The Skoog, Tacoma's original speakeasy?

By Matt Driscoll on May 13, 2010


When I arrived at work today there was an email waiting in my inbox from Deborah Bach, editor and co-founder of Three Sheets Northwest - an online boating magazine based out of Seattle.

Apparently, true to her job title, Bach recently boated to Tacoma to explore some of our city's "grit" - and dive bars.

To make a medium sized story short, Bach Googled "Tacoma Dive Bars" and came up with this - The Skoog.

According to The Skoog's Web site, it's "Tacoma's original speakeasy" or "blind pig."


Evidence suggests it was established in 1916 when prohibition began and probably served local mill workers into the 1930's. After the repeal of prohibition in 1933, The Skoog closed its doors and was sealed off by the home owner at the request of Mayor M.G. Tennent. Little else is known of its history. ...

The Skoog was all but forgotten until 2007 when a plumber working on a major home remodel accidentally uncovered evidence of a hidden room below a bathroom. A wall in the basement was knocked down and a 15' x 40' room was revealed. The Skoog was rediscovered, untouched for over 70 years. Though covered in cobwebs and dust, the 14' bar was intact and some furniture and wall decor were still in place. ...

The Skoog's original bar is serving again and features a wide variety of spirits and beers. True to its origins, all beer is refrigerated in bottles and cans as there was no system for kegs in this underground bar. As The Skoog cannot legally sell or distribute alcohol, it maintains its blind pig status in its undisclosed location near Puget Gulch. If you can find The Skoog and you know the secret password, maybe you can experience Old Tacoma's original dive bar for yourself ...

Bach was emailing to ask me, and by default every other empoyee stationed at Weekly Volcano World Headquarters, if I'd ever heard of The Skoog. Sadly, I had not. Even more baffling, neither had anyone on the Volcano's staff of infamous alcoholics.

The Skoog - myth or reality? I'm not sure what to make of it, but it's an interesting thing to think about on a day when you're stuck inside your cubicle. Do you know the location, and secret password of The Skoog? Maybe you do. ...

LINK: The Seattle Weekly picked up on the baffling mystery of The Skoog this morning.