Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ruby Tuesday - Arnie's Bar

Good old Arnie's Bar, a Fashionably seedy pub and a Tulsa institution.  First opened by Arnie Simmons in 1956 on 15th Street, it is now located at 2nd and Elgin, literally next door to the old Blue Dome service station and across the street from the Blue Dome Diner.  I used to go there back in the late 1960s and early 1970s when I was a grad student at TU and could get over in the evening after a class.  I didn't have the time to be a regular although I think I would have enjoyed that.  It is what is known as a shotgun bar, long and narrow with a bar along one side and tables in the back.  The idea being that if you stuck a shotgun in the front door and pulled the trigger you would probably hit every one in the place.  Arnie had a huge collection of jazz stored on 7 inch reels of recording tape.  If you asked to listen to something in particular he would growl that he didn't take requests but 15 or 20 minutes later you would hear what you asked for.  Arnie had character, and he ran a good clean bar that was a pretty laid back place except for St. Patrick's Day when all bets were off.  My drinking days are over but I understand it is still a great place for a cold beer, some decent music, and a congenial crowd.  There is an interesting history of the place you can read HERE

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Anonymous said... [Reply to comment]

Love the sign picture. These are so uniquely American to me!

DrillerAA09 said... [Reply to comment]

The sign alone is an icon.

Yogi♪♪♪ said... [Reply to comment]

Great sign. I've never been in it. Probably should but I'm not sure Sweetie would appreciate it if I showed up half soused after work.

Leedslass said... [Reply to comment]

Does Arnie still run the bar?

Angie said... [Reply to comment]

I could just go for a nice cool beer right now!! Great pic for RT.

Jan n Jer said... [Reply to comment]

Thats a great sign...great shot. Never heard the term...shotgun bar...very interesting.

Francisca said... [Reply to comment]

Nicely told and a great red sign, Bill!

Unknown said... [Reply to comment]

@Zhu - Arnie's is an old fashioned American bar which is what makes it interesting. US bars are not like British pubs although many pretend to be. A man might take his wife and kids to a pub to have a bite to eat and socialize with his neighbors. American bars tend towards an all male clientele who come there primarily to drink, although not necessarily to get drunk. Arnie also had one of the best shuffleboard tables in town, dead level and smooth as glass.

@Yogi - 2 beers while you play a quick game of shuffleboard will not get you in too much trouble. It is when you make a night of it that the wife gets testy.

@Anne - Arnie retired and sold the place to Donal Cosgrave, a Tulsa lad with Killarney roots. Donal kept it going and moved it to its present location in 2000 when the lease ran out on its original location. Read the history I linked to at the end of the post. It is well done.