To my surprise, they don’t serve thistles! They do, however, serve oysters. The Oyster and Thistle is my first stop on my dinghy tour of all the waterfront bars on the Puget Sound.
I was looking for everything that a good bar should have: a bar with a gorgeous bartender with an ample, heaving bosom, a TV for viewing the Mariners, and close to the water. The O&T has a fantastic bar room that is reminiscent of an Irish pub. It has lots of dark woodwork that has been recently redone and varnished, and several snug booths in which to hide out. The bar has about six bar stools and six local beers on tap. It is breathtakingly lovely—by far, one of the best atmospheres in LaConner.
The only problem with the bar is that the TV is not above the bar, as it should be but is located in the back room. The backroom is nice and cozy, with comfortable furniture in which to watch the game, but you somehow feel left out of the action or like you are in a library. So, it is not my first choice for watching the game.
I heartily recommend the bar for a romantic get-away for two–especially on a rainy day. The prices are moderate. I had a $9 pub burger. It was delectable (big word of the day). A buddy I was with had the shepherd’s pie (very British, I must say).
The O&T is owned by Palmer’s, who used to be in the building before they moved to the waterfront in the old Lighthouse building.
It seems to be a hangout for old locals and hippies (you can always spot old hippies, as they always wear greens, grays and woolens, drive a Subaru and listen to Crosby, Stills and Nash). I met two old-timers who lived in Fish Town on the Skagit River in the sixties. They had been hanging out in the bar since before it was Palmer’s, or before time began.
I like the place very much, but I can only give it four out of five dinghies because of the location of the TV—too mellow for baseball.
The trip over in my dinghy from Shelter Bay presented no problems—hardly any whitecaps. If you tie up on the inside of the new docks, it is free.
Next stop, the historic Boat Shed Restaurant on the water in Manett, across the bridge from Bremerton.