Beerchasing Miscellany – Looking Back……

Darwin’s Theory Bar in Anchorage (see below)

(Welcome back to Thebeerchaser.  If you are seeing this through an e-mail, please visit the blog to see all of the photos and read the story by clicking on the title above so the post is not clipped or shortened.)

While we’re not technically still in a lockdown, by no means have things returned to normal based on the pandemic.   And for me, Beerchasing is on a hiatus other than Happy Hours on our back deck and one trip to the Benedictine Brewery in Mount Angel. Janet and I could easily social distance outside in a wonderful environment.

Visit the St. Michael Taproom in Mount Angel at the Benedictine Brewery

The Evolution of Darwin’s Theory

One of my favorite Dive Bars in the nine years of Beerchasing is Darwin’s Theory in Anchorage, Alaska.  It’s owned by an Oregon State graduate and we visited it in 2014 at the start of an Alaskan cruise. To that point, I had pretty much restricted my blog posts to Portland establishments.

My wife and I were doing a lot of retirement traveling, however and I thought, “Why not expand this project to other venues than Portland?”  Darwin’s was one of the first and we loved this little two-room dive bar with great nooks and crannies and which only served beer in bottles.   We each had a beer and left at about 10 PM to walk back to our hotel – but – it was still totally daylight and I said, “Since it’s this light, I’m going back to have another beer.”

Lincoln Town Coupe – plenty of passenger room, but more important, spacious fenders….

At the crowed bar, I ordered a PBR and sat next to Bill – an Alaskan fisherman.  He told me about his work driving repeatedly across the US from LA to Washington DC in the 70’s.  Bill said he had a Lincoln Continental with big fenders.    I’ll leave it to your imaginations what he carried in those fenders….

When I told him about my hobby reviewing bars he advised me to be very careful in downtown Anchorage because there had been several murders in watering holes during the past year.  I thought he might be exaggerating, but when I got back to the hotel, I checked it out on-line.  He wasn’t!  Three men were shot and injured outside the Anchor Pub less than a year before – three blocks from Darwin’s.

Jon and Nancy Magnusson and Bob and Stephanie __

My daughter’s wonderful in-laws, Jon and Nancy Magnusson, from Seattle, were traveling to Alaska with their good friends Bob and Stephanie Thompson in January to see the Northern Lights and their first stay was in Anchorage.   They asked if I could recommend a good bar….  And you can see from the picture below that they loved Darwin’s as they did the dog-sled ride they took the next day.

Homespun wisdom from Darwin

Darwin’s also publishes a monthly newsletter I still receive and I got a chuckle out of this rhetorical question on page 3 of the June edition.  After being closed for ten weeks during the pandemic, the bar reopened on June 1.

“I always wondered what a job application is like at Hooters.  Do they just give you a bra and say, ‘Fill it out.’?”

Speaking of Darwin and looking for some more lighthearted topics in response to a global crisis, I was reminded of the Annual Darwin Awards.

“How did my work evolve to this ridiculous award??”

The judges use five criteria and to win, “Nominees must significantly improve the gene pool by eliminating themselves from the human race in an astonishingly stupid way. All races, cultures, and socioeconomic groups are eligible to compete.” 

I was struck by the reference to a winner in a 2014 article in the Arizona Independent Network which quoted a study by researchers in England.  One of the 413 winners from 1995 to 2014 was the the terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage stamps and who, on its return, unthinkingly opened his own letter.

High School Memories Continued….

Vortex 1 – August 1970

In two recent Beerchaser posts, I mentioned Dr. Cameron Bangs and the story of this late and fabled Oregon physician including his role as supervising physician at Vortex I.  It was the only state-sponsored rock concert in US history held at McIver State Park near Estacada, Oregon in August, 1970.

Matt Love, a very talented and prolific writer who has his own publishing house on the Oregon Coast – the Nestucca Spit Press – wrote a book on Vortex I from Dr. Bangs’ 20,000 + word diary.  Several articles Matt wrote for Vortex Magazine are also fascinating and particularly relevant at this time because of the 60 + days of protests now occurring in downtown Portland 50 years later.

And through a few conversations and checking out his website, I also discovered that Matt wrote a serialized chronicle entitled Pioneer Pride – An Oregon City Memoir.  It was fascinating to me because we both graduated from Oregon City High School – I was in the class of 1966 and Matt in 1982.

I would suggest that the recollections of sports, high school love and unforgettable teachers – both terrible and terrific – among other interactions in Matt’s great narrative make it one you should read regardless of when and where you graduated.

And it made me start to reflect…….I thought about our senior prank.  Around ten of us managed to hoist an old berry field outhouse on to the roof of the high school.

Oregon City High School as it was in the 1960’s

This was not fake news in 1966 – unfortunately….

Principal Vern Larson scared the hell out of us the next day when we were called into his office to “property chastise” us as referenced in the article to the left in the Oregon City Enterprise Courier.

Now I joke, however, about how he told us to shape up and even “said a little prayer” for us in his office at the end of our session – “If you ever do something like that again, God Help You….!”

“I’ll Say a Little Prayer for You…..said Vern Larson

And there were the highs and lows of high school romance.  I recently played about ten times consecutively and now cannot get the hit tune which epitomizes this topic out of my head, “There’s  a Moon Out Tonight” by the Capris.

“Dated Up” just like he “Married Up”

It reminded me of Ginger, my first girlfriend.  The Capris – a doo-wop group out of New York City, were a one-hit wonder, but one member is still living and the group continues to perform.  (The flip side of the 45’RPM was “Indian Girl” which never hit the charts and would also not be politically correct in this time.)

 

————

The Capris – “There’s a Moon Out Tonight…”

The Jet’s – the OCHS dance team

I was a junior and Ginger was a senior and I couldn’t believe that a member of the Famous Oregon City Dancing Majorettes would go out with a younger guy.

We met in a study hall and I finally got up the nerve to ask her out.  We kidded Ginger because KISN – a Top Forty Radio Station had a contest – Mrs. Brown’s Daughter – named after the Herman’s Hermits 1965 number 1 single on the Billboard Top 100“Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

Senior Picture

She had been nominated and her picture was one on display in the window of their studio on W. Burnside in Portland.  Ginger was embarrassed and I assured her that it wasn’t me who nominated her; however, nobody would have been surprised if she won.

