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What’s old is new again

McMenamins Spar Cafe & Bar

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In the greater scheme of things, there comes a point in time when a girl has no choice but to spread her wings.

But have no fear, fancy faces, I won’t be flying too far away, at least not yet.

You all know that I love the T-Town scene so dearly, but I’ve also been in need of a change of scenery.

Rather than being clichéed and going up to Seattle for their ever-evolving restaurant and nightlife scene, I went in the opposite direction.

Olympia, or as it’s referred to in my world, Oly-Oly-Oh.

Honestly, I’ve been to Oly a couple of times, but I’ve never really had an opportunity to get to know this city.

Thus, I asked my Facebook friends for recommendations on where to go, and wound up in an establishment that I’ve been itching to check out.

McMenamins Spar Cafe & Bar!

A league of Weekly Volcano writers have consumed the goodness and spit the truth about this establishment, but now that I’ve recently checked it out, I’ve got to throw in some thoughts of my own.

First of all, this restaurant and bar is ideally located in adorable downtown Olympia. On this recent visit, I simply had fun walking up and down the streets of downtown while taking mental notes about other places that I wanted to check out.

Upon entering the Spar, my eyes widened to take in all of its comfortable historic grandeur, amazing woodwork that’s perfectly-accompanied with inspiring iron work, and old-world chandeliers.

Through further investigation, I learned that The Spar has been family owned for the last 60 of its 70 years in existence, and it has changed ownership to a Portland-based company that I adore for the way they restore and preserve historic properties: McMenamins.

During this first visit, I was meeting a friend who wanted to sit in the spacious wood booths, which I agreed to, but deep down, I was so drawn to their beautiful, long bar, especially in an effort to sneak a peek at their handsome beers on tap and cigars for sale.

My friend and I were only there for lunch, but I’d be so willing to bet that this establishment is packed with people in the evening and late-night hours.

The pub food was perfect, the ambiance was relaxed, and I can’t wait to go back to see what the scene is like when this business is buzzing with Oly regulars.

Please expect to read more about the amazing Olympia through this column in the coming weeks. I’m quickly learning that this inviting city is requiring much more investigation.

Check our South Puget Sound neighbor out now!


[McMenamins Spar Cafe & Bar, 114 Fourth Ave E., Olympia, 360.357.6444]

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