There’s a lot of history wrapped up in the iconic waterfront building located at 614 S. First Street that houses La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib House, especially the space that has been a part of La Conner’s history for nearly 100 years – including stints as Mal’s Tavern and the 1890’s Lounge. Recently restored and remodeled, the 1890’s Lounge is set to reopen on June 2 and history buffs from around the Northwest are excited to see the old bar come back to life.
The Grand Opening on June 2nd is the culmination of a long-held dream for owners Kari and Jason VandenBosch, who have owned the La Conner Seafood and Prime Rib House since 2008. “We love the fact that our restaurant, and now the lounge, is housed in a building with so much La Conner history in its walls,” says Kari. With a wink and a nod Kari mentions smuggling and gambling –all a part of the history of the building that goes back nearly 100 years.
The lounge, with its front-row seat of the Swinomish Channel through a wall of windows and an expansive deck, will offer classic pub fare – along with hand-crafted libations, beer and wine. As much as possible, ingredients are sourced locally; when in season, produce comes from the local farm fields and seafood comes from local fishermen. There will be daily specials and seasonal specials (for summer think local oysters on the half-shell with a raspberry mignonette), plus a weekly locals’ night that includes discounted pricing.
The atmosphere harkens back to the building’s earliest days – when fishermen, loggers, farmers and locals swapped stories over a cold one. The original beadboard still lines the west wall of the lounge space and historic La Conner photos and news clippings will add to the ‘old-time’ atmosphere. Eventually, Kari and Jason plan to have a journal – where patrons who knew the lounge in its much younger days can share their stories of spending time in the lounge, and new patrons can add to the journal as the lounge history continues into the future.
The 1890’s Lounge Grand Opening is scheduled for Saturday June 2nd from 11:30am-9:00pm and will include live music from 7:00pm-9:00pm.