And nothing beat a date after the Friday night football game (even though OCHS did not have its own field and played home games at Thora B. Gardiner Jr. High’s cow pasture gridiron).  Getting a cheap burger in my VW Bug at Dick’s Club 19 in Gladstone – that’s right, burgers were only $.19 – was a chance to see classmates and plan the weekend.

Matt’s memoir was a great catharsis.  On three consecutive days when I was drinking a Buoy IPA (7.5 ABV and 70 IBU) on our back deck, I was also harkening back to what a great place Oregon City had been to live and be educated.   I moved here from Cincinnati, Ohio, the summer before 7th grade.

For a few years, I had an Oregon Journal afternoon paper route and every day would park my bike on the Promenade overlooking downtown and take “the only outside municipally owned elevator in the US” down to Main Street to deliver to my customers.

Oregon City was the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains and when I delivered the paper to the County Clerk’s office, I would see the original Plat of San Francisco –filed in OC.  It was first filed in 1849 and rediscovered in a vault in 1904.

Flash Forward…..

After college and the Navy I came back to live and work in OC and eventually was appointed to the City Planning Commission (for almost eight years).  I met my wife (now of forty years), Janet, at one of those meetings in 1979 after she was appointed the Neighborhood Involvement Coordinator on an LCDC grant.  She  subsequently became the Assistant City Administrator for the City of West Linn in 1981.

One of my favorite teachers in junior high was Mrs. Maxine Stroup, who taught Oregon History .  She made us realize we were living right where countless celebrated Oregon events took place over the years.  Mrs. Stroup brought those to life.  She was a dedicated and enthusiastic teacher and historian.  She made a lasting impression on all her students.

Historic Willamette Falls at the south end of town

I had not seen Mrs. Stroup in almost twenty years until she showed up at the final hearing in 1979, where after six-months of agonizing debate and testimony, we were set to adopt the controversial Historic Preservation Ordinance.   Sentiment on what type of control the City should have on historic property was very polarized. (sound familiar….?)

Janet in 1981 after she became Assistant City Administrator for the City of West Linn

After three hours we finally took the vote and it was adopted with one dissent.  As the hearing ended, I saw Janet (we had been dating for several months but nobody new it) talking to Mrs. Stroup and a very outspoken Neighborhood Group representative advocating for strong controls and who was not pleased with the final ordinance.  The conversation went like this:

Beerchaser:   “Hi Mrs. Stroup.  It’s so good to see you and I remember well your wonderful classes from many years ago.”   I then turned to Janet and the neighborhood rep and said, “Mrs. Stroup was my seventh grade Oregon History teacher.”

Neighborhood Rep“Well it’s too bad that she didn’t teach you a damn thing about it.”

Flash Back

And each day when I delivered papers on Main Street, I would look to the Willamette River and see the beautiful and historic Oregon City (Arch) Bridge, built in 1922. (Some classmates walked the arch before the game with arch-rival West Linn right across the river)

We first lived on Center Street right across from the historic Barclay House.  (I learned in Mrs. Stroup’s class that Dr. Forbes Barclay, after working for the Hudson Bay Company, moved to Oregon City and built the house in 1842.)

The Barclay House – right across the street from our house on Center Street

“(He)…… served as physician for local settlers and townspeople, and served as Clackamas County coroner, City School Superintendent, Oregon City mayor, and city councilman.”

Now, according to Wikipedia, the house is purportedly one of the haunted locations in Oregon – “The apparition of a red-haired boy has been seen on the property.”  

The Barclay house is in the same block (right next door) as the historical  McLoughlin House (Mrs. Stroup taught me that Dr.John McLoughlin was the Superintendent of the Hudson Bay Company and the Father of the Oregon Territory…..)

My summer job was watering the (expansive) lawn each day and mowing each week for a total of $20 per month.

A big lawn for $20 per month…..

Now even in the 1960’s, it seemed like a paltry wage.  However, on reflection, I guess it could buy 104 burgers and a large order of fries at Dick’s Club 19.

There were some astoundingly bad moments in high school like in the middle of Mrs. Westwood’s Latin 1 class (they still taught it back then….and she was another outstanding educator) in 1963, when we heard a shaken Principal Larson announce that President John Kennedy had been assassinated in Dallas.

Excellent Latin and French teacher

I loved my senior Modern Problems teacher, Mr. Larry Austin who was also my Senior Advisor.  I had an A going when I missed one afternoon class because we had an away golf match.

One week later, Mr. Austin decided to give us a quick oral quiz and told us to write two pages on what we thought were the most salient points in the film he had shown us the week before about the “Census.”  

Just one of the five “Census???!!”

Well, it was spring term my senior year, I was thinking about the fall when I was going to enter Oregon State University and without giving much thought to its relevance to a Modern Problems Class, I produced an eloquent stream of consciousness essay on the “Five Senses.”

“It’s been interesting……”

He gave me a D and wrote at the top of the test, “I  suggest next time, you focus more on hearing…..” 

Perhaps that’s why when he signed his picture in my yearbook, he ended with the sentence, “It was interesting having you in class this year.

Wasted Willie?

Another teacher – this one in my junior year for Algebra II and Trig was Wayne Bauer – he was also the varsity baseball coach.  The following incident took place his 29th year of teaching at OCHS.  Mr Bauer’s classroom routine for the fifty-minute period was pretty basic – lecture for ten or fifteen minutes, give the next day’s assignment, tell the class to work on our homework and then sit back in his desk chair and read what I assumed were coaching magazines until the bell rang.  (Alternatively, he would leave the room altogether for the Teachers’ Lounge.)

Admittedly, I was somewhat immature (as were a number of my classmates) and getting the homework done was not a high priority.  We usually just chatted or read our own magazines.  But I made a mistake one day when Mr. Bauer came back and heard me yelling across the room to a classmate as he opened the door.  He walked to the center of the room, paused for effect and then said in a stern and emphatic tone:

“Williams.  You have a lot of potential.  Too bad it’s wasted.”

On 30th anniversary with OCHS – “(HIs) ability as a teacher balances his skills in coaching.”

Well, two of my teammates on the JV Basketball team were in the room and by the time I got to practice that afternoon, my fellow hoopsters had adopted the moniker “Wasted Willie.”   And it stuck through High School.  (Even Ginger in her message when she signed my yearbook, referenced “Wasted Willie.”)

Now perhaps, Wayne Bauer, had some foresight because my nickname from my freshman year in college (and to this day as you will see from my blog header above) is “Dirt”  – a derivation of “Dirty Donnie” — that’s another story.   I guess both “Waste” and “Dirt” could be considered Salt of the Earth!   But his comment did at least motivate me to shut up and do my homework in the 80% of the period available each day from then on.

