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Saturday, February 07, 2015

#2323 - Kuhnle's Tavern, Marysville, WA - 10/14/2013

Kuhnle's Tavern, Marysville, WA
Kuhnle's ("koon lees") appears to have been in business at this location since 1918, owned and operated by the Kuhnle family for 93 years, before it was sold to two of "Kuhnle's girls" who had each worked at the bar for decades. Some say the building and bar history date back to the 1890s, but county tax records date the structure to 1913. Kuhnle's did not start out as a bar -- statewide prohibition began two years earlier in Washington -- but served in various capacities including a confectionary and tackle shop until the end of prohibition. It is still listed as a confectionary in the 1936 Polk guide but is listed under beer parlors in the 1937 edition. Some say it served as a bar unofficially even longer, and indicate a trap door and tunnel supported the trade.

Brunswick bar at Kuhnle's Tavern, Marysville, WA
Founder Edward Kuhnle and his wife Clair sold the bar to their son Kay in 1955. Kay later married his wife JoAnn, who started to help run the place in 1959 and continued until 2011, five years after Kay passed away. At that time it was sold to Tanya Buttke and Gloria Phillips, two of "K's girls" who had worked there since 1989 and 1976 respectively.

Today Kuhne's Tavern remains a comfortable neighborhood hangout, with a clientele leaning toward the older side, and a beautiful, 100-year-old Brunswick-Balke-Collender back bar. I chatted with Tanya about the place, as well as with patron Harv, who appears to be a sort of local institution, and proclaimed the bartender "the best Indian in the whole United States."



Kay Kuhnsle


204 State Ave Marysville, WA 98270 - (360) 659-9910
Est. 1936/1937? - Building constructed: 1913
Web site: kuhnles.com - facebook
Reviews: marysvilleglobe - yelp

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