Bob’s Java Jive Tacoma


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Bob’s Java Jive is a Bar and Night club. No-frills, a retro watering hole with live music, beer & Karaoke in a coffee-pot-shaped building. Fun, friendly, eclectic, and Karaoke! We had such a great night. Several times, I’d passed by this location and figured it was closed and abandoned. Far from it! I went with a small group on a Tuesday night, and we had a blast! Drinks are essential, and facilities are a bit primitive at this time, but it all just added to the night. We will be back. A dirty dive bar, but it has its weird charm. Saw this place on YouTube a while back and found it by accident. So we had to stop. I will be back because it’s a weird cooky bar with history in Tacoma. If you want an immaculate, lovely bar, this is not the place to go. However, this should be on your list if you enjoy dive bars. 

I went to Bob’s on my first night in Tacoma and went there every night. Fantastic venue with a broad clientele, Karaoke, pool table, and an excellent selection of draught beers. The outdoor area looks to have recently been repaired, with more upgrades on the way. Will return! The neighborhood tavern is riddled with stories ranging from pet monkeys to Nirvana — and it’s all part of what makes the place fascinating. Much of the local lore is true. It may appear that Bob’s Java Jive’s glory days of the 1970s and 1980s have passed, but the Jive has a way of adapting to the times. This 25-by-30-foot concrete coffee pot has evolved over nine decades and is still a part of the local culture scene. The pot was formerly a brunch spot. Then a drive-in eatery. Then there’s a speakeasy. 

After much rebranding, it was eventually purchased by Bob Radonich and his wife, Lylabell, in 1955, and that’s when it got its current name — Bob’s Java Jive. The bar’s name was partly inspired by the song “I love coffee; I love tea” by the 1950s musical group the Ink Spots. “I adore java jive, and it adores me.” The Jive ultimately evolved into a chaotically themed Polynesian dance club, replete with Java and Jive, two macaque monkeys (a mother-and-daughter pair). Bob’s Java Jive has evolved to meet the day’s culture, but it reflects Tacoma’s unique history.

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