Of the half dozen or so bars in Nome, the Board of Trade Saloon is the oldest. When It opened, in 1900, a reviewer described the "handsome fixtures, as rich looking as though they had been the work of artists."
I took a peak inside and thought the gilt mirrors and hand carved bar would make a good set for an old western movie. The place seemed to have no shortage of customers, even though it was a week night.
Dress Code: Casual
An infamous institution in Nome is the Board of Trade, right next door to the Nugget Inn on Main Street. The bar has been there forever and looks like it. Here you will rub elbows with a cross section of humanity that is hard to find anywhere is Alaska. Native whale hunters from St. Lawrence Island, local whites and natives, and the occassional tourist all mingle to quench their thirst and tell their stories.
Something I've always struggled with in the Board of Trade is a sadness that comes over me as I watch Native artisans trade a priceless ivory carving that took them all winter to make for enough money to buy a sixpack of beer. The owner then turns around and sells them for full value to visiting folks. So, if you can, barter direct with the local and give him/her a square deal.
Dress Code: Yeah right!
I had heard that there were some very rough places in town, and I asked my son's boss where a nice, safe place for a woman to go was, and he recommended this place. I loved this bar. The people were very friendly, and the bartenders (all women) wouldn't allow any sloppy drunks inside. There are many, many troublemakers that wander up and down the street in a drunken state going in and out of bars, and the ladies in this place threw them out immediately! They were very kind to me (I asked a lot of stupid questions being a tourist), and provided a safe, cozy atmosphere for a single woman to sit and have a few drinks and visit with the locals. Wonderful ambiance! And out the back door is the most beautiful, beautiful view of the Bearing sea! They have a game that is kind of like trivial pursuit that you play for free on a computer-type thing with others in the bar. It's a blast! The locals are very friendly in here.
Dress Code: very down to earth. I saw men coming in from construction jobs in their work clothes, ladies wearing dressier outfits, and everyday people in jeans and nice sweaters. Kind of a mix. And everyone was welcome, and everyone seemed to know everyone else and had a smile and a "how was your day?" or a "when did you fly back in?" for them. Very friendly place.
This is a classic bar, and not in the 'fake' classic bar theme that so many places aspire to. The Board of Trade Saloon has been operating here since 1900