In the Press, Awards and Recognitions

May 15, 2016

Gig Harbor Life staff report

Classic wood-hulled craft lined the Tides Tavern dock this weekend as part of the fourth annual Classic Boat Show. A handful of boat owners from around the region moored their unique vessels for visitors to come by, climb aboard and talk about anything nautical on Saturday and Sunday.

On shore, the crew of the Porpoise makes a brief announcement to the crowd, giving three cheers for the “excellent little bay” that midshipman Joseph Stanford (played by Gig Harbor BoatShop’s Bob Huey, far right) deemed the harbor.

On shore, the crew of the Porpoise makes a brief announcement to the crowd, giving three cheers for the “excellent little bay” that midshipman Joseph Stanford (played by Gig Harbor BoatShop’s Bob Huey, far right) deemed the harbor.

Sunday’s boat show was augmented with a demonstration by the Gig Harbor BoatShop’s reconditioned Porpoise, a replica of the gig used by the Wilkes Expedition when the harbor was “discovered” 175 years ago.

Members of the BoatShop and other volunteers donned period Naval uniforms and rowed into the harbor, ultimately docking at the Tides Tavern and giving a very brief speech to the few dozen onlookers.

May 14, 2016

Wooden boat enthusiasts, maritime history buffs and curious kayakers on Saturday surround the Porpoise, a replica of the longboat the Wilkes Expedition rowed into Gig Harbor 175 years ago, which was renovated for the 4th annual Classic Boat Show, hosted by the Tides Tavern. Re-enactors will row the Porpoise into the harbor in vintage naval uniforms and demonstrate musket fire on Sunday to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the discovery of Gig Harbor. Dean J. Koepfler - dkoepfler@thenewstribune.com

Wooden boat enthusiasts, maritime history buffs and curious kayakers on Saturday surround the Porpoise, a replica of the longboat the Wilkes Expedition rowed into Gig Harbor 175 years ago, which was renovated for the 4th annual Classic Boat Show, hosted by the Tides Tavern. Re-enactors will row the Porpoise into the harbor in vintage naval uniforms and demonstrate musket fire on Sunday to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the discovery of Gig Harbor. Dean J. Koepfler - dkoepfler@thenewstribune.com

By Alexis Krell

The sound is what Jim Whitehouse likes about classic boats.

“It’s so quiet,” he said. “I think that’s the beauty.”

He gave visitors to the fourth annual Classic Boat Show at the Tides Tavern on Saturday rides around Gig Harbor in a 1927 fishing boat with a 1 horsepower engine.

Whitehouse was one of about a dozen people available to talk about the history of classic vessels at the show, and on Sunday visitors also will learn some Gig Harbor history.

At noon, a crew will use a 26-foot replica of the boat that first charted Gig Harbor to re-enact the 175th anniversary of the expedition that discovered the city.

An expedition led by Captain Charles Wilkes first arrived in the harbor in 1841.

“The BoatShop has a boat called the Porpoise, a longboat, and they are going to be rowing it from the mouth of the harbor to the Tides Tavern with a crew in full regalia, full costumes, and they’ll do a loop in front of the Tides Tavern and then end up back on our docks,” Tides Tavern marketing manager Michael McManus said.

It’s not the first time the trip has been re-enacted. A similar event happened in 1989.

“Some of those folks have even returned to do this re-enactment again,” McManus said.

The Classic Boat Show continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, but those who want to see the re-enactment have only a short window to do so. It starts at noon, and could be as quick as 15 minutes, McManus said.

But it should be easy to spot.

“There’s going to be a lot of vantage points,” he said. “From Old Ferry (Landing) to Maritime Pier.”

While waiting, visitors can peruse the 12 classic boats on display for the free show at the Tides Tavern, at 2925 Harborview Dr. NW. The vessels date from the 1920s through the 1960s.

Some are owned by individuals. Others, such as the Porpoise, are owned and operated by the Gig Harbor BoatShop, which is helping put on the event.

The 16-foot Whitehouse giving rides on Saturday is a BoatShop vessel.

Volunteers who restored it put fiberglass around the hull, “to give it 10, 20 more years of life,” he said.

One of the newest of the BoatShop’s fleet, the Gaylynn, was also on display.

It was built in the early 1940s by 19-year-old Lee Caldwell as a South Kitsap High School shop project. And, at the age of 94, Caldwell was the one who christened the restored boat in September.

BoatShop volunteers swapped out the gas motor for an electric one, added a center deck and made other improvements to the 16-foot cedar boat.

“We use mostly hand tools,” said volunteer Larry McAlee, who was on hand to answer questions. “A lot of wood planes. You have to learn some actual boat-building skills.”

