Pin It
Favorite

Mosey On In, You're Part of History 

Distilled: A shot of life

click to enlarge JESSIE SPACCIA ILLUSTRATION
  • Jessie Spaccia illustration

The Moezy Inn Tavern is the sort of dimly lit hole-in-the-wall joint where people know one another. They're here tonight because they're always here. Women, without shame, burp loudly after taking swigs from their Busch Light cans. Dogs often accompany their owners. Old men, the kind who'll take a taxi home tonight, offer to buy half pitchers of Budweiser for grandmothers across the horseshoe-shaped bar. The bartender kisses a patron good night, out of respect and admiration. There are no bros or bearded beer snobs. No one puts on any airs.

Folks have nicknames when full names aren't given. There's bartender Chief Running Late; his stitched baseball cap even says so. There's Cross-eyed Rich, the kind of cowboy who still goes fishing for his dinner, even in the winter. The scarily lifelike statue in the Seahawks poncho taking up a stool up front? That's Flo.

Some days of the week are designated as poker or dart tournaments. In the summer there are tricycle races and potlucks out back. Tonight, it's Saturday and that means karaoke.

Rich ambles over to the karaoke station and readies for his song.

"I don't know if I can sing right now. I had a minor heart attack last night," he says, into the microphone.

"Shut the hell up, Rich, and sing," someone shouts.

He warbles into George Jones' "He Stopped Loving Her Today." He peels off his chocolate brown leather jacket and tosses his cream-colored cowboy hat, revealing tufts of white hair.

"That was great," declares Pam, a 15-year regular donning a black Moezy Inn Tavern T-shirt. "Just no stripping again, OK?"

The dipping ceiling and wood-paneled walls within this moss-green building on North Monroe Street have been here since the Moezy Inn Beer Parlor first started serving in 1945. Current co-owner Jeremy Huston, sitting at his bar tonight, recalls a time, maybe 10 years back, when three World War II vets stopped in.

"They said they visited this place right after the war was over — they couldn't believe how much it hadn't changed," he says.

The building has stood here since 1900, watching various creatures come and go. Huston says it originally served as a blacksmith shop and stables for horses used at the nearby Corbin Park racetrack. But in 1929 (when Spokane city records began noting by address), Lansdown Grocers held the property. It wouldn't be remade as a bar until 1940. Through its 115 years on the planet, the location has simply provided for its neighborhood.

It's now Huston's turn at the microphone. He launches into the barely-a-minute-long Cheers theme song.

"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. ... You want to go where everybody knows your name."

It gets a little bit quieter in the house.

"Nailed it!" someone hollers.♦

  • Pin It

Speaking of Distilled

  • The Big Friendly
  • The Big Friendly

    Racists, bullwhips and the looming smell of fire: Road-tripping to America's heartland and back
    • Mar 31, 2016
  • Chinese Food and Hip Shimmies
  • Chinese Food and Hip Shimmies

    Distilled: Belly dancers entertain at an unlikely bar every Friday night
    • Mar 10, 2016
  • A Drinking Memoir
  • A Drinking Memoir

    Distilled: Love and loss, over a lifetime
    • Jan 14, 2016
  • More »

Latest in Arts & Culture

  • NEVER 
GONNA 
GIVE 
YOU UP
  • NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP

    Nostalgia for the '80s remains in hyperdrive. Why does the era's pop culture still resonate?
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Remnants 
of Rome
  • Remnants of Rome

    Gonzaga's hit Ancient Roman exhibition is a look into the past and the capability of the university's museum
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY
  • ART | FIRST FRIDAY

    It's the final Spokane art stroll of the year
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Real and Implied

Real and Implied @ Prichard Art Gallery

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Jan. 28

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Most Commented On

Readers also liked…

  • Blind Faith
  • Blind Faith

    In a vacant lot by the railroad tracks, an unlikely friendship is found
    • Jan 7, 2016
  • Caffeinated Chemistry
  • Caffeinated Chemistry

    Nitro coffee is the newest trend to hit the coffee industry, and Spokane has a few early adopters
    • May 20, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation