Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Arnie's Bar


Arnie's Irish Bar is a Tulsa institution. Arnie Simmons opened his bar in 1956 on 15th Street. It was what is called a "shotgun" bar, a long narrow room with a bar down the length, bar stools next to the bar, good shuffleboard tables along the other side, with just enough room to walk between them. At the far end were a few tables and chairs, a toilet, and a back door.


It had a certain atmosphere that made it feel special. Part of that was Arnie's music. He had an old reel to reel tape drive and an enormous collection of jazz. The music was always going, loud enough so you could hear it, not so loud that you couldn't talk. People would ask Arnie for something specific and he would shrug it off like he didn't hear, then pretty soon you would hear it playing. It was a nice place to hang out. I never had the time to be a regular but went in there when I had a chance. It was famous for being a madhouse on St. Patrick's Day.



Arnie retired, I gave up drinking, and I haven't been there in a long time. It passed into the hands of Donal Cosgrave who appreciated it and kept it going. Eventually he relocated to a space on the corner of 2nd and Elgin with the old Blue Dome Station on one side and Rose's Pawn on the other. Across the street is the Blue Dome Diner. He is in good company.

Arnie's Bar has a good website with a more complete cronicle of the history of the place. It is a good read and I recommend it. Check out Arnie's Bar.

6 comments:

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Interesting history of Arnie's Bar - thank you for sharing it with us.

My husband would have enjoyed the ambience as his tipple of choice was a couple of pints of Guinness and his favourite music - jazz.

Anne

Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

I've been meaning to try it out.

Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

My husband used to comment that he always felt "full" after two pints - I believe it's an acquired taste - so I should try a half first time round!!

Anne

Tulsa Gentleman said... [Reply to comment]

I understand that Arnie's has Guinness on tap so he would feel right at home. I used to enjoy Guinness when I was drinking. I understand it is an acquired tase. If so, I acquired it early.

Yogi - the web site has a band schedule on it. You might like to catch an airish band while you are there.

Elleona said... [Reply to comment]

Je salive rien qu'à voir l'enseigne "cold beer" !
Il fait trop chaud, ici.
Bisous à tous les deux et caresses à Smokey.

Zhu said... [Reply to comment]

The first picture makes me feel strangely nostalgic for some reason. A quiet street, very American by my European standard... almost a movie shot.