Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,510 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, July 04, 2015

#2389 - Bison Creek Pizza, Burien, WA - 1/1/2014

Bison Creek Pizza, Burien, WA
The grand old bar in Bison Creek Pizza features a plate reading "Bison Creek Dude Ranch -1891." The Bison Creek Dude Ranch was established in Montana in the 1920s, starting under a different name. A long-time worker at the restaurant told me that the original owner used to say that he got the bar from Butte, Montana, but that he later corrected his story and told her he actually obtained it in Tacoma. As there is no "Bison Creek" that I know of in Washington, I suspected that this came from the Montana dude ranch, though I did not know whether to think that the "1891" is the actual age of the bar or an old timey affectation for the ranch (established during prohibition).

A note from Keith Schauf help clarify the dude ranch portion of the story:
"I own Bison Creek Dude Ranch and my parents owned it back in the late 1960's, when Rod Cross and Tim Davis worked for Glacier Park Company at the East Glacier Park Lodge.  They enjoyed coming out to Bison Creek Ranch to go horse back riding for for dining.  Often they organized groups of people to come to Bison Creek.  The original ranch was established in the early 1900's actually before prohibition, but it was established under the name of the Broken Arrow Ranch.  It was in the 1940's when the name was changed to Bison Creek.  When Rod and Tim moved to Seattle to open their business they were trying to decide what to call their business.  What they told my parents was that the place where they remembered having the most fun was at Bison Creek Dude Ranch and so named their business Bison Creek Pizza.  I have no idea where the bar came from.  Bison Creek never had a bar.  It allowed guests dining there to bring their own alcohol.  At one time Rod and Tim had three Bison Creek Pizza locations. I would guess the sign may very well be something Rod and Tim had made." (Keith Schauf, personal correspondence, Jan 2, 2014)
In any case, Bison Creek Pizza debuted in West Seattle in 1975 and expanded to this location, in what for many years had been the Burien Theater, in 1977. In between Bison Creek and the theater, the location briefly housed Big Bob's Pipe Dream Restaurant, a 300-seat, multi-tier pizza restaurant that included the large, four-manual 1918 Wurlitzer organ from the Coliseum Theater, which the KING-TV owners sold to Bob White for $1.

Today Bison Creek is no longer run by the original ownership, but continues as a fairly standard, old school, neighborhood pizza joint. It's best to stay away from the cocktails, with options one would imagine seeing on a cocktail menu at a Chuck E. Cheese, were legal to openly market liquor to 10-year-olds (Jolly Rancher Passion Fruit Punch, Skittles, Red Hots, Red Vines, Pineapple-Orange, etc. etc.) But it's a good enough stop for some pizza and beer, and if you haven't seen the back bar, that alone is worth a trip.

630 SW 153rd St, Burien, WA 98166 - (206) 244-8825
Est. 1977 - Building constructed: 1957
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: b-townblog - yelp - tripadvisor

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