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Monday, October 12, 2015

#2400 - Doc's Pilchuck Tavern, Machias - 1/20/2014

About half way between Granite Falls and Snohomish, on the banks of the Pilchuck River, is a old joint that feels like pretty much the perfect rural dive bar. It's not clear to me how long Doc's Pilchuck Tavern -- AKA the "Pilchuck Yacht Club" - has been here; One source says it was founded in 1956, the owner's brother said their parents started it shortly after prohibition, and yet another source  says that the current building was constructed in 1961. But for at least half century it has been run by Jimmy "Doc" Young, the "Mayor of Machias," drummer in the Snohomish Sauerkraut Band, and overseer of the annual Polar Bear Plunge into the icy Pilchuck River each New Years day.




Jimmy "Doc" Young, Doc's Pilchuck Tavern
The river runs below the back patio at Doc's, and when there isn't a crowd of crazy, half-naked people jumping into it, you can see spawning humpies in the water below and bald eagles in the trees above. Inside there is an ample supply of character and characters, and we chatted with local Dave below a ridiculously bad taxidermied cougar, old photos and curious bric-a-brac accrued over many years. Toward the end of our visit we met Doc himself, who at 78 was super friendly whilst retaining a cagey sense of humor. We had no clue then, as he agreed to let me take his photo in the doorway and we told him how we looked forward to coming back to sit on the patio on a sunny summer day, that Jimmy would pass away just six months later. From everything I can tell, he left behind a life well lived, a large number of people who will miss him dearly, and a swell little bar now run by his widow and son.

Doc's Pilchuck Tavern, Machias, WA
"It is a very sad day today. Earlier this AM, after some long fought heart issues, Owner and Head Commodore of Doc's Pilchuck Tavern, Jimmy Young, passed away at the age of 79. He will be forever remembered as a sweet, generous and kind man. Sail on Skipper, Sail on........
April 13, 1935 - June 21, 2014."


Doc's Pilchuck Tavern, Machias, WA


1429 S Machias Rd, Snohomish, WA 98290 - (425) 397-8912
Articles ranked: heraldnet - seattleweekly - juicebrewsandlibations - yelp

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