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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Friday, April 24, 2020

#3999 - Hubbard Inn, Hubbard, OR - 3/9/2020

The Hubbard Inn, Hubbard, Oregon
The Hubbard Inn in Hubbard, Oregon, about 25 miles south of Portland, claims to have been established in 1889, and insofar as I can tell that would probably make it the oldest bar in Oregon, in the sense of a single location having hosted bars of various names. (Huber's dates itself to 1879, but didn't move into its current location until 1910.) Current owner Terry Harden has some artifacts to help support the claims of very significant age, at minimum pre-dating prohibition, such as old photos and the existence of a prohibition era tunnel and under-floor space for poker and liquor consumption.

19th century city guides in my possession provide few hints, as they list owners of saloons in Hubbard, but no business names nor precise locations. The 1893 Salem Polk guide lists Hubbard saloons owned by John C. Milton and George W. Taylor. The 1889 Polk Oregon-Washington Gazatteer includes saloons in Hubbard owned by George W. Taylor, Emil Klinger, and Isidor Isaacson. The 1909-10 Polk lists ones owned by Isadore Isaacson and Klinger Bros Emil and Alphons. The 1913 Sanborn Fire Insurance map does indeed show a saloon at the corner of 3rd and what would become F street (the renaming of what is labeled "B" in the 1913 map to "F Street" can be shown in subsequent maps such as the 1928 version, e.g. relative to the railroad spur and Hershberger building).

Located in tiny Hubbard (area 0.71 square miles) and not visible from the highway, it's not a place you're likely to stumble upon by accident, but the locals definitely know where it is. There was a lively crowd on the Monday afternoon I visited, and there are more when they have live music or Monday prime rib dinners. And like any great, long-running, local bar, it has bric-a-brac spanning decades.

Current Hubbard Inn owner Terry Harden
The first settlers arrived in the area in the mid 19th century, and grew after early resident Charles Hubbard offered the Oregon-California railroad land in and through what would become the city. The locals grew wheat and later experienced what some consider to be the first "crop circle" in the world. Another crop artwork was noticed in farmer Doug Aamodt's wheat field by a pilot flying into Lenhardt Airport in 1998, "igniting a media frenzy and sending dozens of UFO experts to the site." (pdxmonthly)

Whether you're visiting the local fields from another galaxy or just road tripping through northwest Oregon and looking for some local history and character, the Hubbard Inn is well worth a stop.

I chatted with Hubbard Inn patron and U.S. veteran Bob

The Hubbard Inn, Hubbard, Oregon

3389 3rd St #9597, Hubbard, OR 97032 - (503) 982-5541                              

1913 Saborn Fire Insurance Map
Library of Congress Scan

Est. 1933 
Previous bars in this location: Capitol Saloon (as per Terry)
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor 

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Historical Note: Gabe's and The Shamrock

Gabe's tavern, Seattle, WA
(Photo from back cover of Gabe's Dirty Blues)

Thanks to a post in a Seattle Vintage Facebook post, I recently became aware of the remarkable history of a Seattle bar in downtown Seattle during most of the 50s and the 60s. The bar itself, known first as the Shamrock Beer Parlor and later simply The Shamrock, had been in the divey location on 6th Avenue since at least 1934. The building no longer exists; after hosting the Nikko Garden Tavern through the 70s and into the mid 80s, it was demolished and replaced by the 44-story U.S. Bank Centre in the later 80s. But whatever its previous history, the Shamrock became a unique part of Seattle history when it was purchased by one Gabriel McManus in 1951.

Gabe McManus with his jukebox system, 1967
(Billboard Magazine photo)
McManus was a one-time whiskey salesmen who at an early age fell in love with jazz and blues -- or simply "negro music," as some knew it at the time. Over his life he collected and curated a mammoth set of singles, exceeding 70,000 carefully chosen sides, before he died. When he purchased the Shamrock he loaded the jukebox with his own records, starting out with just a single speaker jukebox and eventually expanding to perhaps the most sophisticated jukebox system in the country, with 40 pairs of headphones and 24 speakers in the divey 35'x60' space that he eventually renamed "Gabe's." It was a rough crowd of assorted characters, best described by Gabe himself on the album he and his son Mike McManus released just before he died in 1978. "Gabe's Dirty Blues" was a double (vinyl) album that collected 30 of the remarkable artists and performances that Gabe loved. And I doubt if there exists any better description of the bar, the music, and the melting pot of people than the one written by Gabe and featured on the back of the album:

"When I bought the Shamrock Tavern in Seattle, the seamen and street people didn't cotton up to me at first. It took 6 months for me and my crazy music to win them over -- and then it was standing room only for years. You see we started with blues and never changed except for jazz. That was it for 17  years. Jazz and blues -- you never had it so good. 

