Back to Archives


A tiny tavern in Puyallup

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

It was only a matter of time before I graced the tiny tavern named Bumpy’s in Puyallup.

My gal-pal JustJen had been telling me to visit this joint since the first day we did the Bar Exam at Wayne’s Inn. I very rarely listen to her or heed her advice, so it took her constant nagging to eventually get me in there. I was stopping by for the theoretical “just one beer,” and I’m thinking you can guess how well that went.

It’s 3 p.m. on a Friday and Bumpy’s is a-bumpin’ all right. It’s a mixture of white collar, blue collar, and no-collar men and women. They’re coming in by the busloads, as if they had been waiting for three o’clock all day. I immediately dial in for my reinforcements, and before you know it it’s six o’clock and I have my posse at my side.

One of the most common dive-bar aspects that I’m finding is: the smaller the better. A lower capacity number equals a better “dive grade.” A rough estimate sends me a number of approximately 50 or 60 capacity. What’s crazy about Bumpy’s is within this small space lies the actual kitchen (a 6-foot by 6-foot box), two dart machines (huge, floor standing models), a 10-foot by 10-foot dance floor (that the dart machines are on), a fully loaded wall of pull tabs, and some bartenders that could kick my ass with a smile on their faces.

Perched on a leather barstool, I enjoyed my cold beer out of an old-school heavy honeycomb mug, counted the various shades of off-white within the large ceiling tiles, and noticed that every light fixture had a different vintage 1970s cover. (All adorned with crafty domestic beer logos, of course.) One particular light had a crack in it, but that didn’t stop Bumpy’s from repairing it with a large piece of scotch tape. That right there is a classic dive bar repair — nice move Bumpy’s, nice move.


Food: They told me it was the best pizza ever. I tasted it: Puget Sound Pizza is better.

Beer: cold — average domestic, couple of so-so micros on tap

Service: pretty good, but very friendly

Mullet count: zero

Bar Exam Dive Grade: B-

[Bumpy’s, 116 E. Main Ave., Puyallup, 253.841.2931]

Comments for "Bumpy's"

Comments for this article are currently closed.