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location:lincoln city

Pier 101 Excerpts from the signs of Pier 101 Restaurant and Bar in Lincoln City read: “A Deluxe Bar. No Sushi. No Yuppie Food.” This is a code. As chief cryptologist for the Let it Pour Kingdom, let me decode, “A Deluxe Bar. No Sushi. No Yuppie Food,” for readers searching for an agreeable place to begin the bender that will accompany the run-up to the Inauguration and culminate in….I fear mine. But first let me offer readers an excellent excuse for any unseemly behavior that might occur during this dark time. While living near the Pacific Northwest Coast many years ago, the madman writer Malcolm Lowery once excused one of his epic drunken rampages by saying, simply, “That was ocean air and gin.” Well of course it was. What the code really means is that Pier 101’s customers like to drink alcohol (a lot) in a 1970s-style lounge, and if you don’t think that’s cool, then go to hell, or worse, a bar where people wear clothes purchased from catalogues, or even worse, a bar that places Clark’s name before Lewis’ and charges $7.50 for a 12-ounce draft of Belgian ale and $14 for a plate of four ravioli. In other words, if you don’t think ordering a double well gin on the rocks is cool, then visit a smokeless brew pub and correct your children’s grammar. Pier 101 will serve you that double well gin on the rocks and no locals there will ever think you have a drinking problem. They will want to meet you and maybe even suggest an upgrade. Upon entering Pier 101, a customer is faced with choices: 1) head left into the restaurant for traditional surf and turf; 2) go straight through the saloon doors and sit at the island bar populated by the regulars; 3) head right and descend into the sunken lounge dominated by a circular stone hearth and gas fireplace. Now the first choice is preposterous. The second choice is acceptable since you will hear great local fuck-up stories of Lincoln City life. The third choice is recommended. It’s like walking through a portal into 1972, which in fact, was when Pier 101 opened. The lounge’s interior is straight from the pages of a Patrick O’Brian novel and on my recent visit to Pier 101, I half expected to see Captain Jack Aubrey and Dr. Stephen Maturin playing a duet near the fireplace and knocking back the claret. In the lounge it is wood, wood, wood like a sea captain’s quarters and large circular windows that reveal Highway 101 in all its commercial splendor. There is also one mysterious alcove completely hidden from the bar and 99-percent of the rest of the joint that has undoubtedly been the home of buzzed and hastened coupling for over three decades. The alcove is inviting (dangerous for some) but the fireplace is where the action in Pier 101 is. In fact, a marriage took place there not long ago, which was preceded by a bachelorette party, lovingly decorated with balloon condoms. Marriages and parties unfold in Pier 101 but so does bizarre political action. Recently, a transient barged into the lounge holding a staff and fishing pole. He demanded immediate financial assistance to continue his singular and heroic effort to legalize marijuana. He was shown the door as most visionaries are, but he fights the good stoned fight to overturn the dumbest law in American history. I’ve been tied off at the Pier 101 three times now and on each occasion Jimmy Buffet was playing on the stereo and “Cheeseburger in Paradise” never sounded so fantastic. That is appropriate. Jimmy belongs in the lounge. I am sure if he visited he would make a recommendation, much like the one I overheard about Pier 101. An elderly man eating a Dungeness crab as big as his head was telling the waitress that, “Leroy from Vale said to be sure to stop in the 101 when in Lincoln City. So here we are.” You can be sure that if Leroy from Vale thinks a bar is cool, it is. He understands the code.
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