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Sunday, January 18, 2015

#2316 - 1890s Lounge, La Conner, WA - 10/11/2013

The 1890s Lounge inside La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib House, is a re-opening of a sort of 60s/70s rock joint in a historic building that once served loggers and fishermen. "Most stories include a woman named Rosanna (who managed the live-music bookings for the 1890’s lounge, and whose nickname was Rosanna Pianna), as well as late-night escapades centered around a rather cannabis-induced haze." (laconnerseafood.com)

La Conner itself is now an amiable, fairly touristy town strung along the Swinomish Channel, just a few thousand feet from where the Washington state coast approaches the Pacific in the form of Skagit Bay. A trading post was established here in 1869 by J.S. Conner, who named the place not with a French "La" but for the initials and last name of his wife Louisa Ann Conner. In 2005 La Conner proclaimed the wild turkey the Official Town Bird, a motion that lasted 5 years before the residents had enough of turkey feces, destroyed gardens, and nuisance complaints for the town counsel to officially name them a nuisance and arrange for their removal. (e.g. see NPR)

The current restaurant and lounge must be a far cry from gambling hall that greeted the old sailors and lumbermen, let alone the club that once hosted John Lee Hooker and Taj Mahal. But its genteel decor does include several nods to the past beyond the name, including some great old photos, and it now hosts some standout local artists like Knut Bell and Brent Amaker. The food is slightly upscale seafood and the drinks include some nice cocktail options. In the summer you should try to nab a table on the deck looking over the Swinomish.





614 S First St, La Conner, Washington - (360) 466-4014
Est. June 2, 2012 (Restaurant est. 1986) - Building constructed: 1900 or earlier
Previous bars in this location: Mal’s Tavern, 1890’s Lounge (late 70s, early 80s)
Web site: laconnerseafood.com - facebook

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