Save the Buckaroo Tavern

Comments

1
Please note; Fremont stopped being the center of the universe the day the gentrification down the street from Buckaroo started. I think that was around 1999 or 2000.

Sorry Buckaroo, you too will become assimulated into the corporatized image of a "livable community". Resistance is futile!
2
there are "several other outstanding restaurants" on fremont ave? shit, isn't there only three or four great places north of the ship canal (paseo being one)?

typical fremont mentality with that poster...so self-involved it misses the entire scope of what is tries to project.

still, save the buckaroo!
3
Its rogue physical blogging.
4
Per the Times article: "Property owners Lars and Nils Christian declined to comment, but according to their liquor-license application, the brothers will open a restaurant and bar called Nils-Sila Pub in the Buckaroo's home at 42nd and Fremont."
5
According to this Buckaroo regular, the bar is moving down the hill.
http://joelpage.tumblr.com/post/85350517…
6
Heard last night (I live in the area) that Lars and Nils bought the building years back specifically because they wanted to buy the Buckaroo. But the current owners wouldn't sell. So L&N just didn't renew the lease.

The Nils-Sila pub, from what I hear, is going to open on the backside of the building, not in the Buckaroo space.

Regardless, the whole situation is complete crap, and could have been avoided if Seattle gave two shits about its history...how is a 72-year-old bar not given some kind of additional protections to prevent rapacious landlords from pulling stunts like this?

Also, and I hate to say this, but the current ownership needs to look up the term "leverage" in the dictionary.
7
Oh, yeah, and Birdy Num Num @2: I hope you're joking. Otherwise, you're a goddamned idiot. "Three or four great places north of the ship canal"? Are you serious? That kind of blind provincialism immediately disqualifies you from making disparaging remarks about another neighborhood's alleged self-involvement.
8
@1 ... really?

Wow. I'll go tell everyone who was at the Streets for Seattle event on my block last night to surrender then ...
9
I thought the smoking ban killed the Buckaroo. They'd almost need to burn the place down to get rid of the stench. Seriously, there may not be a smellier bar in Seattle, and that's a high threshold in a port city.

A good neighborhood pub, though, and clearly different than any other Fremont bar. Their only noise issue would be bikes firing up late at night, but at least you knew that meant they were leaving. Once you started seeing little sissy bikes out front, you knew things weren't the same.
10
And one more thing before I leave: Cienna's slightly condescending attitude toward this posted flyer is misguided (and commenters like Birdy Num Num can just fuck off). Yes, it's not "action-oriented," but it does build awareness. And we only found out last night they were going to close the place...is this person supposed to have a plan of action all mapped out and ready to go? Is there some "save a troubled but beloved neighborhood bar" template he was supposed to follow?

And just to be clear, I did not post the flyer. But I'm glad someone did.
11
I will not be patronizing Nils-Sila Pub.
12
Cripes, that's the only bar in Fremont worth going in. Another crappy restaurant, great.
13
Nils is a good friend of mine (so, I wholly admit that I've really only heard his side of the story), but, as I understand it, he and Lars bought the building 5-ish years ago 1) as a straightforward property investment and 2) to essentially save the building (and, consequently, the Buckaroo) from a handful of other developers that wanted to turn the whole property into condos. Bottom line, the owners of the Buckaroo haven't been able to pay rent for a while now, so it doesn’t make sense to renew their lease. In light of all of this, Nils did recently offer to buy the Buckaroo from the current owners so as to keep it going, but they asked for an absurd amount of money for the name/rights to the, now failing, business, which Nils didn’t accept. I won’t comment on his future plans, except to say that putting in a swanky restaurant, as this flier states, has never been a motivating factor in any of this.
14
All right, I'll reserve judgement til this all plays out.
That guys blog from @5 was certainly enlightening.
15
The Little Buckaroo was one of the first taverns licensed in Seattle following Prohibition, though not the first. In the 1970s, though, it was recognized as the longest continuous single family owned operation; at that time, Ruth McLean was still running things. It's always had character and simply would hate to see it go.
16
schmacky: Your story doesn't mesh with @5, who seems quite knowledgeable about the situation. Perhaps your outrage is misdirected.
17
@16: I should have read @5's link. Sounds like it's more about a screwed-up management situation than "rapacious landlords."