Basketball at OCHS

Things have changed since the ’60’s.  To make the varsity (or for that matter a JV squad) these days, one generally has to start playing AAU or club sports in grade school and go to summer camps.  The physicality of most contemporary varsity athletes is amazing.

In Ohio, there were no grade school team sports and junior high was therefore the first time I tried out for basketball.  After getting cut in seventh grade, I made the eighth grade team but got cut in the ninth.   I was devastated – so my dad put up a lighted basket in our driveway. (Probably no longer permitted in the historic neighborhood…) I spent many hours practicing.

Knowing the chances were not good because the JV Team is made up of both sophomores and juniors, I still tried out and made the JV Team as a sophmore.

Notice the athleticism of the guy on the far right..  1964 Sophomore Year *1

Then the next year, I was one of the three juniors to play JV (guys who would make varsity their senior year but would get more playing time as a JV.)  I loved it.

*1 A heartfelt expression of gratitude to Joe Gabriel, the Manager in the picture above, one of our classmates along with my best friend, Gary Kestler, both of whom made the ultimate sacrifice for his country in Viet Nam.

Inspirational Coach

I started every game and Coach Dick Arbuckle, who was also the head varsity football coach, was the best coach I ever had – a real motivator.

He went on to be head football coach at Sheldon High School and then had an outstanding career as an assistant coach at a number of Pac 8 Division 1 schools including Oregon, Oregon State, Cal and Arizona.

He inspired us as a team and even the last guy on the bench knew he might get called and to be ready at any time.  I learned that first-hand my sophomore year when towards the end of the first half of the season we played West Linn away.

I had hardly played at all that season and only if the game was out-of-reach.  In the first quarter, the starters and sixth-man guard were just dragging and Coach looked down at the end of the bench and said to my surprise, “Williams!”

I was in pretty good shape and got two steals right away and played most of the rest of the game ending up with three steals and going 7 for 8 at the free-throw line.  The next week, a local sportswriter, started his column with:  “Sometimes its not the stars of the game who make it interesting to watch.  Such was the case when Don Williams, who couldn’t weigh more than 120 pounds dripping wet……”

Coach Arbuckle years later

I also still remember in my junior year what Coach did after we lost our first two games and then went on to win eight straight only to lose in a lackluster Friday night effort at McMinnville. (Janet’s home town.)

On the next Tuesday night, we were suited-up and ready to play Forest Grove and as we were gathered for the pre-game talk, he said,”

“After last Friday, none of you deserve to start.”   He handed the score-book to the manager and said, “Manager, you pick the starting line-up.”  He did and we won the game by the largest margin that season.

While most of my hardwood experience in my Senior Year was on the bench, it was always a thrill to come up from the locker room for game warm-ups to a packed spirit-filled gym.  The pep band was stationed on an elevated platform in one corner of the gym and except for the cross-river rival West Linn Lion’s game when they played “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” the group would play the memorable four stanza pep-song “OC – OC – OC High!”   It had stunning lyrics sung by everybody in the gym:

“OC – OC – OC High

“OC – OC – OC High

“OC – OC – OC High!  (OC High)

OC——High!

And one of the most thrilling highlights for our class during our senior year was winning the TYV League Basketball Championship and a trip to the OSAA State Tournament held at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland. 

Although we lost our first round game to Lincoln High of Portland, we beat Wyeast in the second round before losing to Thurston High in overtime to be eliminated.

I will never forget that experience even though I did lose my chance to score in the State Tournament when in the Lincoln game, I missed an uncontested lay-in after intercepting a pass at half-court.  We had a cracker box gym in OC and there were rows of spectators behind the basket at the Coliseum.  Oh well….!

The first time in 20 Years!

Pioneer Pete

At the end of our senior year, our class gave the School a big plywood rendering of Pioneer Pete – our wonderful school mascot – to hang at the entrance to the gym which it did for years until a new school was built in 2003. 

Fortunately, in 2001 when a few activists wanted to “emasculate” our mascot by “photo-shopping” out his musket, the ill-conceived move was resisted.  One suggestion was to replace the musket with a flag pole.

And I covered this story in a 2012 Beerchaser post, because it was quite interesting as reported in this excerpt from the December 12, 2001 story in The Oregonian:

” A burly guy with a coonskin cap, Pioneer Pete stands like a sentinel throughout Oregon City High School. He stares from hallway murals, the backs of varsity jackets and walls in the gymnasium and football stadium.

A musket in his grip and a knife slung off his hip, Pioneer Pete is catching some flak these days. Some students and administrators say his weapon-toting ways break rules that apply to students. He’s even been booted off the cover of a brochure advertising the search for a new superintendent.”

A rich history from 1885

Well, the District Administration got quite irate about the flack this article created and sent the following message:

“Please note that this was not about Pioneer Pete , the OCHS mascot. It was a clip-art picture that was to decorate a brochure to advertise our superintendent position nationally. Our preference, with the covered wagon on the cover, was a couple of pioneers, not a mountain man with a gun.

The story in the newspaper was inaccurate. There is no conversation about changing Pete at the high school. The Oregonian reporter has certainly heard from us today about the misleading story and we have asked for her to clarify that this was not a discussion about Pete. On a slow news day, this story has taken off. We have been barraged with angry people over our decision to change a clip art picture on a brochure……….”

Current logo from OCHS website

I, personally am all in favor of most gun control legislation, but Pete, who used his musket and Bowie knife primarily to put meat on his family’s table should not be a victim of revisionist history.

And I’m proud to see that the current logo on the OCHS Website still has Pete carrying his musket.  In fact, in a June 2019 Oregonian story entitled, Oregon’s Top 10 High School Mascots, Pioneer Pete (with musket) was No. 5!

At our 50th class reunion in 2016, we got a good laugh when a classmate – rather than taking away from what Pete was carrying – added something in his left hand for a more mature Pete to help “walk the trails.” He also gained a receding hairline.

And Finally

I guess a certain amount of penitence on my part is required for those of you who logically come to a blog entitled Thebeerchaser expecting to hear about bars and beers and instead, read my embellished memories of high school and living in a great Oregon community.

Stay Tuned….

But rather than apologize, I want to thank Matt Love for his Oregon City MemoirIt was so well written and enjoyable and it compelled me to take some time to recollect some times in the past we tend to take for granted.

And remember, I currently can’t go to most bars or breweries now anyway.  But that will come.  In fact, in the next post I will feature Matt Love’s Oregon Tavern Age – a fifty-four page tabloid that is filled with wonderful stories on his 22-years writing about dive bars on the Oregon Coast.

In closing, my fellow Beerchasers, Sgt. Phil Esterhaus (the late actor Michael Conrad) used to close every episode of Hill Street Blues with the now famous admonition, “Let’s be Careful Out There!”

Well, I think the good sergeant, if he were still on duty would change that now to:

PS:  Thanks to my friend Mollie Larson Cook for the pins she sent me shown here.   Mollie, also known as The Jazz Cookie, is a talented writer and painter now living in Corvallis. She has two outstanding blogs which you should check out:

Art and Tulips        and       I Thought There was a Pony    

Kelly’s Olympian – Old but Still Chipper and What a Great Name!

Kelly's - Operating since 1902!

Kelly’s – Operating since 1902!

Those of you who have followed Thebeerchaser know that notwithstanding the name, this blog is not a rigorous journalistic or academic study of beer.   Although, I love microbrews, I am always pleased and will opt for a $2.50 Happy-hour PBR rather than an esoteric and more expensive craft beer.

Darwin's Theory - a wonderful dive bar in Anchorage
Darwin’s Theory – a wonderful dive bar in Anchorage

Rather, this blog chronicles my journey to what is now over a hundred bars, taverns and pubs in the last four years in Portland and the far reaches of Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, the southeastern US and several countries in Europe.

Dive bars are preferred, but regardless, this investigation involves dissecting the history and character of the watering holes, interviewing the bartenders and regulars and commenting on the distinguishing characteristics of each establishment.

The tavern at the summit of ___ foot Mt. Schilthorn in Switzerland
The taverne at the summit of 9,744 foot Mt. Schilthorn in Switzerland

And one of the most enjoyable parts of these junkets has been the companions with whom I raise a mug. In many cases this has been Janet, my wonderful spouse of 35 years, (one reason she was named 2014 Beerchaser-of-the-Year) but others have included lawyers, investment analysts, academicians, consultants, retired friends and just plain folk (although no animals) to this point.

From left: Thebeerchaser; Jack, Amy and Charlie Faust, Jim Westwood and Jennifer Johnson

From left: Thebeerchaser; Jack, Amy and Charlie Faust, Jim Westwood and Jennifer Johnson

 

 

The most recent Beerchaser event was at Kelly’s Olympian – a unique (and I use that word with mindfulness of hyperbole) dive bar right in the heart of downtown Portland. Fortunately, my five companions that day were as fascinating as the bar in which we gathered.

Let’s begin with the bar. Kelly’s, opened in 1902, is the third oldest bar/restaurant in continuous operation in Portland and per the Kelly’s website:

The name was derived from the name of one of the original owners, “Kelly”, and the Olympia Brewing Company, which was involved in the inaugural opening so that it could sell its product, Olympia Beer. It was originally called “The Olympian Saloon”.  The name “Kelly’s” was added a few years later…..

In the early days, it was a popular gathering spot for locals as well as visiting timbermen, sailors, shipyard workers, longshoremen and others passing through. In addition to being a popular bar, it had the reputation for having one of the most well known card rooms in all of Portland…and was truly a landmark.        

Downtown on 4th and Washington

Downtown on 4th and Washington

Legend has it that there used to be several secret entrances to the Shangai Tunnels, where Chinese immigrants and dockworkers lived and made their way about the underground of Portland.

……In one section of the basement is a peculiar patching of the wall and remnants of an old tile floor, from a rumored “speakeasy” that existed during the Prohibition years of the 1930′s. 

The Bar at Kelly's

The Bar at Kelly’s

So what’s changed from the early 1900’s and is Kelly’s still imbued with the personality chronicled in its archives?  Or is it just another old bar struggling to survive given the advent of shiny brewpubs and corporate establishments proclaiming the 99 beers on tap available to patrons.

This excerpt from Barfly provides evidence (and I believe our group would concur) that it is the former:

There’s no longer a piss-trough down the foot of the bar……. After more than a century, adjustments have to be made to any establishment. Women can come and go these days, the cellar tunnels to the port have been sealed, and, a few years back, once three generations of family ownership changed hands, a dozen vintage motorcycles were hung from the ceiling.  

Weird, that – sorta awful, sorta crazy – but, beyond niggling details (HD screens, paint job, more-than-edible food), it’s the same old bar. Servers still descend the trapdoor behind the bar to get ice. (Verified with Lucia, the Manager, that this is still the case and that’s where their kegs are also stored – see the picture below.) 

Mary Kate opened the trap door and shows the steps descending to the cellar

Mary Kate opened the trap door and shows the steps descending to the cellar

Elderly regulars maintain their presence. The shoeshine stand disappeared, tragically, but a decent sound system lures rising bands and tastemaker DJ’s……  (the music started in 2008)…..(Barfly)      

       

Faust Beerchasing at the U of O

Faust (right) Beerchasing at the U of O

 

 

 

Before some additional comments about the bar, let’s talk a bit about my companions that day. Two of them (Portland lawyers Jack Faust and Jim Westwood) are former “honorees” as Beerchaser-of-the-Quarter by this blog. (Check the links on their names.)  In fact, Westwood is the one who suggested we congregate at Kelly’s).

Westwood with caricature of his hero - George Washington

Westwood with caricature of his hero – George Washington

After having worked at a law firm (Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt) with over 100 attorneys for twenty-five years, my concern that at least three lawyers are really essential for meaningful dialogue, was allayed when Jennifer Johnson, Dean of Lewis and Clark Law School joined the group.

Jennifer’s career is impressive and besides, she is a great drinking companion!  After law school, she was awarded a prestigious clerkship for Judge Alfred Goodwin in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

She then worked at the Davies Bigg firm (now Stoel Rives) specializing in real estate finance and land use, before joining the law school faculty in 1980, where her teaching awards are numerous and impressive including the Leo Levenson and Burlington Northern Foundation awards for excellence in teaching.

In 2008, Dean Johnson was named Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar in recognition of her exemplary teaching and scholarship in business law and was installed as the Erskine Wood Sr. Professor of Law.  She became Dean of the Law School in 2014.

