From Our Editors
The Three Faces of Blue Moon Tavern
When Blue Moon Tavern opened in 1934, it was still illegal to sell alcohol within a mile of the University of Washington campus due to local temperance laws. Luckily, Blue Moon set up shop at the 1 mile mark, and thirsty students were more than happy to make the trek. It also attracted its share of intellectual heavyweights, including poets Allen Ginsberg and Dylan Thomas. When he beatnik hangout started to decline in the 1970s, diehard fans rallied to save it, paving the way for it to receive official landmark status in 1990. The no-frills bar continues to draw students and suits alike with cash-only beer and peanuts—the shells of which blanket the floor.
The soundtrack at Blue Moon Tavern changes depending on the day. From Thursday through Monday, it’s live music, with a jazz jam kicking things off every Thursday afternoon. Wednesday brings open-mic night, and on select Mondays, bar-goers may be treated to Opera on Tap, where chamber-music singers belt out classical hits without breaking a single glass.
“Dive bar” is probably the best way to describe Blue Moon Tavern. The aging posters on the wall have been there for decades, and the initials of drunken vandals remain scratched into the wooden booths. Though this tavern isn’t a spot for fancy craft cocktails, its the perfect place for shooting the breeze with friendly a bartender, or taking part in a wacky tradition, such as the semi-blasphemous annual Christmas pageant.