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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, February 24, 2018

#2622 - Rialto Tavern, St. John, WA - 9/13/2014

The Rialto Tavern, St. John, WA

The town of St. John, Washington, is located in eastern Washington, about 10 miles from the Idaho border, and along Highway 23 between Steptoe and Sprague. The Railto Tavern is the only bar in the town of about 500 residents, and one of two restaurants. It is inside an red brick building on Front Street, as the highway becomes, with a modest sign attached to the corrugated tin awning. I was told that it has been here since the 30s and been named the "Rialto" for at least 40 years. Ward and Kathy Pierce recently ran it for about 20 years, through this visit, before retiring, and Ward passed away in Dec. 2016. Kathy was our bartender for this visit, and she served up dive-style drinks and the most massive club sandwich I've ever seen -- the "Wardo's Sub."

The Rialto Tavern, St. John, WA
The Rialto is open for family dining until 6pm, and from the front door you can walk through the brighter diner portion in front to the more woody, dark, and bar-like rear portion. There you have more typical small town tavern decor -- hunting trophies, photos of local sports teams, and corporate beer paraphernalia, along with the sort of unique touches that mark a fine dive. For example there's an old wooden cabinet decorated with a mid-century nude pin-up and an index card listing the elevations of nearby communities. It gives every indicaiton of just the sort of community space you'd want in a small town like St. John.

The Wardo Sub, Rialto Tavern, St. John, WA

Locals chat outside the Rialto Tavern, St. John, WA
17 E Front St, St John, WA 99171 - (509) 648-3876
Previous bars in this location:  None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp 


Anonymous said...

September 2020 open. Kayla and her husband have owned this for four years now. Good food. Then we got lost by 40 miles

Butch's Pastime Tavern LaCrosse has an excellent bartender in Iva. Her interest in historic places, especially Wallace ID and in ghost towns, gave us lots to talk about.

The Bullhead Saloon Four Lakes is an historic wooden place with a huge backyard. It's on Historic US-10, just off I-90 and SR-904. We told the customers about our Tacoma-Clarkston pub crawl, specially mentioning who (you) scouted this for us. They told us a lot about all these other places around. You have to visit.

peterga said...

Thanks much for these updates! I've definitely added the Bull Head to my to-do list. Looks like it is in the old location of the Saddle Inn Tavern. I have very little data on that list, so I hope I can pick the brains of some locals when we visit.