An award-winning professor before becoming Dean

An award-winning professor before becoming Dean

I enjoyed talking to her when we first met at the Rookery, but heard from a friend – one of the 2015 graduating law students – how she distinguished herself at their graduation ceremony.

US Senator and Lewis and Clark Law School alumnus, Heidi Hietkamp, was scheduled to deliver the commencement address.  But thanks to the dysfunctional body which may be mislabeled as the “Upper Chamber,” she was detained in Washington D.C. because of a Rand Paul’s filibuster on the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

Lewis and Clark Law School Alum - Senator Heidi Hietkamp

Lewis and Clark Law School Alum – Senator Heidi Hietkamp

Jennifer found out on Friday that the North Dakota Senator would not be able to make it to Oregon by Saturday afternoon. So Jennifer, pinch hit after writing her remarks on what turned out to be a long Friday night.

When I attended a graduation party for the law graduate the next evening, he and his parents both raved about how Jennifer “hit it out of the park,” with her remarks.   They opined that it was the highlight of the ceremony.

Beerchasing at the Rookery
Beerchasing at the Rookery – no Charlie Faust but add Schwabe attorney, Jennifer Woodhouse (left)

 

And before discussing Amy and Charlie Faust who rounded out on contingent, we should digress and mention that the same group we had at Kelly’s had Beerchased about six months earlier at The Rookery – at that time a fairly new and classy bar on SW Broadway.

The contrast in environment at the Rookery is described in one September 2014 Yelp review as:

“….really charming, I have a fondness for restoration projects and they did a wonderful job. We were eager to sample local brews and dig into taste bites….We ordered the charcuterie plate, mac & cheese and corned beef stuffed Yorkshire pudding.…….The mac & cheese was one of the best I can recall in ages and I never thought about stuffing a reuben into Yorkshire pudding, but …….it was a wonderful blend of Irish and British.”                        

Entertainment more genteel than rock bands at Kelly's

Entertainment more genteel than rock bands at Kelly’s

 It’s a suave and sophisticated bar on the second floor of SW Portland restaurant Raven and Rose.  The dark wood panels, the clientele (mostly downtown professionals) and the menu are all good, but perhaps a little bit stuffy.

At Kelly’s, our group’s personality adapted to our environment.  We were rowdier, drank cheaper beers and were less attentive to Jack Faust’s stories even though they are always captivating – but more so in a “dignified and staid” environment than in a dive bar with classic motorcycles hanging from the ceiling and tatted patrons.  P1030757

What about Jack Faust’s two offspring – Amy and Charlie?  Given their engaging personalities and interesting backgrounds, I knew that it did not take three members of the Faust family to ensure riveting conversation.

Charlie Faust with his Dad

Charlie Faust with his Dad at Bailey’s

Charlie is a Portland mortgage broker.  After graduation from U of O, he traveled for a year in Europe and SE Asia, then worked as a staffer for Senator Bob Packwood.

That prepared him to weather the storms when he worked for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration including the experience of being on the crew of a NOAA hurricane research plane during Hurricane Gloria in 1985 – peak winds of 155 mph. He has Beerchased previously at Marathon Taverna and Bailey’s Tap Room.

Charlie flew through Hurricane Gloria

Charlie flew through Hurricane Gloria

Amy is a talented writer and popular Portland radio personality and the female half of the Mike and Amy Show on KWJJ The Wolf.

She has an interesting background and after graduating from Scripps College – one of the five prestigious Claremont Colleges in Southern California, she moved to New York where she both met her husband and even sang in an all-female alternative country band (negotiations to get tapes are underway at time of publication…).

The Mike and Amy Show, after thirteen years of great ratings, was unceremoniously canceled by station management in September of 2012.  This was ironic because their show was one of five nominees for that year’s County Music Association Media Personality of the Year in the major markets.

Amy and Mike - the dynamic morning duo at KWJJ - The Wolf

Amy and Mike – the dynamic morning duo at KWJJ – The Wolf

Although it is unusual to hear management in any industry admit that it erred, in June 2014, based on listener demand and the poor ratings since the action, the duo returned to the airwaves and KWJJ Program Director, Mike Moore, announced:

I want to speak to you about a mistake that ‘The Wolf’ made back on Aug. 6, 2012”

Mike Moore’s description on Linked In states, in part:

Tenacious program director with 15+ years of experience in providing strategy, vision…..developing and executing on-air and online strategies that provide cost-effective programming that positively impact bottom line without compromising quality.

He is still with KWJJ and perhaps his ability to reverse course is one reason.  Typical of the responses to the return of the show was this one:

I am so very thrilled to have them back.  It’s nice to listen to the radio again. (Yes, I haven’t been a listener since they were fired — I was brought up on KWJJ and have listened to that station since about 1972).

Former colleagues - Amy and Mary Kate

Former colleagues – Amy and Mary Kate

Amy also validated the cliché about Portland being a “small city” when she discovered that our friendly and competent bartender was Mary Kate, a former colleague from the Entercom who Amy ran into when Mary Kate was a bartender at Dukes – a bar on Division and then at another bar on N. Mississippi Avenue.

 

Now the current owner of Kelly’s is not without some celebrity.   According to Willamette Week in its 2013 article on Portland Hydro Hogs,” Benjamin Stutz is a lawyer and besides being co-owner of Kelly’s he develops condos and also owns a drive-thru pizza joint in Hillsboro (Motopizza).  His wife Dr.Cynthia Gulick, is an osteopathic physician working in medical bariatrics.

They were “featured” as the top Portland “Water Hogs” in 2013, with residential consumption of 1,006,060 gallons. “(Their) apple tree-lined driveway (enters) a 3.3-acre property’s tennis court, swimming pool and a small vineyard of pinot noir grapes and also averaged 1.02 million gallons in the prior two years.”  (Willamette Week 4/21/13)

For those who enjoy an occasional cold beer, this 2013 consumption would equate to 64,907 kegs of PBR – a small fortune even at Happy-hour prices.

Enough water in 2013 to fill almost 65,000 of these puppies!

Enough water in 2013 to fill almost 65,000 of these puppies!

Stutz was also on the Top Ten list of Hydro Hogs for 2011-12, but to his credit, has not “resurfaced” on the list since 2013.

And as for Body Art…..

As one might expect, the clientele at Kelly’s is diverse as described in a  Zagat review: ….”a mix of punks, business types and ‘street urchins’ gathers for Pabst and ‘strong’ pours of Jack Daniels…..”

And, of course, with the bike theme, you would be correct in assuming that bikers – a group known for sporting body art, comprise a portion of the regulars.

