Moe's is the quintessential local dive watering hole...Skagway style..it's dank and smokey and a whole lotta fun (cept for the smoke).
Moe's has been open since 1915 and rumor has it that this is the last year...
Dress Code: You have to be dressed , I think
By day its a busy touristy bar, restaurant and also brothel tours...5 bucks for 15 minutes just like in 1898. At night its mostly locals and seasonal workers enjoying great beers and pizza and smoke free as of 2006!!!.... in this classic gold rush saloon. Entertainment, jam nights, charity functions (including a yearly 'drag show') that is the funniest thing you'll ever see!!
Lotsa amazing history in this old place...its great!
Dress Code: you have to be dressed
Alaska has no dress code...come on now!!
The Red Onion goes back over 100 years, the site of an old brothel..its a great locals place as well as tourists...great food as well...pizza and hummos.....mmmmm hummos..and a killer bar...During the day you can take guided tour of the brothel.."5 bucks for 15 minutes...just like in 1898" lots a tourists in daytime...at night its more of a classic locals place. Call it "The R. O." and you'll be like a local!! aaaaaaaaand!!!! this year 2006...NO Smoking!!! whew hew!!
Dress Code: You have to be dressed
Moe's seemed to be a very busy spot as well and you could easily tell it was a local bar with Skagway residents versus seasonal staff or tourist.
I am sure it's a cool spot though, meeting the locals is always a good thing!
Dress Code: Casual
The Red Onion Saloon, now a National Historic Building, was Skagway's most exclusive bordello. Built in 1897 with planks cut by Capt. William Moore, the founder of Skagway, the Red Onion Saloon opened for business in 1898, serving alcohol on the first floor while the upper floor satisfied more than the prospector's thirst. The brothel consisted of ten tiny cubicles, called cribs, each ten foot by ten foot with three exits, one into the hallway, and one into each of the ajoining rooms. Each room also had a hole in the floor which connected to teh cash register in the bar by means of a copper tube.
In order to keep track of which girls were busy, the bartender kept ten dolls on the back bar, one for each of the girls in each of the rooms. When a girl was with a customer, her doll was laid on its back. When she sent her money down the tube, the doll was returned to the upright position signaling to the waiting prospectors that she was ready for business. The bartender safeguarded the firl's earnings, usually $5.00, preferably in gold, while in teh crawl space between the floors, loose floorboards hid nuggets and private tips.
Because the rooms were divided by single planks toe nailed into the ceiling and floor, not much sound proofing was provided. To decorate their cribs, teh women stretched linen across the rough planks, the glued wall paper to the coth. Remnants of the original wall papers still cling to the planks. Some of the firls who worked in Skagway were Birdie Ash, Big Dessie, Popcorn Lil, the Oregon Mare, Babe Davenport, Pea Hull Annie, Kitty Faith, the Belle of Skagway and Klondike Kate.
Dress Code: By late 1899, business began to suffer. Most of the women moved north to Dawson which was closer to the gold fields and had big gambling casinos and dance halls. As the railroad became the center of business for Skagway, numerous buildings were moved closer to the depot. The Red Onion was moved in 1914 with one horse from Sixth and State Street to its current Broadway location. Unfortunately, the Onion was dragged around teh corner backwards and the front and back of the building had to be removed in order to switch them. During World War II the building was used as an army barracks and in subsequent years housed a laundry, bakery, union hall, television station and gift shop. In 1980, Jan Wrentmore purchased a liqour license and opened the building once more as a saloon. Source: Red Onion Menu!
Now I can vouch that the food is great, there is great locally brewed beer on tap. There is live entertainment on the weekends, the are books for sale on the ladies of the gold rush era and upstairs in the saloon there is a museum. Tours of the museum take place during the day. Enjoy your time at the Saloon!
This is likely the only place in town that you will meet year round Skagway residents. Despite the fact that this is the oldest operating bar in Skagway, Moe's appears to have had it's last remake in the early 70s. This is where the locals drink, socialize, enjoy sports events, and generally have a good time. You can meet people from anywhere here. Most of them are pursuing their version of the Alaskan dream and a few are probably hiding from something. I found it lively and enjoyable. The bartender was certainly friendly, even though it was obvious that we were tourist. This is the best place to gain insight on what it is really like to live in Skagway and have a reasonable beer on tap. See the "Local Custom Tips" for the hilarious conversations overheard at Moe's Frontier Bar. They also own the adjacent liqour store, which is the only one I saw while in Skagway.
Dress Code: casual - dress down