Cruising Northwest

A Northwest Cruising Guide, Boating Resource Guide and Magazine

Boats, Bars, and Baseball – 6

Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner! Winner! Surprise! The Oak Harbor Tavern is an unexpected waterfront gem. It is an old-school tavern that serves no food, no hard liquor–just beer and wine–and no children are allowed. I have not been in a traditional tavern for years and years.


The Oak Harbor Tavern sits on the waterfront, right near the town dinghy dock. The town has spent a ton of money on the old, historic waterfront. The tavern is one of the oldest businesses in town. It has been a tavern continuously since the 1850s. It was founded by John Barrington, an English sea captain. The business has been called Barrington Store, Saloon, Warehouse and Pier.


Kelly Beedle owns it now and has for 30 years. She was tending bar when I was there and added a lot of character. It is a hangout for Navy fly boys and their women. It has a 25-foot, u-shaped bar, with dollar bills stapled to the walls; what those are for, only fly boys know for sure. They have Bud Light on tap, as well as a tap that they rotate with beers such as Dead Frog, Pelican, and Oregon Umbrella. The place is not fancy; old bars should never be. I didn’t have to ask them to turn on the Mariners–it was already on. They have many TVs, too.


Oak Harbor has a great marina close by, with guest moorage, fuel and a yacht club–an easy walk to the tavern. It is a great stop if you want to bring the big boat and don`t want to go by dinghy. The Oak Harbor Tavern receives a 5 out of 5 dinghy rating. It is by far the most interesting and surprising stop on my Boats, Bars and Baseball tour so far. Wow!

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