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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, January 29, 2017

#2498 - Parky's, Tacoma, WA - 4/4/2014

Parky's Tavern, Tacoma, WA
While up the block on McKinley Ave the Top of Tacoma provides a fine example of a fresh, new bar that helps rebuild a neighborhood, just one block south, but a world away in culture, Parky's Tavern presents the sort of classic old dive that one prays will never change. Parky's is a legit tavern down to the yellowed jar of pickled eggs, and it hews to the technical definition of a tavern in this state by serving only beer and wine. The crowd here is much older and more blue collar than its neighbor up the street, and has elements of a mid-century diner in features like the sparkle on the tavern sign out front, and inside a checkerboard pattern and red neon wrapping around the ceiling with the bar. It's a bar lovers's bar where nexpensive beer and stories from the locals flow freely. If you like old neighborhood dives, it is not to be missed.

Parky's Tavern, Tacoma, WA
Parky's was celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014 which of course would date it back to 1939. However, in 1939, founder Lloyd Parkinson's place was a cigar shop in a different location.

Lloyd Parkinson, the person, begins to be listed in Tacoma city guides in 1931. From 1932 to 1938 he is listed as a musician. By early 1939 he was running a cigar shop at 901 S Tacoma Ave, which had moved to 3523 McKinley and begins to be listed as a beer parlor by 1941. It then moved next door to 3527 McKinley when the structure there was built in 1945 and remained there until 1958, when it moved to the current location. (The previous location became Nick's Pizza and eventually part of the Top of Tacoma bar.)

Whether it served beer when it was listed as simply a cigar shop in the 1930s I can not ascertain, but I'd love to some day find out more about those shops as well as his career as a musician.

3551 McKinley Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98404 - (253) 272-0203
Est. 1941 or earlier, 1958 at current location - Building constructed: 1915
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor


The Emperor said...

Parky's first appears in the city directory circa 1939 as Parky's Cigar Emporium,on Jefferson not long after the name became Parky's Beer Parlour still on Jefferson no number address listed there were no directories during the War paper and ink were reserved to the military first,after the war the directory had Parky on McKinley 3523 and 3527 then 3551 in 58. curious is the middle of that block addresses never appear until 58, but photos back to the 1920's shows buildings being there,

peterga said...

Thanks much for the observations. By city directories, I presume you are referring to Polk directories? If so, it's not actually the case that these were not printed during WWII -- I have the Tacoma directories for every year during the war except 1943 (and I have a phone directory from that year). Unfortunately we are in the process of moving and these volumes are packed, but I'm making a note to my research to-do list to take a look whenever we are settled in (and update the entry accordingly).

Cheers, and thanks for bringing the this to my attention!