Still, seems like the buliding and bar ownerships could work something out since everybody agrees the tavern should exist in that spot. Kind of ironic, and really quite sad, that the widow owner, in trying to maintain her late husband's legacy, has effectively killed the bar.
18
I used to walk by the Buck every day on my way home from work, and I'd look in and think "Wow, it's like a slow-motion suicide lounge with too-loud motorcycles out front. It's only 5PM--did these people start drinking around lunch...yesterday?" Can't say I'll be sorry to see it go, particularly since the owners sound like idiots (if there's any truth to the linked blog).
19
As a really long-time Bucka-regular. I got all sorts of mixed feelings here. I would really hate to see the place close. But, the real Buckaroo died not long after Keith did. His wife is clueless about how to run a bar and installed her even more clueless grandson as de facto manager. The result has been a dramatic decline in customers and a wholesale fleeing of many regulars.

It's no surprise they haven't been making rent. The place is frequently near empty. This is a great example of incompetence killing the golden goose.
20
oh nooooes.....but where will I be able to see Letters to Cleo perform?
21
I'm also a friend of Lars & Nils, so I can't comment on the bar-owner side of things. However, these guys are hardly the evil landlord types. I remember when they bought the building a few years back they were both proud to be participating in saving "the Buck" by taking over and keeping the building and replacing things like the windows, the awning, renovating the then crappy apartments upstairs. It's worth noting that both Lars & Nils are carpenters by trade (it's how they make their livings) and saving an old building like this is up their alley. As born-and-raised Seattle boys they're also patrons of places like the Buckaroo, the Nine Pound Hammer and really value their place in local Seattle history.

Pretty much all the rumors flying around have been stuff I've heard from them over the years: the owner's husband ran a great biz, but when he died things went downhill. Paying rent has been an issue. They offered to buy and run the Buckaroo (and were excited to carry on the tradition) but were faced with an asking price from outer space (not to mention that there's back rent due). So, it's an unfortunate situation where an establishment has gone downhill as a viable business and chosen to destroy itself on the way out instead of doing the right thing and passing it along at a fair price to some motivated people.

Anyway, I'm sure there's more subtext and I don't have all the details but even the way the poster is written has a reactionary, trumped-up tone that seems to be hiding the real story. The easy story is "evil landlord destroys local business". The reality is closer to "local business goes bankrupt and throws a hissy fit on the way out". Too bad for everyone. If the folks running the protest stopped hyperventilating and persuaded the current owner to pass the Buck along, they would be doing everyone a big favor.
22
Well, shit. Like anyone who has lived in Seattle for more than a decade, I have such a sweet spot for the Buc - thee are so few of those places left. Hell, I still wince every time I pass the Nickerson, knowing that the 318 once stood there.

There appears to be a deeper story than just the proverbial "bad guy" landlord, but it is unsurprising that the post doesn't discuss it, given that Cienna is on the beat.
23
This is America, and although there are many great things about this country, a love and respect for history is not a big priority.
24
I always wanted the Buckaroo to be my go to neighborhood bar. I've lived a few blocks from it for a few years now but have only gone there maybe a dozen times. Why? Because it's run by fuck ups, only takes cash, doesn't serve booze or food, and the music is the bartender's choice and usually consists of Metallica's "Kill Em All" with some Stained-esque nu metal nightmare mixed in.

I don't like the idea of a place thats been around since 1938 being yet another victim of Fremont gentrification but lets face it, the Buckaroo, like the Blue Moon and so many other dive bars in Seattle, is a shitty bar. Maybe the new owners will put something decent in there... but not so decent that the morons down the hill will feel like walking the 5 blocks to visit.
25
ah schmacky - another fremontonian so supportive of their little center of the universe. shut it dude, fremont blows. i can recall living there in 1988 and buying clothes from mike's old clothes (where homegrown currently resides) and mike and his boyfriend were moving from fremont because "fremont sold out - this neighborhood is full of shit". funny, my landlord at the time left too because it was ruined. geez, people have probably been saying that since it crowned itself whatever it is...

volterra, joule, eva, paseo and cafe moose work for me. there you go - five! i was wrong there are more than three or four great places no. of the ship canal.
26
damn. i love this place. not surprised it's closing. anything worthwhile in Seattle has pretty much gone the way of the buffalo. hey, we don't need history when we've got money! right?

