The Bair Restauraunt

The Bair Drug and Hardware Store was built in 1895. Steilacoom was a thriving seaport and the Pierce County seat. The store was a Drug Store and Post Office. In 1906, the soda fountain was added and began doing a brisk trade in phosphates coolers, sodas and cones.

The electrically powered trolley brought more than customers to the store, it brought light. The owner tapped into the power line and put in the first electric lights in Steilacoom. Now, because of the voltage drop over the long run, and because the trolley needed all the power it could get to make it up the LaFayette St. hill, the lights would dim as the trolley neared the store. This is the way expectant passengers knew when it was time to leave!

The pharmacy remained an important stop on everyone’s shopping list.  Within, one could find the the latest in “over the counter” or “patent” medicines, as well as a variety of health and grooming aids.  Penny candy made the store a favorite with children, but for mothers it was the chocolate flavored cod liver oil, snake root tonic, oil of Karnak and Lydia Pinkham.  Papa found his favorite five cent cigar here, along with his shaving soap, razors and even his white hat cleaner.  The old safe was a curiosity even in 1895.  It had been part of the first store back on Commercial St., where it housed stamps, money orders and greenbacks.  While on Commercial St., in 1893, someone broke into the store, and unable to open the safe, used gunpowder to blow it open. Aside from the few coins scattered on the floor, nothing else was found of the $4260 in stamps, bills and money orders.

Since early 2009, Sara and her God Mother Dana, have worked to preserve the original feel of The Bair, while adding the necessary items required for a functioning restaurant. And in keeping with its traditions, you will find walls full of relics from the building’s former inhabitants.

I have to say Sara’s French Toast is the best in the land. Not so helpful for my diet…