And that takes time.

“This was about a year’s worth of Saturdays to get it to this shape,” he said.

Visitor Ed Zeff happened upon the show as he strolled through Gig Harbor Saturday, and said he might check out the re-enactment Sunday, depending on the crowds.

But if he gets into boating, which he said he’d like to, his vessel will be somewhat newer than the Porpoise and the other classic boats.

“These are pretty labor-intensive,” he said.

May 13, 2016

By Andrea Haffly

While boats of various sizes and designs are a common sight on Gig Harbor, seen easily from the city’s parks and public docks, classic or historical boats are cause for a bit more excitement.

Especially when the historical vessel in question is a replica U.S. Navy Survey Gig from 1841, the boat that literally put Gig Harbor on the nation’s map.

The Survey Gig Porpoise, a replica of the original boat, will be featured in a reenactment of the Wilkes Expedition, which led to the discovery of Gig Harbor 175 years ago.

The Survey Gig Porpoise, a replica of the original boat, will be featured in a reenactment of the Wilkes Expedition, which led to the discovery of Gig Harbor 175 years ago.

The Gig, known to reenactors as Survey Gig Porpoise, will be featured in a reenactment of the Wilkes Expedition, which led to the discovery of Gig Harbor 175 years ago.

The reenactment is sponsored by the Gig Harbor BoatShop and will be held at noon Sunday (May 15) as part of the Fourth Annual Classic Boat Show, hosted by Tides Tavern on Saturday and Sunday (May 14 and 15).

Douglas McDonnell, a Gig Harbor resident and a volunteer with the Gig Harbor BoatShop, is the driving force behind the reenactment.

“We’re making a statement with this event,” McDonnell said. “Our own authentic history is something we’d really like to emphasis.”

A crew of reenactors, dressed in historically accurate U.S. Navy uniforms loaned from the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, will row Survey Gig Porpoise into the Harbor, loop back in front of Tides Tavern and will demonstrate historic musket fire for attendees of the Classic Boat Show.

McDonnell, along with his wife and grandson, will follow behind the Porpoise in a rowboat to replicate the Captain’s Gig that entered the Harbor shortly after the Survey Gig. Gig Harbor was discovered by a survey crew lead by Midshipman Joseph Sanford as part of Wilkes Expedition sent by the U.S. Navy to survey the coastline and waters of Puget Sound.

“The British had been here 49 years earlier and all they did was name the big stuff,” McDonnell said. “The Americans showed up in 1841 and realized this was a golden opportunity for them to lay claim to everything by naming it.”

Local names — ranging from Point Fosdick to Fox Island — were given in honor of crew members on the expedition.

But, unlike so many other nearby areas that took their names from the survey crew, Gig Harbor was named in honor of the boat — a Gig — that was used to first enter the area.

“This is a perspective of the name of our harbor,” McDonnell said. “The harbor was considered by those who proceeded us 175 years ago as being appropriate for a Gig.”

This naming of the harbor is apparent, McDonnel said, from an entry in Sanford’s logbook: “May 15, 1841. Pulled into and excellent little bay whose entrance is concealed from the Sound and measures 10 to 15 yards, too small for a ship, but just right for a gig.”

While Gig Harbor was a discovery to the U.S. Navy survey crew, it already served as home to a branch from the Puyallup Tribe, which called the harbor “Twa-wal-kut,” and traded peacefully with the survey crew.

While remembering local history is part of the upcoming event, the Classic Boat Show will provide plenty of free, family-friendly activities to last the entire weekend, according to Michael McManus, marketing manager for Tides Tavern.

“We’ve kind of got a little bit of everything at this event,” McManus said. “Families are encouraged to go down and look at the boats and talk to the boat owners.”

Classic boats ranging from the ‘20s to the ‘60s will line the dock below the Tavern for attendees to admire.

Additionally, the Gig Harbor BoatShop will be at the event to offer free harbor tours during the afternoon in their boat livery, said Guy Hoppen, Boatshop president and founding director.

Included in the BoatShop tours will be the Porpoise, McDonnell said, to allow event attendees a closer look at local history.

“Our history in the South Sound is rich with the American Navy,” McDonnell said. “It has tremendous flash and color of its own.”

The reenactment can be viewed from the waterfront anywhere between the Tides Tavern and the old Ferry Dock.

May 5, 2016
Stella, a Canada goose, has been returning to the Tides Tavern dock for the past few springs to lay a clutch of eggs and this year has made one of the barrel planters her nest site. The goslings hatched last weekend and the family took to the harbor at the beginning of the week.