In addition, a January 2014 Trip Advisor review after mentioning the biker contingent, also stated: “Of course, everyone working there sports multiple tattoos and piercings. No wimps allowed.”

P1030758The make-up of our group did not consist of professions known for their ferociousness or intimidation, (in fact Westwood before his legal career was a TV weatherman at KGW).  We did not exhibit traits that allow  you to drink without trepidation in a dive bar.

Based on that fact, I asked Jim if he had considered our vulnerability when suggesting Kelly’s.

He casually lifted his left sleeve to show me his recent tattoo, and assured me that this decoration – the numerals “1783” – while not typical of the more graphic tats displayed by the bikers, ensured our acceptance and respect.  (Besides I was prepared to tell them that we knew Schwabe partner, Jay Waldron – no tattoos, but a former rugby player, biker and one who has kicked back more than a few beers with whiskey chasers at Kelly’s.)

Westwood - comfortable in his own skin - Still!

Westwood – comfortable in his own skin – Still!

Westwood, who has served for fourteen years as coach of the Grant High School “We the People”  Constitution Team, endured the pain from the needle after he delivered on a promise to his team members.  He told them that if they won the 2013 National Championship, he would get a tattoo to recognize the victory.

Grant High National Championship Team including Coach Westwood

Grant High National Championship Team  in D.C. including Coach Westwood

Westwood’s most admired historical figure is President George Washington and 1783 is the year of two of the most significant events in our first President’s storied career as a military and political leader.  We have to admire Westwood’s motivational skills and commitment as a coach.

——————-

 The Kelly Motorcyles

The classic motorcycles are a distinguishing feature at Kelly’s. The description in their website does a good job conveying the effect:

Motorcycle at EntranceThe crowning glory is the collection of a dozen vintage motorcycles hanging from the ceiling and about, each restored to perfection. One of the owners is a motorcycle enthusiast and finally found a home for his impressive motorcycle collection.

Complementing the motor cycles are other motorcycle accessories, combined with museum quality neon signs, antique gas pumps and historic photos of Portland and motor cycles.   

The inventory of the classic cycles at Kelly's

The inventory of the classic cycles at Kelly’s

 

We had a great time at Kelly’s and you should try it taking into consideration this closing description by the Portland Mercury:

The neon, the road signs, the decorative motorcycles all scream “theme bar,” but Kelly’s Olympian manages to avoid the inauthenticity the décor would imply….. Kelly’s has the gravitas of a place that’s been around for over a century.

The food is… well… bar food, but the drinks are on the deep side, the tap list is long, and much of the clientele could probably tell you a thing or two about motorcycles. It’s not quite a grim and gritty biker bar—but it’s not faking anything, either.     

Due to the length of this post, we have not covered the quality bands which make Kelly’s a destination in the evenings.  Check these out on the link to their website shown below.  And check out the over 20 beers and one cider they have on tap at their Happy Hour from 4:00 to 7:00 each day and 11:00 to 1:00 on Thursday through Sunday.

(If you run into Jay Waldron, buy him a beer!)

Cleans up pretty well and still has cred with bikers....

Waldron – Cleans up pretty well and still has cred with bikers….

Kelly’s Olympian              426 SW Washington Portland

P1030539

The Yamhill Pub – A Dive Bar with Character or Grunge?

the Yamhill Pub - Dive or Grunge - or is there a difference?

The Yamhill Pub – Dive or Grunge – or is there a difference?

One of the wide-ranging debates in contemporary society – rivaling that of climate change, the future of Congress as a viable institution and gun control is that of the definition of dive bars i.e. how does one determine if the PBR he is drinking is consumed in a true dive bar or a trendy hole-in-the-wall that tries to masquerade as one (or is there even a level below “dive bar”?)

Justice Stewart - probably raised a mug in some dive bars

Justice Stewart – probably raised a mug in some dive bars

Some will reference the late Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart’s threshold test for obscenity when he wrote in his legendary opinion about pornography, “I know it when I see it.” 

Others try to identify specific dive bar characteristics,as exemplified by reference sources used by Thebeerchaser in his journey to visit bars, taverns and pubs in Portland – and subsequently, other locales including Europe, Alaska, Colorado, the South and Oregon regions east of the Cascades, and on the Oregon Coast.

seattle-dive-bars

An invaluable Beerchaser reference source

For example, my favorite from pages 9-10 of Seattle’s Best Dive Bars by Mike Seely:

“Some dives have vomit-caked toilet seats in the bathroom; others have cracked vinyl booths in the barroom.  Some have nicotine-stained murals dating back to the Depression; others have drink prices that seemingly haven’t wavered since then……..But really, no collection of characteristics can be melded to truly define what makes a bar a dive…..The term “dive’”is bestowed with a spoonful of love….What they have in common aren’t so much attributes, but a state of mind — you just know one when you see one.    

The Yukon Tavern - one of Portland's other dive bars

The Yukon Tavern – one of Portland’s other dive bars

Dive bars is one of the subsets of venues reviewed on the home page of this blog and of the approximately 115+ bars reviewed since August 2011, about fifteen have been so categorized including Portland’ dives the Ship Tavern, Bar of the GodsJoe’s Cellar, the Yukon Tavern and Darwin’s Theory in Anchorage Alaska to name a few.

And up North - Darwin's Theory in Anchorage

And up North – Darwin’s Theory in Anchorage

 —————

The Yamhill Pub in downtown Portland is the latest addition to the class, although I would submit that this historic bar may be submerged one additional step below “dive” to “grunge,” as discussed below.  In this scholarly discussion, I will first quote in full, the summary paragraph from Portland Barfly, because it so eloquently captures the “aura.”

“A genuine dive-bar lurking midst the downtown shopping arcade, the Yamhill Pub maintains an unreconstructed seediness through blaring juke, food…

Toilet No. 1

Bathroom No. 1

(and, for that matter, toilets) best avoided, actively-encouraged graffiti upon the smoke-stained walls, pennies-a-serving pitchers, and a fiercely-protective cadre of underemployed regulars (seniors, rockers, bike messengers) willing to throw themselves in front of Hummers to prevent the forces of gentrification. Intimidating for the first-time visitor, but that’s sort of the point.”

The bar at the Yamhill

The bar at the Yamhill

 And this excerpt from one of the Bar Fly reviewers in 2011 is edifying albeit puzzling,  “Yamhill IS the  bar in all of Portland, if not the world. I love it and will never stop drinking there.” 

