I choose other because "The Jive" as we call it or "Bob's Java Dive" seems to morph continuously into a unique being of it's own. There is nothing to compare it to really, it's the apex in quirky places and it's history is even more colorful then the interior walls. Here's a timeline of the Jive
1927 : Built as a coffee pot restaurant
1927 - 1955 : changed from Drive thru to speakeasy
1955 : Was bought by Bob and named after a popular lyric
1960's : Transformed into a music club where "The Venture's" got started
1970's : Two in house Chimpanze's that played drums while the owner and son played organ?
1980's :Mutations of the Java Jive ventured into karaoke and go-go bar.
1990's : The area around the Pot fell into disarray, the Pot was seen as vital to Tacoma's History
1998 : Big Fire, The Pot survived barely
2002 : Bob Died but his family still run's the Jive in it's classic extraordinary manner.
(Bob's Java Jive has served as an unique backdrop for films such as "I Love You To Death"(1990), and Cameron Crowe's "Say Anything"(1989).
Today the Jive is the most popluar "Dive Bar" around and for anyone that appreciates a piece of raunchy post Americana this is the place. Really the family and patrons of this place a a delight and you can really enjoy Karaoke for free anytime of the week along with a Pabst.
It's enormously popular with young Punks and Hipster set 20 something year olds but they hang with the best of the old drunk geezers who have been sitting at the bar for over 20 years.
All I could say is cheers!
Dress Code: None at all
This is a brand new comedy club, that has hardwood floors, a beautiful backdrop, and really cool pictures of famous dead comedians all around the room. The ambience has the style of an old Vegas style club, maybe the coolest I have seen in the country.
Dress Code: No dress code from what I could tell. Casual.
Well, I have to say I am a little biased about this place. I did spend a lot of time here because I helped build it. I happened to be in downtown Tacoma one day fresh off the plane from Hawaii. A previous job offer fell through and I was walking down the street when I saw a jobsite just starting. I talked to the big guys Brian and Shane, not knowing they were owners of the place, and just like that, I worked at the most enjoyable jobsite ever. I looked forward to work everyday as I knew the guys alongside me also had a stake in the place. Over time it became what is till this day, a really great place to eat, drink and hangout. The whole place is a work of art and so is the food. Man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it. There are currently four locations in Washington and two in Oregon, and they are open from 11am - 2am. Check out the website for more info.
Dress Code: Dress To Impress
a revolutionary spot in the hilltop district of Tacoma. Small, intimate, friendly, and definitely a calling. This is like the little bar that could in an area that is cleaning up and becoming a community again.
If curiosity is not enough then a 3PM to 8 PM happy hour should be ample reason to try it out for a lemon drop. The young owner has good taste and seems to be dedicated to her vision of a nice establishment.
Contempary southeast asian decor with buda bar music and a few tables outside. The cocktails are intersting and well made. The bar tender was very attentive.
I'll suplly a picture soon, website is another option. Enjoy!
Dress Code: None
A huge favorite amongst the Tacoma Community. Live Blues, Jazz, Swing, Folk and the occasional touring band. One of our favorite hometown performers Vicci Martinez plays here with her band often and her shows are hypnotizing because of her explosive voice.
Seating is restaurant style with a vast menu to choose from that leans towords Cajun and bar service is always available. When bigger shows come through they open the second level balcony as well. Most nights have a small cover or donation if a benefit is going on.
Dress Code: Casual
The Swiss has been a Tacoma Staple for over ten years now. It has it all.
Lots of Beer on Tap
Pools Tables, free on Tuesday
Food, to include oysters
Music, Bands, Festivals
Dancing on Weekends
In the heart of Downtown just above the University of Washington Campus and musuems, it's in a perfect spot, is big, and notice the Dale Chihuly Vases above the bar. It's packed on weekends with a cover band playing rock and has a cover charge during that time. During the weekdays there is always specials on the menu.
If your ever around for the Hot - Rod Festival held the first week of August the Swiss proves to be a good time with The fabulous cars outside, patrons dancing, and a rockabilly band playing.
Dress Code: Anything
Tacoma only has a hand full of Music Venues with regular shows and Hell's Kitchen is one that has something almost everyday of the week. Some of my counterparts say it's just another dive bar, but whats the matter with another dive bar that serves up drinks, food, pool, arcade games and lots of kick a*s Rock music. Besides the talent that stops through is always worth the small cover. It's not uncommon to see 3 bands play for around $7.
There are all ages shows and 21 and over shows that start anywhere from early evening on to late at night. The crowd is mostly Metalheads, Punks,Mods, Rockabillies but anything goes really and the crowd is a mix of 18 year olds to, well any age.
Dress Code: Wear Whatever suits you
A new addition to the popular 6th Ave nightlife, this dueling piano bar has food, drinks, and live piano shows every night. Everyone laughs at dirty jokes and sings to classic pop songs. The piano men know every song you can imagine and the whole evening is fueled by audience input. They play songs for tips, the bigger the tip the sooner they will play your request. By late night ladies are dancing to Tina Turner and everyone is getting called on to the stage. This place is great for all the out going types and even greater for all the shy ones, you can't hide they will shine a spotlight on you.
I returned recently but was not feeling the atmosphere. The Hostess was acting very snobby and the bouncer was demanding a reservation w/ valid ID, it was only 7 in the evening. Probably still fun but service is inconsistent.
Dress Code: Casual
While Tacoma may not have as many nightclubs as Seattle, we make our's count. The Hotel is one of the newest additions to Tacoma's downtown nightlife and it is by far the best as far as I'm concerned. Friday and Saturday nights are hopping down at the Hotel with Josh and Dave behind the bar keeping the crowd liquified as a great diverse group of people dance to just as divers music. If dancing is not your thing, the Hotel has a great kitchen and plenty of tables away from the dance floor. But I like to be up on the stage on the dance floor!
Dress Code: I don't know if there is a particular dress code, but come on people - If you are going out dress like it! You might not be able to wear jeans or sneakers.
This Brew Pub is a converted 1907 firehouse, the former Engine House No 9. It features a well rounded food and beer selection, there's something here for everyone! E-9's own beers are brewed in their brewery right next door. Firehouse regalia and implements decorate the walls and ceiling. Wednesdays are quiz night, tons of fun! There is an area for outdoor seating, the inside areas are non-smoking. In short, great food, drinks, friendly staff and people!
Dress Code: Casual