Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Logger Reborn

Posted By on Thu, Nov 15, 2012 at 8:26 AM

We've been hearing rumblings about what's going on at the historic Logger Bar out in Blue Lake. The venerable establishment kitty-corner from Dell'Arte changed hands and new owner Kate Martin (below) has been hard at work refurbishing with a crew of volunteers including Bad Bob Ornelas.

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Official announcement of a ribbon-cutting and re-opening scheduled for this Saturday:

Blue Lake's Logger Bar, first opened in 1899, will reopen under new management with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17. New owner Kate Martin has transformed the local watering hole with new paint, new fixtures, and more seating to give it the feel of a cozy neighborhood bar. She'll be open seven days a week.

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Martin says she is keeping on display the historic logging memorabilia installed by previous owner Eugene Supko. Dozens of logging photographs from many decades will be back on the walls. Saws, hardhats, and logging gear donated by Logger Bar clientele over the years will be on display again, and the newly polished steam donkey will continue to heat the bar. In a uniquely creative move, Martin has inlaid giant round saw blades into the newly stripped and finished wood floors.

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Close to 100 volunteers have put in countless hours to get the Logger cleaned, painted and refurbished in time for the Nov. 17, grand re-opening. Martin says, "Without the help of neighbors and friends I'd be up shit creek."

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At one time there were three bars within two blocks of each other in Blue Lake -- The Logger, Walt's Friendly Tavern and the Mad River Rose. In the '70s this "terrible triangle" drew HSU students to Blue Lake on the weekends and bands like the Robert Cray Band made music. Walt's closed in the '80s and is now the Chumayo Spa. The Mad River Rose has been shuttered for years. But for more than 100 years the Logger has never closed.

Supko bought the bar from Sid Madjarac in 1994. For many years The Logger was a hangout for locals working in the timber industry, but the decline of logging in the region brought about a gradual changeover in the bar's patrons. Audiences, artists and students from the neighboring Dell'Arte International made it a favorite spot to relax after rehearsals and performance nights. A group of women musicians and songwriters even named themselves "The Brendas" after long-term Logger bartender Brenda.

Martin hopes that her bar will attract a cross-section of the local population. The bar will feature a variety of beers, a full bar, a piano, ping pong and a quarter pool table right where it's always been. She'll be open daily, with longer hours on weekends.

The Logger Bar at 510 Railroad Avenue in Blue Lake will be open Thursday through Saturday, noon until 2 a.m. and Sunday through Wednesday, noon to midnight. Call them at 707-668-5000. Friend them on Facebook.

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Bob Doran

Bob Doran

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Contributing photographer.

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