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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, September 17, 2017

#2565 - Captain Jack's, Sumner, WA - 6/27/2014

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA

Captain Jack's was named for the favorite potations of owners Lee and Penny Hogenson, and you'll spot references to Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan in a several places in the bar, most strikingly, in the additions to the train mural on the side of the building. The warehouse-like structure was constructed in 1925 here across the street from the still surviving old cannery warehouse and railroad tracks, and the property is still owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. The bulding housed a feed store and gas station for many years, and most recently Coco Joe's Tropical Island bar, before the Hogenson's bought it in 2008.

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA

The greater area around what is now the city of Sumner Washington, about 30 miles due south of Seattle, was home to about 2,000 citizens of the Puyallap tribe when Europeans first started to join them here in the 1850s. It was called Stuck Junction for a bit, back while the White River was known as Stuck Creek, and then was Franklin until the United State Postal Service required a name in less common use. When three leading townsmen could not agree upon a new name they each submitted a name and Sumner was the one picked out of a hat by a local boy. Thus they incorporated in 1891 under the name of "the leader of the anti-slavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the U.S. Senate during the American Civil War working to destroy the Confederacy, free all the slaves, and keep on good terms with Europe." (wikipedia)

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA
To the southeast another 25 miles or so is Mount Rainier, and it is the reason that the city of Sumner is living on borrowed time. Rainier is an active volcano resting between eruptions, and every 500 years or so it has exploded with enough gusto to send a lahar -- a massive, speeding slurry of melted ice, mud and boulders -- all the way into Puget Sound. When it does so the next time, it is likely to wipe out the communities of Orting, Sumner and Puyallup in short order, and it may do so at time when the mountain has been quiet and given no particular warning signs.

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA
If you are going to be buried under a 100 foot wide concrete-like wall traveling 25 to 50 miles per hour, there are a lot worse places to have your last drink than Captain Jack's. The decor is nautical-cowboy-taxidermy-biker bar. (I don't know about you, but when it comes to dive bars I will take an eclectic accumulation with unique character over a carefully curated theme every time.) The many dead animals, I was informed, were shot by the owner himself. The menu is classic American roadhouse - steaks, burgers, salads, and pizza and the like. -- and the drinks, as you would gather from the name, are standard dive fare. Out back is a large, grassy beer garden with a nifty sailing ship fire pit.

Inside I sat next to a quiet fellow who looked like an elderly Kenny Stabler. and chatted with bartender Sue, in between her sniping with her husband, It seems like it would be a fun place on a weekend night, and it feels rustic and relaxed on a lazy afternoon. I would unhesitatingly put Captain Jack's among my favorite dives in the nation's lahar paths.

13501 Valley Ave E, Sumner, WA 98390 - (253) 826-0679
Est. 2008 - Building constructed: 1925
Previous bars in this location: Coco Joe's Tropical Inland
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: waymarking - northwestmilitary - yelp - tripadvisor

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