You will not find the Yamhill Pub in the annual Willamette Week Bar Guide nor will it ever be one of the five Portland watering holes in Draft Magazine’s exclusive list of Best 100 Beer Bars in the United States

I visited the Yamhill three times – once with the Portland State University Athletic Department’s erstwhile, Denny Ferguson.  He also accompanied me at prior visits to the Cheerful Tortoise and The Cheerful Bullpen.  I also had an afternoon beer on my second visit with Merrill Lynch financial wizard, Mike Jones (also a Beerchaser at the Oregon Public House).

Beerchaser Regular - Dennis B. Ferguson (Fergy)

Beerchaser Regular – Dennis B. Ferguson (Fergy) with Thebeerchaser logo and PBR!

 

P1030195

Beerchaser and financial wizard, Mike Jones

 

 

 

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What “distinguishes” the Yamhill?

The Bathrooms – the bathrooms are most often characterized with adjectives similar to this description in 2010: “Bathrooms are disgusting,” and brought current by this Yelp reviewer in 2015: “The restrooms (were) just sick,” – both patrons evidently not disturbed by the fact that one of the heads has no lock on the door.

———–

Bathroom No. 2 - also no paradise!

Bathroom No. 2 – also no paradise!

These hieroglyphics are not of an intellectual bent...

These hieroglyphics are not of an intellectual bent…

The Graffitias you can see from the picture, every conceivable space in the one-room bar is covered with words and phrases accumulated through the years since it’s opening in 1939, and the same is true on the bathroom walls.

While some neat classic beers signs and one for Camel Cigarettes were displayed, there was a real paucity of the good memorabilia – okay junk – that typifies many dive bars and adds to the character because there are usually stories behind them.  Unfortunately, the graffiti, rather than offering the usual range of intellectual expressions and philosophical albeit trite drivel, was either indecipherable scribbling or obscenities ranging from one or two words to more graphic short phrases.  P1030321 P1030324

The only exception I found, notwithstanding a zealous search, was this truism which might be a suitable campaign slogan for Hillary Clinton:

“To be one with your weaknesses, is your greatest strength.”

And immediately below this phrase to add context –  if not a verifiable scientific hypothesis:  “You smell better when you are asleep.”

The Clientele – unlike a number of social media comments suggested, we did not find a group of hostile regulars who resent any new patron as an interloper. The approximately fifteen-seat bar was filled on each visit with a diverse group (male and female and a broad age demographic) ranging from tattooed punkers, a jovial drunk, some blue-collar serious beer drinkers to a few office workers – presumably downtown employees.

P1030325

On my third and final visit over the lunch hour, I sat at the bar next to a guy who was on his second Rainier Tall Boy when I sat down.  After spilling a good part of the second can on the bar which went on to his t-shirt, he told me that he was “getting ready” for his 1:30 court appearance for second degree trespassing.  (I did not suggest to him that the judge was probably not going to be impressed with his pre-function.)

The bartender on each visit was friendly and his conversation with those at the bar was ongoing. Unfortunately, it was difficult to the point of unattainable to carry on a conversation because the rock music pumping out of the juke-box was so loud.

The Food and Beer – Most of the dive bars reviewed at least have decent grub which helps one appreciate the usual lack of selection of quality beers; however, at the Yamhill, there is a microwave for popcorn or for a limited menu of frozen “treats” such as wings, corn dogs, chicken strips or lasagna and mac & cheese (the latter two obviously to be avoided).

Kevin, the owner and bartender, told me that you can also bring your own food in although besides a Subway and the YUMM Chinese restaurant, there’s not much near by.   (Warning – you might get beaten up if you bought food in a YUMM container.)

And by the way, don’t look for a website with their menu, the beers on tap or anything for that matter.  They do have a surprisingly decent selection of beer with ten on tap, including Blue Moon, Widmer Hefeweizen, Georgetown Porter, Oakshire Amber, Sam Adams Nitro Stout and Alameda’s Yellow Wolf Imperial IPA.  (Mike and I downed draft Blue Moons – as expected, the standard orange slice on our class was missing!)

The Standard at Yamhill!

No. 18 in North America in 2012!

Denny and I had PBR’s – $1.50 during Happy Hour and the bartender affirmed the astounding claim that the Yamhill is the top seller of PBR in Oregon (“We have four kegs of it on tap daily“).

Not only that, but at one time in the ’90’s they were #5 in North America!!  Before I could scoff, he pointed out this PBR sign from 2012 – Number 18 in North America in PBR sales.  Perhaps it’s the special they advertise “$3 for a pint of PBR and a shot of Old Taylor Whiskey.”

Thebeerchaser has used more quotes than typical in this post; however, they are so rich that they are worth sharing and it is fitting to close with the following two:

“The Yamhill Pub is a glorious sh*t crater. It’s a hole, a mess, a f*ing dive. The walls and floors and sundry surfaces are more graffiti-ed than not, and the pub certainly came by every squiggle honestly. Plastic cups do for the dirt-cheap well drinks, and the very idea of ordering any kind of cocktail seems vastly inappropriate.

The only thing that clashes with the Yamhill’s perfect image of a dive is the surprisingly decent collection of taps. Even in the midst of punk squalor, Portlanders still demand a decent IPA. The Yamhill Pub is amazing. It’s perfect. Never go there. You’ll ruin it.”  (Joe Streckert – Portland Mercury)        

Any bets on the five-year scenario?

Any bets on the five-year scenario?

And this one from a regular I chatted with briefly about Thebeerchaser blog. He ended our conversation with the lament, “Mark my words, this place will be gone in five years and that will be a tragedy.”

Although the Yamhill Pub is a grunge pit – He’s correct.

The Yamhill Pub

223 SW Yamhill

Thebeerchaser Does Alaska – Anchorage – Part 1

Mt. McKinley - the tallest peak in North America

Mt. McKinley – the tallest peak in North America

Alaska is not the only place in the United States where one can still find pristine wilderness, but the magnitude of the expansive unspoiled forest, glacial fiords, diverse wildlife AND good bars make it a worthy trip – one which Thebeerchaser and his spouse experienced for eleven days in late June.

2014-06-22 16.34.45 HDR

Boarding the Statendam in Seward

 Robert Louis Stevenson said, Old and young, we are all on our last cruise,” and since we had never been on a cruise, we decided to take the Holland-America Inside Passage cruise on the Statendam – a wonderful decision.

