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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (4,028 bars; 1,673 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:


Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, June 28, 2020

#2792 - Tiny's Tavern, Wapato, WA - 6/13/2015

Tiny's Tavern (now closed) sign, Wapato, WA
Tiny's Tavern now looks abandoned (and there's no current liquor license for the address) and it appears that Jim Whitaker sold it and retired in 2017? It had quite the run though.

Wapato Washington, founded as "Simcoe" in 1885, is a small town in the Yakima reservation, about 10 miles south of Yakima and north of Toppenish, along the smaller of two highways that frame the Yakima River. It's population of 5,000 or so is over 85% Hispanic, and it once had a flourishing Japanese-American community -- before internment.

Jim Whitaker, owner of Tiny's Tavern for almost 40 years
"Wapato originated as a Northern Pacific Railroad stop (Simcoe) on the Yakama Indian Reservation. During the first half of the twentieth century, Native Americans, Anglos, Filipinos, and especially Japanese Americans supplied farm labor. The process that created a “Mexican Town” included growing dependence on cheap labor, especially during World War II when Wapato's Japanese American population was interned and the Bracero Program (guest-workers from Mexico) was instituted." (historylink)

When I visited in 2015, Ballard James "Jim" Whitaker had owned it for 36 years, having purchased it from Tiny's wife. Tiny was a local legend, and Jim told me some stories about him. Jim said Tiny was 6'7" or 6'8", almost 400 lbs "and not fat." Jim has a picture of him from when Tiny operated a feed store, and the photo shows him with a 100-lb bag of seed on each shoulder and under each arm. Tiny also started a donkey basketball event which continued long after his death, and which is referenced in the great old sign that I think still remains out front?

I hope that Jim is enjoying retirement and that the town of Wapato preserves the Tiny's sign forever.

Location of town of Wapato in Washington state




501 West First St, Wapato, Washington                              
Est. 1940? - Closed 2017? - Building constructed: 1947
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook

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