The Spar Tavern in Old Town

o6CThe Old Tacoma saloon opened in 1884 on this site.  The building was torn down and replaced in 1917 by the David Building. The first tenants were the Radonich Brother’s, who operated a men’s clothing store, a billiard parlor and a soft drink establishment and in 1920 a restaurant called The Spar.  In 1933, at the end of prohibition, alcohol replaced soft drinks for the workers of Old Town. The Radonich Brothers decided to remain a tavern and serve only beer and wine.  Today, The Spar is a landmark in Old Town and still serves up beer, wine, and now coffee!

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Old Town’s Saint Peter’s Church

o7CSaint Peter’s Church, built in 1873, is the oldest church in Tacoma. and has been placed in the National Register of Historic Places.  It was built by the townspeople of Old Tacoma in seven days!  The second hand pump organ that is still in use today, came around Cape Horn in 1874.

Old Town’s Knights of Pythias Temple

o62Now known as Carr’s Hall, this venerable building was built in 1880 as the Knights of Pythias Temple.  An interesting group of tenants followed including the Bethel Mission, Presbyterian Sunday School, Star Grocery and Anton Bush’s Grocery Store.  In 1983 it was completely remodeled and opened as Grazie’s Restaurant.  Today it is home to the Connelly Law Office.

Too Many Saloons in Old Town

o75The Murphy Building was built in 1888 by Michael Murphy for $6000.00.  After completion of the building, Mr Murphy applied to the City Council for a saloon license for “The Murphy”.  The license was not granted.  The citizens of Old Town  said “there was one saloon to every twenty five voters already!”  The building had many other uses over the years including a barbershop, union hall for longshoremen and business offices.