speaking of money, anyone wanna order a fantastic print of the soon to be defunct Buckaroo? here's a link to said print: http://www.flickr.com/photos/coreyhau/25…
27
I posted the flyers and I only told the story I knew at the time. I still want to save the Buckaroo no matter the situation. The flyer was made simply to raise awareness and so I guess mission accomplished! SAVE THE BUCKAROO!
28
NO, no, no! I've known both Donna Morey, the owner of the Buckaroo, and Lars and Nils for years (neither is aware of this - not my business to get involved) but I have to speak up here. The Christian brothers have never made an offer to buy the Buckaroo. Ever. And they brag about it - forcing out a tenant, a widow who always pays her rent and is a fixture in the community, makes them proud. Morey is the symbol of true American virtues, hard working and caring about her customers. Lars and Nills are the worst, money grubbing and soulless. They actually brag about trying to retroactively raise her rent! Fremont is losing more than a tavern - it is losing its soul.
29
NO, no, no! I've known both Donna Morey, the owner of the Buckaroo, and Lars and Nils for years (neither is aware of this - not my business to get involved) but I have to speak up here. The Christian brothers have never made an offer to buy the Buckaroo. Ever. And they brag about it - forcing out a tenant, a widow who always pays her rent and is a fixture in the community, makes them proud. Morey is the symbol of true American virtues, hard working and caring about her customers. Lars and Nills are the worst, money grubbing and soulless. They actually brag about trying to retroactively raise her rent! Fremont is losing more than a tavern - it is losing its soul.
30
NO, no, no! I've known both Donna Morey, the owner of the Buckaroo, and Lars and Nils for years (neither is aware of this - not my business to get involved) but I have to speak up here. The Christian brothers have never made an offer to buy the Buckaroo. Ever. And they brag about it - forcing out a tenant, a widow who always pays her rent and is a fixture in the community, makes them proud. Morey is the symbol of true American virtues, hard working and caring about her customers. Lars and Nills are the worst, money grubbing and soulless. They actually brag about trying to retroactively raise her rent! Fremont is losing more than a tavern - it is losing its soul.
31
Pithy & DS,
if you are really a friend of Lars & Nils then you’re a low-life too! I have known Donna and Keith Morey, owners of the Buckaroo for more than sixty years. They have always paid their rent and all their bills on time all of their lives.
But you are right about one thing! Lars and Nils did want the Buckaroo; they just didn’t want to Pay for it. They waited for Keith to die and then they theorized his widow, knowing she had been a housewife most of her life. But to there surprise, Donna is as tough as a boiled owl. And she has stood up to them like a trooper. You Go Girl.

Save the Buckaroo!!!

P.S. I don’t think Lars & Nils have any friends. I think Pithy & DS are Lars and Nils spreading Lies

People of Fremont stand up! You will not know what you have lost until it’s gone...
32
Whoa ... now I'm a "low-life" for commenting on a post? Um ... I think you've lost perspective. These aren't evil forces at work. I've personally never met Donna so I'll trust she's a great person, but I do know Lars & Nils and I can comment on both of 'em. They're great guys. They've worked on my house over the years. I've attended parties and Nils' wedding.

It's misleading and a bit nuts for your to say "They waited for Keith to die". Really? You really know that to be true? Must be nice to read minds. The problem with conspiracy theorists is that everything becomes a conspiracy. Now, suddenly I'm the friendless Lars & Nils "spreading lies". Do you vote for Tea Party candidates? They love this stuff!

Anyhow, be a hater and a victim. It makes for an interesting (if not paranoid) life.
33
Fuck the Buck! That establishment has absolutely NO regard for any of its neighbors, ever. They drink/smoke out on the sidewalk/fron deck until 130 a.m. All the while screaming, hootin and hollerin! The door gets left open and cheesy/loud music finds itws way into my house, even with the windows closed. I hear they are closing, yipppppeeeeee1 Can't wait. when I see the lights go out, I'll have a party, yeeehaw!
Having fun is kool and the gang-but having to tolerate this shit every night, without respite, is another thing entirely. Bars in residential neighborhoods only benefit the bar and the consumers...what about the students, workers, and other people who would like to live in peace, without their thoughts being raped!

Sya it loud- FUCK THE BUCK-FUCK THE BUCK-FUCK THE BUCK
Fremont Ave N
34
Fuck the Buck! That establishment has absolutely NO regard for any of its neighbors, ever. They drink/smoke out on the sidewalk/fron deck until 130 a.m. All the while screaming, hootin and hollerin! The door gets left open and cheesy/loud music finds itws way into my house, even with the windows closed. I hear they are closing, yipppppeeeeee1 Can't wait. when I see the lights go out, I'll have a party, yeeehaw!
Having fun is kool and the gang-but having to tolerate this shit every night, without respite, is another thing entirely. Bars in residential neighborhoods only benefit the bar and the consumers...what about the students, workers, and other people who would like to live in peace, without their thoughts being raped!

