Back to Archives

King Solomon's Reef

Olympia and Black Butte Porter â€" deal with it

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

I immediately want to compare this quaint diner to Tacoma’s very own Harvester. Add a bit more history, a cozy feel, and you have King Solomon’s Reef. One of the biggest comparisons is the hidden hole behind the dining area that houses one of Olympia’s best dive bars: The Reef.

Past the historic breakfast counter, past the smell of fresh baked pies, through a doorway, around a corner, past the restrooms and down a narrow hall is where you find the dilapidated wooden door that is the entry to dive bar paradise.

First things first: The Reef gives me a chance to get my drunk on at 6 a.m. As you know by now, this makes my special place all tingly. The earlier, the better, baby. All the regulars are belly-up to the bar, chatting away with Pam, the oldest bartender at The Reef. She’ll convince you to order food, sell you on the fact that it’s all wonderful, then stroke you while you sip whatever drink she decides to pour for you. Just like mamma used to do.

The warmth and congeniality of everyone in the room sends you into a comfortable smile and forces you to curl up in the corner and stay awhile. Dead (real? or fake?) fish mounted on the walls, leather barstools, typical dive bar flooring, wood paneling, low ceilings, ABBA to AC/DC on the jukebox, and a full menu until 1:45 a.m. make The Reef the place to be for late drunk-grub and divey-drinks.

What struck me as totally awesome on the dive bar scale was the fact that their beer taps are mounted in a wall-refrigerator-thingy, and there’s only two random beers to choose from: Olympia and Black Butte Porter. I still laugh inside when I picture the mental image in my head.

Take the time to stop by The Reef next time you’re in Oly-town. Make sure you say hi to Larry for me. You’ll find him at the bar; I can pretty much guarantee this. Hell, he’s had the same seat there for the past 35 years. That right there makes this place an official dive bar.

King Solomon’s Reef

Mullet count: 2

Food: homemade and yummy

Beer: so-so/poor

Bar Exam Dive Grade: A

comments powered by Disqus