When you want to meet real Alaskans of every flavor, the Arctic Bar is your best bet. Established in 1937, it’s the oldest bar in town. Arctic Bar has seen its fair share of history, good times and – like any bar worth its drink – some drama.
In fact, this may be the only Alaskan establishment that can claim fame for being lost at sea and then recovered. The 1956 Ketchikan flood actually swept the bar off its pilings, along with tenant Art “Peaches” Fisher, who’d been relaxing in his bed upstairs.
He survived that particular Arctic Bar journey, and many more afterward, too. That’s just one of the tales you might hear from bar patrons when you visit the Arctic. Plenty of loggers, fishermen, pilots and construction workers stop in after work for a cold one and a burger.
This is a hangout where you can immerse yourself in Ketchikan’s history while soaking up its present-day culture too. Enjoy the view from the covered deck as cruise ships, fishing boats and float planes come and go.
Ask Paula, the bar owner, to pour you an ice cold “Happy Bear Brew” and you might also get the inside scoop on everything and everyone in town. She’ll remind you not to leave without a hat or t-shirt depicting the Arctic Bar’s famous logo: a nature scene of happy bears that makes some folks blush.