It’s been more than 54 years in the making, but it’s finally here.

The legendary downtown watering hole that originally took shape to capture the tourist trade heading for the World’s Fair in Seattle in 1962, will celebrate “Big Bad John’s Day” on Saturday, November 26th.

It’ll be an all-day event, from the opening at 12 noon, and running right through until 2am.

A special, limited-edition and numbered print has been completed to commemorate the occasion, and every patron that passes through the doors on Saturday will receive one to take home, free of charge.  The special print will not be available after the event.

Of course, it’s a 19+ event, no minors are permitted.  More details are available HERE on Facebook, or

For those that are curious about the history of Big Bad John’s, local author Glen Mofford wrote this piece on his blog just for the event:

Big Bad John’s hillbilly bar on the main floor of the Strathcona Hotel was the brainchild of John Olson, beverage manager of the hotel. He conceived and built the popular bar during the World’s Fair in Seattle hoping to attract tourists to the Strathcona Hotel and his bar in particular. Big Bad John’s was to be a temporary bar for the summer season in 1962 and plans were to either change it back to the original cocktail lounge or find a different use for the space. But what was just a whim turned out to be a gold mine for the Olson’s as business at Big Bad John’s exceeded their wildest dreams.   

The 900 block of Douglas Street consisted of a few houses on the Courtney side some small trees and a large building on the corner of Broughton. They were demolished in 1911 to make way for a new 100-room office building designed by H.S. Griffith and named the Empress Block. Construction began in 1912 but plans changed and the completed building opened as the Strathcona Hotel in 1913. H.B “Barney” Olson purchased the hotel from Warren Martin in April 1946 and the Olson family has owned the Strathcona Hotel ever since.

The article continues HERE.




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