Hell, I didn't know that these singers were legends-to-be. I just loved them and so did my crazy customers. Sometimes during a break of music, the screams of the whores and chippies defying each other, I could never figure out why they placed such a distinction between giving it away and selling it. 

Jack and Betty helped me run the Shamrock for awhile -- then came Ed, an old seaman bartender, and his wife Maria. Ed and Marie came to my rescue many times -- they were one of the good things that happened at first. 

Jazz and blues -- folk -- rhythm and blues -- what a hell of an umbrella covers all these forms and interrelates them. But that is for the musicians, writers, managers, and the critics -- not me. I am a listener and have been for over 55 years. I just got stung with the bug and have been in love with jazz and blues practically my whole life. 

The tunes in this album were basically tunes I played on a juke box and the original Shamrock and later 'Gabe's,' a downtown Seattle joint in the 1950s and 1960s. Now we had an old jukebox with one speaker and we would turn it up as loud as we could. The customers were mostly seamen and street people -- pimps, hustling broads and chippies -- gamblers and boozers -- pinball mechanics (some of the most loveable bastards of all) -- pill-heads and addicts. It was a rough joint and we only had one light in the place -- the juke box. Constant fights -- the seamen were mean. But it was exciting too. Seamen and street people are something else and we never knew what the hell would happen at any given moment. Wow, did seamen love to fight -- drink -- screw and listen to jazz and the blues. And Jack and Betty were right in there with them -- running tremendous shifts. Jack started drinking pretty heavy -- but what the hell. Just another visit from the Liquor Board. And now we had another segment of society added to our unusual clientele -- the gay boys. They loved the blues and the seamen. Pretty touchy at times. Special rules and all that. One to the can at a time and no fraternizing with straights. 

I have always been confused as to the exact musical differences between rock and roll and rhythm and blues. Music experts can give you a technical difference. My ear tells me there is a great difference. Like as if they put a hill billy kick in a rhythm and blues tune -- it becomes rock and roll. One thing it seems to adapt itself to the white dancing styles. Just as soul music adapts itself to the black dance movement. 

Although I have been a blues and jazz addict most of my life, never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be programming these sounds. True, I always collected jazz, blues, swing, and some popular music but this was dictated more by love and necessity (I owned a lot of taverns) than by reason. Blues and jazz are my obsession. This two-album set comprises just a few rhythm and blues highlights of the late '40s to the late '60s. Some of the greatest and toughest are not represented. It would take 20 albums to chronicle a fairly complete history of the great rhythm and blues hits. This saddens me but for what it's worth, here they are. These are 25 years of great memories shared by thousands of my customers. 

I particularly dedicate this set to my beloved son, Mike McManus, who shared my dream and made it possible; to Richard Schenkar, who unselfishly and devotedly gave the benefits of his extensive research in ragtime, jazz, and blues history to this project when it was just an idea; to my beloved friend Robert Hardwick, who discovered me, promoted me, put me on radio -- he's the first man on a commercial radio station who had the guts to feature blues, jazz, Dixieland, any old thing that Gabe loved and he did it with Our Hour -- four hours every Saturday morning -- and to my knowledge, first exposed the city of Seattle to Jack Dupree's famous song "Walking the Blues"; to Buddy Webber who played my stuff almost as much as Hardwick; and to Danny Niles, a real friend, who's helping us tell people about this album." 

-- Gabriel McManus, from back cover of Gabe's Dirty Blues

'"This is probably the highest priced [jukebox] location in the world. We have about 40 sets of headphones in here and more speakers than I can count." "Sixteen major speakers and eight complimentary speakers," said McManus. "All in an area that has a floor space of 35 by 60 feet. All of them playing the most authentic blues and jazz you've ever heard." ... "I first started listening to Negro music when I was a kid. Then when I was a whisky salesman in the Middle West back in the '30's, I used to hear some of the great early jazz, the blues and even gospel music in the clubs that were in my territory. I've been following it ever since and I have collected more than 15,000 singles through the years." "... I must admit that Max's suggestion to put in earphones, and all the fine equipment and service he has provided for me has helped a lot. He might not be making as much money from me as he does from his best locations," McManus said, "especially when you consider how many times I've needed instant service. When a tube blows out or something, I have to have it replaced immediately because my whole business depends on the sound system. But even with all the headaches, I know that Max [Mondshein] is proud of this location. For him, as well as for Galante (Ray Galante, of Music-Vend Distributing, who handles Seeburg products), this is a showcase of coin operated music equipment used to the utmost." 