Sya it loud- FUCK THE BUCK-FUCK THE BUCK-FUCK THE BUCK
Fremont Ave N
35
This place has got to go. They have no respect for their costumers. The "manager" is a jerk, when i visited with my friends I went straight to the management to complain about a guy harassing girls, and what does he do? Talks to the guy for a second, and then he pushes/hits me on the chest and tell me I have to go! I'm sorry but i do not want to patronize places, where managers go on a power trip and decides its OK to hit a costumer, for not reason other than asking them to do something about another jerk. Even though this place is closing, I will be speaking with the owner so that she doesnt hire people like this again , relative or not.
36
Here's the thing about living in a capitalistic society, everything is about money. If Donna had wanted to buy the building, she should have done it when it was for sale and Lars and Nils bought it, but she didn't and now it is their building to do what they want with. If she isn't paying rent, they have to pay their mortgage somehow and should be allowed to get a tenant who does pay the rent. It is sad and doesn't seem fair, but everything changes and that is how the world progresses.
37
Used to drink at the Buck in the 80s and 90s. Met my husband at the Buckaroo. Been sober for over 8 years now, partially due to the Buckaroo. ;) Even being a sober person, I feel tremendous grief and loss that this historic and unique place is shutting down. I'll never forget the Harleys riding through the Buck at 2am revving their engines letting us know it was time to go.... nor the bartenders that let us drink hard liquor in the back room. Also the folks that frequented the joint. Thanks Buckaroo, I will be in mourning knowing you're not there anymore.

Signed,
A former patron
38
I drank *heavily* at the Buck in the 80s and 90s, even met my husband there. I stopped drinking over 8 years ago, in part because of the Buck ;) but I have great memories of that place. Even now, being a non-drinker, it is a HUGE loss for Seattle to lose this historic and unique establishment. The Harleys riding around the pool tables at closing time revving their engines, telling us it's time to go home, the unique and diverse crowd, the 'mom & pop' atmosphere, our friends the bartenders who let me and husband drink hard liquor in the back room.... This little place can't be duplicated, ever.

Just like the Twin Teepees, The Dog House, Frontier Room, etc. the Buck is part of old Seattle. Seattle is losing it's soul. You'll be missed by many, Buckaroo!!

signed,
A former patron
39
I'm a biker who's been coming to the Buck for a few years, and I've had good and bad times there, just like any other place. I first went there because motorbikes were parked out front, and I was always treated well by almost all of the people I have met there. On closing night I, and other "Brothers" did burnouts inside the bar to pay our respects no matter what anyone has said, as I don't know the story at all, just someone who "showed up" on a regular basis to have a beer, meet people and say hi. I'll miss the place, people and good times. It sort of reminds me of a poem by A.E Housman; "With rue my heart is laden". With rue my heart is laden for golden friends I had, for many a rose-liped maiden, and many a light foot lad. By brooks to broad for leaping, the lightfoot lads are laid; the rose-lipt girls are sleeping in fields where roses fade. I'll miss the old girl; it was a great ride!
40
It seems that every time something changes in Fremont, everyone complains. I completely understand and respect the idea of preserving historic places, but at what price? Everyone talks about the "real" Fremont, the "old" Fremont and how it's "gone downhill since 19-whatever when they moved here and bought this and that from this place and went to this old restaurant that isn't nearly as good as the ones now and yadda yadda, whoopdie freakin do!" America is about change and progression. Let's preserve historic sites like the ones wars were fought on or civil rights was being fought for. Not the "I did shots of whiskey with my buddies at this bar back in 1985, save the Buck!" I loved the Buck, trust me. New business may mean "less parking spots in your neighborhood." But I live in Seattle because it's progressive, has great local food, and is supportive of local business. It's not like Applebee's is opening in the old Buck. For the love of God, let's support the local entrepreneurs and welcome them to our great neighborhood. Good business means, good people, better neighbors, a lively environment, and a proud neighborhood. I loved Fremont in 1985, and I love Fremont now. I like change, I would go crazy if I had to eat the same food and go to the same bar every day. Let's meet new people, try new things, grow and adapt! It's good for your heart, mind, body, and soul!