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Friday, July 22, 2011

Bob's Java Jive, Tacoma, WA, USA

Bobs Java Jive, Tacoma, WA, USA
Bob's Java Jive in Tacoma, Washington was built back in 1927 by Bert Smyser and started out its life as the "Coffee Pot Restaurant". We don't know if it is the largest "coffee pot" in the world but at 25 foot tall it must have a look in for the record. The Guinness Book of World Records lists the world's largest "coffee pot" at 4' 1" high but that is clearly a "real" coffee pot as Bob's has it beat by a cool 21 feet. Over the years the building, which started out as a drive-thru restaurant, has morphed ...


2102 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma, WA 98409

47°13'54.54"N 122°27'52.01"W

... through speakeasy and coffee shop to its current role as bar / karaoke bar / famous dive. The establishment is named for the 1940 Ink Spots title "Java Jive" [listen on YouTube].

The bar was purchased by Bob Radonich in 1955. After Bob's death in 2003 his daughter, Danette, took over the reins. Following a temporary code enforced closure in 2007 the establishment got a facelift in 2009. A Tacoma News Tribune article quotes Danette's son Rich Staatz as follows:

“When you get this old and you’ve had so many parties, you get run down. We’re doing a badly needed paint job to give the place a ‘yes, we’re open’ look.”

Bob's Java Jive has a colorful history. It is reputed that singer Bing Crosby and film stars Harold Lloyd and Clara Bow hung out at the tavern in its early years and The Wailers, who released their big hit “Louie Louie” in 1961, were regular performers at the establishment [listen on YouTube]. In addition the building has featured in scenes in two movies; the 1990 Kevin Kline comedy "I Love You To Death" [IMDB] and the 1989 John Cusack movie "Say Anything ..." [IMDB].

We are not sure what year it hails from but there is [or was] actually a TV ad for Bobs - check it out on the TV Ad tab below.

The bar currently features live music most Wednesdays and Saturdays with karaoke the other nights and is open until 2:00 am. More info can be found on their Facebook page. We don't know if you can actually buy a cup of coffee in the "... Java Jive" but maybe we will get to go find out one of these days.

Bobs Java Jive, Tacoma, WA, USAClick For Image Source

Bobs Java Jive By NightClick For Image Source

Bobs Java Jive Inside 1Click For Image Source

Bobs Java Jive Inside 2Click For Image Source

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