-- Gabe McManus, Billboard, Jan 21, 1967   

"Gabe collected some 70,000 sides of blues and jazz. At one time he had them all stored in an attic cubby hole, until his son Mike one day suggested the discs really belonged in a vault. ...Mike also had some other ideas. He pleaded with his father not to keep the music under lock and key. The world deserved to hear this music again, the younger McManus maintained. Gabe agreed. Two years ago (1978), Gabe, Mike and several friends set about searching the ownership titles to some of the master tapes. By the fall of 1978 they had come up with several dozen tunes which they were able to license from the original owners. They picked 40 of the hottest tunes in Gabe's collection and had them mastered into a two-album set called Gabe's Dirty Blues. The package came off the production line just in time for Gabe to hold a test pressing and the artwork in his hands. Before the album could hit the stores, Gabe McManus died of cancer."

-- Jef Jaisun, Bellevue Journal-American  

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

#3979 - Patrick Creek Lodge, Gasquet, CA - 2/28/2020

Patrick Creek Lodge, Gasquet, California
I had never heard of historic Patrick Creek Lodge before earlier this very day, when I stumble across a few photos of it in a local history book in a tavern in Smith River, CA. But after I passed the sign just off Highway 99 in the middle of the Six Rivers National Forest and just a few miles south of the Oregon border, I swung the the car around and headed back, hoping they had a lounge. The large sign out front was encouraging, promising "Food Booze Snooze," the marquee below the sign noting "Happy 90th Birthday, Bob." As it happened, Bob's birthday party was just wrapping up as I stepped inside. Bob himself sat at the end of the bar, and seems to have retained plenty of piss and vinegar, shouting at one of his many guests "Jesus Christ, I'm 90 years old! Take the fucking picture!"

The lodge seems like a pretty nice place to spend a night or two, especially in the summer time when the pool is open or you could take a dip in the Smith River, said by some to be "considered the cleanest river in the U.S." The bar is serviceable, and there is a cozy front room with a substantial rock fireplace. One may need to be cautious in the area at night, however, as not only have there been multiple bigfoot sightings nearby, but the lodge itself is haunted:

"Dating back to 1926, the historic inn and restaurant is rumoured to be haunted by a spirit known as Maude. The story goes that her fiancé jilted her on the day of their wedding, and the distraught young woman hanged herself in Room 16. Ever since, strange occurrences have taken place in that particular suite, as well as in the main dining room." (

One suspects that the spirit of Maude and the regular bigfoot traffic contributed to the lodge serving as the setting for the 2014 "perfect combination of cheesy love story and campy monster movie" Love in the Time of Monsters.

Meanwhile, the non-supernatural history of the lodge was nicely summarized by Jefferson Public Radio:

"Around 1900, George Dunn built Patrick Creek Stage Station in northern California to serve travelers on the Gasquet (gas KEY) Toll Road. He sold meals for twenty-five cents.

After Dunn was murdered for $7.50 worth of gold, Lew Higgins purchased the building; later, it was sold to the Raymond family who operated it successfully for several years. The station’s lodge burned in 1919.

Bar at the Patrick Creek Lodge, Gasquet, CA
(Birthday boy Bob at far right)
The Raymonds built a new lodge four miles downstream on Patrick Creek, beside the route of the planned Redwood Highway—Highway 199. Completed in 1926, Highway 199 greatly improved travel from Crescent City, California, to Grants Pass, Oregon. The new lodge opened May 8, 1926. Originally called “Patrick Creek Tavern,” it is now known as “Patrick Creek Lodge,” and it has had several owners.

Since 1926 the lodge has remained a welcome place for rest and refreshment, midway between the coast and the Rogue Valley. Today the lodge is fitted with modern conveniences, although guests may still enjoy the ambience of the original rooms, the big sitting room with its fireplace, and the dining room overlooking the creek."


13950 US-199, Gasquet, CA 95543 - (707) 457-3323
Bar Est. ? - Building constructed: 1926
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: jeffersonpublicradio - bindutripsyelp - tripadvisor - hauntedplaces - 101things  

Sunday, April 12, 2020

#3973 - Tiny's Tavern, North Bend, OR - 2/27/2020

Tiny's Tavern, North Bend, Oregon
After chatting up some locals at the Humboldt Club in North Bend, Oregon, they advised me that the Silver Dollar was the place in the area where one was mostly likely to get stabbed, but despite that my next stop should actually be Tiny's Tavern, around the corner (not to be confused with the Tiny's Tavern in Mt. Angel, which I would visit a couple weeks later). The fellow who accompanied me noted that there was a laundromat inside Tiny's, and while having a laundromat in your bar was nice, if one thought of it as your laundromat having a bar, it was even better.

