mostly retired white people, yelling insults at one another. There's Ed, and Dirk, who has not one but two three-legged dogs, and Richard, who invested in Microsoft early and now takes care of the electric bill for the place. There's Old Bill -- and you have to be OLD to be Old Someone in this bar -- who was presented medals and flags by a younger vet, but wanted another flag because it only had 48 stars when he served. There's the bartender who makes purses to commemorate stories, like the time her boyfriend was upset that she wouldn't let him drive her jeep without a license and shot the bouquet of plastic flowers someone left on the porch.

City Hall Saloon, Cumberland, WA
One guy recalls when the place was "Carolyn's," and how Carolyn would print up mimeographed song lyrics and the whole bar would sing. I ask if the current owners are here and I'm told "Only when they're thirsty." At one point someone yells out "Safety Meeting!" and a bunch of the patrons trundle outside, taking a break from the beers pulled out of icy drums to partake in another form of unbending. There aren't that many people outside on this damp Friday evening, but in the warmer months there is live music 5 nights a week.



It is, in summary, a very fine bar, but it is clear that, as raucous as the small crowd inside may be, we still have not seen the joint in its prime time. We will definitely have to return on a Taco Thursday, and to listen to some bands on a warm Friday



City Hall Saloon, Cumberland, WA
35317 314th. Way S.E., Cumberland, WA 98022 - 360-886-0569
Est. April 2001 - Building constructed: 1893
Previous bars in this location: Big Mike's, Carolyn's Tavern, the Eager Beaver
Web site: facebook
Reviews: activerain - roadtrippers - owt - quickthrottle - yelp - afar - insiderpages

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