Java Jive 85th Birthday Party! Tribute Art Wanted by May 16

12 May

Tacoma loves the Java Jive so it’s about time there was an art show to honor it! The Java Jive Appreciation Society is hosting an art show like no other – “Jungle Madness” – art inspired by Bob’s World Famous Java Jive! Artists in all media are invited to create art celebrating the King of Kitschy Clubs. This one-night, 21+ up show on May 17, at 8 pm, offers a full line-up of entertainment. The show will feature an open mic for poetry, an exhibition of 2-D and 3-D artwork inspired by Tacoma’s biggest coffeepot, kabobs by Marie Sorenson, and a screening of movies featuring the landmark crockery! As usual, there will be free buttons and FUN!

Art must be received by May 16 for show setup; call 253-777-7114 for art drop off. Questions? Contact or visit their Facebook page.

Here are some Java Jive factoids to get you rolling on your tribute artwork/poem/music:

•  This Nalley Valley landmark opened in 1927 as the Coffee Pot Restaurant. It was owned by a local veterinarian, Dr. Otis G. Button, and designed by Bert Smyser, the owner of a commercial display business who had a flair for promotion.

• Standing 25 ft. high with a 30 ft. diameter, the squat concrete coffee pot has had a checkered past: it was once a fast-food drive-in, a speakeasy and a go-go bar; somehow it manages to survive.

• New owners Bob and Lylabell Radonich took over the place in 1955, turning it into a Polynesian-themed music club. The name “Java Jive” comes from a lyric in a song by the Ink Spots. One of the house bands was The Ventures, would gain huge fame in the 1960s with their instrumental surf music.

• Some will recall the Jive’s two most politically incorrect regulars – two chimpanzees named “Java” and “Jive” – who lived in the Jungle Room, where they beat on a drum kit while the owners’ son tickled the organ.

• After filming a movie in Tacoma, Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix tried to buy the Java Jive. No dice.

Nirvana was once booed off the bar’s stage.

• The kitsch-filled nightclubs restrooms are marked “Tarzan” and “Jane”.

• The Java Jive Appreciation Society, founded by Rochelle Wells and Ryan Loiselle, is keeping the legend alive with monthly events. This is the coolest place in Tacoma for karaoke for singers of all ages 21+.

Come out on May 17 and hoist a PBR to the legendary Java Jive at 2102 S. Tacoma Way!


One Response to “Java Jive 85th Birthday Party! Tribute Art Wanted by May 16”

  1. lucy schwartz May 15, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    I am a local artist in the Tacoma area who has painted the Jive for this event. You can see my art work at the Freighthouse Square below the Dome in Tacoma. their hours are 10 to 7 m-f and Sun. 11 to 5. Come by for some eye candy. There are 9 other locals displaying there, also.

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