April 24, 2017

Find Local Brews And WPA-Era Charm At The Blue Ox Bar

photo by: Timberline Lodge and Ski Area

A glass mosiac mural at the Blue Ox Bar depicts lumberjack Paul Bunyan and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox.

Tucked within the circa-1938 Timberline Lodge, in a space that was originally intended as a wood-storage closet, the Blue Ox Bar serves up pizza, Northwest wines, cocktails, and local brews to hungry and thirsty patrons. In homage to legendary lumberjack Paul Bunyan’s trusty companion, Babe, a stained-glass image of a blue ox hangs above the entrance, and larger wall-to-wall glass mosaic murals allow the two friends to survey diners as they eat and drink.

Timberline Lodge is perhaps most famous as the exterior of the haunted hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror classic The Shining, but it also boasts a hearty reputation among ski aficionados, as well as history buffs. Historians consider it to be possibly the finest example of Depression-era Works Progress Administration (or WPA) architecture, combining the work of master craftspeople with that of unskilled workers who needed employment. But for those looking to hit the slopes of Mount Hood, this National Historic Landmark—and Historic Hotel of America—is just a comfortable place to lay their head after a long day.

When architects realized during the building process that the designs for Timberline Lodge didn’t include a bar, they scrambled to accommodate one in the aforementioned wood-storage closet. It’s rumored that this discrete space was also a nightlife hotspot during Prohibition. This snug bar is located in the building's basement, so if you’re interested in getting to know your neighbors, this just might be the spot for you.

Here are few more things to know before you go:

Location: Timberline Lodge, 27500 W. Leg Rd., Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

Hours: Closed during the spring/fall; open during the summer and on weekends in the winter, Check the website for hours.

You’re having: The White Rooster pizza with a Highland Meadow Blonde Ale from Mt. Hood Brewing Co.

Best Yelp Review: “Cool little bar tucked away in the Timberline Lodge. Super friendly staff, great beer, and a really cool vibe to this tiny joint. Loved it.”

photo by: Timberline Lodge and Ski Area

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.


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