We flew into Anchorage and had a day in this picturesque city, before a day train trip to Denali National Park for two days.

The bar in the ___ Brew Pub

The bar in the Glacier BrewHouse

Of course, it was important to get a feel for the bars in Anchorage – not that I could deduct the trip, but Thebeerchaser has a reputation to uphold.  So for lunch in the city, we stopped at a brewery recommended by the hotel – The Glacier BrewHouse – for a good salad and split a Glacier Brewery Imperial Blonde – it was good and rejuvenated us after the flight.  The Brewery produces more than 4,500 barrels per year.

Adventurous spirit was not required to find the next bar – since it was a half block from our hotel, but Darwin’s Theory will go down as one of my favorite bars on this trip and on the three-year Thebeerchaser’s Tour of Portland Bars, Taverns and Pubs.  After dinner, while Janet rested, I walked to this wonderful institution – one that had NO draft beer, wine or hard liquor, but free popcorn, a great jukebox and an outstanding environment.  Read two Yelp reviews which were spot on!

Survival of the Fittest embodied.....

Survival of the Fittest embodied…..

“When you step inside, you’ll realize that this is no hipster dive bar.  No sir!  This has been a dive bar since inception and doesn’t appear to have changed.  Beer in the bottle, great service, and interesting patrons round out the perfect dive-bar experience.” Yelp – 11/13 by Eric from Nevada City, CA

On a Friday night, the place was jammed and I sat next to a guy named Bill – in his fifties and an oil field worker, in addition to having fished in the Bering Sea and running marijuana from Mexico to the East coast in the ’70’s. “I had an old Lincoln with really big fenders….”  I asked him about bars in Anchorage and he said to be careful because in the last few years there had been a few shootings at bars close by.

The "patio" outside Darwin's

The “patio” outside Darwin’s

I thought he was exaggerating, but checked out stories on the internet and he was correct.  To wit:

At J.J.’s Lounge on  Oct. 10, 2011 – two people killed.

  • Three men shot and injured outside a downtown Anchorage nightclub – the Anchor Pub in June 2013 – three blocks from Darwin’s.

November 11, 2013 – A shooting wounded a woman and left a man in critical condition outside of the Office Lounge, a Midtown Anchorage bar.

One of the reasons, I felt safe in Darwin’s was the bartender – Barbara Jean – who told me that the bar was 30 years old and she had worked there 29 of them.  She was friendly and her patrons loved her, but she was tough and would not tolerate rowdiness.  She put me on the Darwin’s mailing list and didn’t hesitate when I asked to take her picture with Thebeerchaser logo. (Darwin, the last name of the owner celebrated his 70th birthday that Saturday – and there was going to be a big celebration.)

Betty Jean with Thebeerchaser logo
Barbara Jean with Thebeerchaser logo

 Another review from a Portland guy who visited Darwin’s in November, 2013 is worth quoting from Yelp.  Ryan P. said:

“ABSOLUTELY the the best bar I’ve been to in Anchorage! The ladies tending the bar were amazingly nice and welcoming and made me feel right at home. Coming from a local bar town like Portland, it was very nice to have the same type of feel in this place.

From the moment I walked in I felt completely comfortable and welcomed. I LOVE THIS BAR. I’ve heard it can be crowded at times, which is reasonable considering how small the space is, but the service is THE BEST. PLEASE VISIT THIS PLACE! They are amazing!”

I paid $4 for my bottle of PBR and the same amount for a Silver Gulch Brewery’s Silver Gulch’s Northern Light (Bill’s recommendation from a good Anchorage brewery) and paid in cash based on the sign on the bar: “We accept no out-of-town checks and damn few local ones!”

We did not partake at any other Anchorage watering holes, but embarked on a walking tour and took some pictures – it showed a number of interesting options:

P1020424Snow Goose Restaurant and Sleeping Lady Brewery – what a great patio on the roof overlooking the bay.    P1020425

 

 

The Pioneer Bar –  “As a connoisseur of dive bars this one ranks up there. To start off, despite what opinion you have of PBR, any place that serves 24 oz. cans of PBR has a lot of class. Not to mention all the Alaskan beers on tap and knowledgeable bartenders . (Colin from Anchorage on Yelp 7/2011  P1020427

In case you need directions to The Pioneer Bar....

In case you need directions to The Pioneer Bar….

 

 

 ——————-

 

 

 

Humpy’s Great Alaskan Ale House – presumably named after the whale and not a patron – looked interesting and had “more beers than all the other bars in Anchorage combined,” on tap.   It has a sister pub in Kona, Hawaii  and got mixed reviews, in part, based on slow service and mediocre food, but does have live music.  It will have to wait for another visit, but had a lively crowd, expansive menu and looked intriguing.        P1020434

—————–

The Gaslight Lounge – This is one that you might want to avoid based on violence reported above at other bars.  Four of the five reviews on CitySearch did not recommend this bar and two mentioned fights

 

Not recommended.....

Not recommended…..

“Trashlight Lounge – I worked next door for years and every time I regrettably went in, there was an absence of friendliness. Staff were mostly arguing with drunk customers. It became a joke to look out our back window and watch the fights roll out of the bar every night….it seems to revel in it’s low class reputation among downtown. (ja4vlink – pre 2014)

McGinley’s Pub – While one might be suspicious of a bar that advertises itself as “A touch of Old Ireland in the heart of downtown Anchorage,” they have a great website.  We ran out of time and just took a picture of the entrance – which looked a little boring –  but they have a bunch of dark beers and ciders on tap, serve corned beef and cabbage , sheppards pie, and bangers and mash in addition to standard pub faire.

Some questioned whether it was really an "Irish experience."

Some questioned whether it was really an “Irish experience.”

It got mixed reviews on Trip Advisor, which had them rated 161 of 674 restaurants in Anchorage based on the 67 reviews submitted – 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Glacier Bay Brewery and Darwin’s were definitely hits in Anchorage.

We embarked on the train the next morning for the seven to eight hour trip to Denali National Park through some wonderful scenery.  The bald eagles were magnificent and as we saw one dive successfully for a salmon out the window, I reflected on the observation of one Alaskan resident:

“Alaska in the summer, is a great place to be a bird.”     2014-06-20 16.48.42

Darwin’s Theory                             426 G St, Anchorage

P1020430

 

 

 

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Glacier BrewHouse  and Brewery   

737 W 5th Ave Ste 110, Anchorage