The story goes that Wyatt Earp passed through Juneau in 1900. He was asked to check his weapon by U.S. Marshalls on June 27. The U.S. Marshalls were concerned about his notoriety as a gunslinger. story continues that Earp departed for home aboard the S.S. Senator at 5 am on June 29, 1900. The Marshalls office wasn’t open yet, so Earp left the gun in Juneau. How did it get to the Red Dog Saloon? Well there was an employee of the Territorial Museum that had a large bar debt at the saloon, and he used the gun to pay off his debt. So now it sits behind the bar at the Red Dog. Is the story true? I don’t know but does it really matter. It is fun to think that you are in a place with so much history, whether Wyatt Earp was there or not.
And it feels like you are walking in history when you enter the red swinging doors of the Red Dog Saloon. You find yourself transported back in time. There is an aroma that rises from the floor every time you take a step, the smell of fresh cut wood. The floor is covered in saw dust. The atmosphere is smoky. Music wafts through the air reminding you of years gone by. The building is filled with objects and memorabilia from the early 1800’s. As you take in the sights you know you are in for a treat.
No reservations are required, it’s first come first serve. You wander up to one of the tables and take a seat on a wooden stool. There’s writing all over the counter and across the walls on either side. A waitress will walk up to get your drink order, she’s dressed as a saloon girl, with garter and all. You can order a draft root beer, or a drink called the Duck Fart. A Duck Fart is Kahlua, Bailey’s and Whiskey in that order.
While you wait for your drinks you can enjoy yourself listening to one of the musical acts that the Red Dog Saloon provides. It could be a piano player that looks like an old-time bartender or a gruffy guitar player. The music is a mixture of old-time country and old-time swing, with songs such as “Ain’t She Sweet”. The crowd can sing with the performers and dance if inclined.
The place is noisy, and laughter is everywhere. The staff is friendly and helpful. The food is good. There is something interesting no matter where you look. There are pictures, old newspapers, trinkets and old pieces of furniture. Off to the side of the building is a second room that is dedicated to a “general store” that sells t-shirts, shot glasses and other fun things for the saloon. The shop is a great place to pick up something to remember Juneau Alaska and the unique experience of the Red Dog Saloon.
The place speaks for itself, you make the experience what you want. You can believe the story about Wyatt Earp or not. The Red Dog Saloon is a fun place to go and a great memory.
I had always wanted to see Alaska and the grandeur of that land. I was so excited to explorer the town and see the what it had to offer. We had heard from one of the tour guides earlier in the day that there was a bar that had saw dust floors. That was something we just had to see.
So, we headed to
SOURCE: Deborah Williams