Entering under the crackled paint sign into Tiny's presents one with a fine neighborhood dive, with a high range in customer's ages, black vinyl seating and red velvet wallpaper. Working the bar that night was Megan, whose parents bought Tiny's in 2011. Over Megan's shoulder was a photo of Evelyn Bucher, who bought the bar in 1952 and ran it for about 50 years before that, and who remains much admired. (Megan's step-mom was Evelyn's daughter.)  Excerpting from Evelyn's obituary:

"In 1956, being the independent, storng-willed person that Evelyn was, and against her husband’s wishes, she bought Tinys Tavern. Jim told her it was all hers, he was keeping his job. She continued to run Tinys until her health declined in 2009. Instead of retiring at age 65, and against her daughter’s wishes, she decided to enlarge the tavern and add a Laundromat. Outside of her family the tavern was her main focus. She put in many long and hard hours making sure her customers came first and they were happy, comfortable and well fed. She also took great pride in knowing she had served more than three generations of customers and her deep friend chicken had a state-wide reputation."

Bartender Megan
To my delight, Tiny's has an 86 list (so don't try bringing your act back here, Mandy from Safeway!) And in addition to the laundromat and pool tables, Tiny's has serves a menu centered around fried tavern fare, and a nice selection of microbrews. It makes a nice little stop for anyone who appreciates dive bars, particularly if it is late in the evening or if you have a little laundry to do.

971 Union Ave, North Bend, OR 97459 - 756-7675                              
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - untappd

#3998 - Tiny's Tavern, Mt. Angel, OR - 3/9/2020

Tiny's Tavern, Mt. Angel, Oregon
Mt. Angel Oregon is a small (approx. 3,500 people) city about 25 miles south of Portland, which was settled largely by a group of Bavarian immigrants and which now enthusiastically embraces a Bavarian theme, including hosting one of the largest Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S. According to, the location hosted a bar called "Al's Place" starting in 1934, and was purchased in 1942 by the large bodied Mt. Angel Chief of Police after whom it was re-named Tiny's Tavern.

Tiny's is something close to a centerpiece in town, although my visit unfortunately coincided with some repair work that meant the great sign was not on display. What was left was a modest brick exterior which opened into a surprising long and knotty pine panel-lined interior. There's an antique back bar which is said to be "original" and imported from Europe, although it appears likely to be a Brunswick and hence likely to have originated in the midwest, most likely Dubuque Iowa.

Tiny's appears to share parts of the city's life including birthdays, weddings, and memorial services. In addition to providing a gathering place and a cold beer at the bar, people pick up half racks to go. I chatted with cool bartender and lifetime resident Tyler, and made a note to come back when I would after the sign was back up.

Tiny's Tavern sign, missing when I visited
(Photo from Facebook site)

155 N Main St, Mt Angel, OR 97362 - (503) 845-9247
Est. 1942
Previous bars in this location: Al's Place
Web site: facebook - facebook (older)
Reviews: ourtownlive - yelp - tripadvisor

#2695 - Myers Flat Saloon, Myers Flat, CA - 1/29/2015

Myers Flat Saloon, AKA Meagher's Trading Post Saloon
Myers Flat, California, Jan 2015
In the deep shade of the towering Coast Redwoods along the Avenue of the Giants through the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, lies the community of Myers Flat, California, population 146. One of those 146, Bill Meagher ran the Myers Flat Saloon there, a ramshackle bar resembling an antique collector's garage, connected to a trading post and liquor store. While visiting the place in 2015, I was informed (by Bill himself, I think, but memory fails here) that the place was constructed in 1963 and that Bill purchased it in 1974. However, the current Facebook page says the saloon -- now referred to as Meagher's Trading Post Saloon -- was established in 1982, so perhaps the bar portion was started at that time? In addition, I'm not completely clear on the ownership of the entire town, which at one time Bill and the other fellows who created it were trying to sell the entire town, including the saloon and a grove of redwoods, for $2.6 million.

Myers Flat Saloon, AKA Meagher's Trading Post Saloon
In any case, Bill passed away in July of 2017, and it appear that his children carry on running the saloon, which remains a fine little pit stop on this scenic old highway. And I'm pretty sure it was Bill himself who told me a brief story in 2015 of when he had one of his items stolen from the bar. He told me that "a druggie" had stolen a mask that he had purchased for $75. He asked the bartender why they didn't call him at the time, and she told them because they had guns. "That's what WE have guns for," Bill replied. But later on, Bill saw a van and recognized the thief. He said he blocked the van in the street and punched the thief in the nose. "Then he saw it my way," noted Bill.

I believe (?) the fellow in the red shirt is Bill Meagher

12896 Avenue of the Giants, Myers Flat, California - (707) 943-1970                              
Est. 1982? - Building constructed: 1963?
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: wilsonwheels