Stella, a Canada goose, has been returning to the Tides Tavern dock for the past few springs to lay a clutch of eggs and this year has made one of the barrel planters her nest site. The goslings hatched last weekend and the family took to the harbor at the beginning of the week.

The pair of Canada geese has made the Tides their home since 2011.

By CHARLEE GLOCK-JACKSON

FOR GIG HARBOR LIFE

For the past five years, a pair of Canada geese has claimed a spot near Gig Harbor’s Tides Tavern as a good place for to build a nest.

Tides’ staff has named the geese Stella and Mac, after two of the many beers on tap at the restaurant: Stella Artois and Mac & Jack.

Sometimes the geese have nested in planter barrels on the deck, sometimes on one of the nearby boat floats.

“They’ve been coming here since about 2011,” said Tides Marketing Manager Michael McManus.

No other goose pair is as friendly and gregarious as Stella and Mac. “They’re the only geese that come up onto the deck. At least we’re pretty certain it’s them because they keep coming back.

“I think they know they’re safe here and that we’re friendly. We’ve put up a caution tape so no one gets too close to their nest.”

Last year Stella teased her human hosts by looking over the daffodil planters and acting like she was going to build a nest.

“She checked out one of the planter barrels pretty closely, but she didn’t stay. I guess it just wasn’t exactly what she wanted,” McManus said.

When a wire railing was installed on the deck in 2013, Tides employees built a special platform for one of the barrels and this spring, Stella and Mac staked their claim to it.

She nibbled away the daffodils, snuggled into the planter and incubated at least five eggs in the down-lined nest.

The eggs were laid April 1, and hatched during the past weekend. The Tides staff was hoping it would happen on Mothers Day, McManus said, but Stella had other plans.

“It’s almost like she likes the attention she’s getting,” he added. “Customers go over to the window and take pictures and it doesn’t seem to phase her a bit.”

While Stella sits on the nest, Mac is always somewhere close by. “When she leaves the nest he squawks and makes a big fuss,” McManus said. “That’s how we know when she’s left her perch and we can get a peek at the eggs.”

When she’s off the nest, it’s also obvious that the nest is lined with goose down. “I’ve noticed that she seems to pull out more and more down, the closer the eggs get to hatching,” he added. “Sometimes only a single egg is fully visible because the down is so thick.”

When the goslings are ready to leave the nest both parents will coax them down to the beach that is about 10 feet below the nest.

Tides staffer Gail Borling has actually witnessed the exodus in the past. “At low tide, mom and dad go down onto the beach and they start honking and they just sort of honk the kids down,” she said. “It’s really a cool thing to see.”

The Tides staff ran a contest for patrons to guess the hatching date for the eggs.

Everyone who wanted to participate received a ticket and wrote the day they thought the eggs would hatch. Then, according to the Tides’ Facebook page, one person who guessed the correct date won a Tides gift card and a T-shirt.

“Stella and Mac have become such a special part of springtime at the Tides that they’re like our unofficial mascots,” McManus said. “We might even name a beer after them someday.”

As of Monday, the family had headed out. “This morning when we came in the babies and Stella were gone. Out of the nest and into the big world,” McManus wrote in an email.

The feathered couple will likely make a return next spring to again claim their nesting site on the Tides dock.

May 5, 2016

Meet Stella and Mac, A Tides Tavern Feathery Love StoryA Tides Tavern Feathery Love Story

By

The stork has arrived at Tides Tavern! Well, sort of. In this case, the stork is a Canada goose, whose eggs are expected to hatch within the next week.

Meet Stella. She’s one of Tides Tavern’s resident geese, along with her mate, Mac. Since they first appeared at the iconic Gig Harbor restaurant in 2011, the couple has become the tavern’s unofficial mascots.

From the very beginning, Stella and her mate made a notable impression on the Tides staff. Michael McManus, the marketing manager at Tides Tavern, spoke to us about how Stella began building a rather unique nest in one of the flower barrels that they have on deck.

“We always have daffodils growing in the flower barrels. She started to tear them apart and build her nest there,” McManus said.

Stella in nest at Tides TavernAt Tides, Stella and Mac found a home away from home. They returned to the tavern, and to their flower barrel in 2012. While it can be hard to tell Mac and Stella apart, the employees at Tides Tavern knew that it was Stella once she settled in their flower barrel and began building her nest again.

“They’re creatures of habit, so we just kind of assumed that that’s them,” said McManus.

Since then, Stella and Mac have become a huge part of the Tides Tavern family. Thanks to one of their employees, they were given names that reflect the spirit of the tavern. Both birds are named after beers they have on tap. Mac got his name from a brew by local Redmond brewery, Mac & Jack’s, and Stella from Stella Artois.

The tavern even made some special improvements to accommodate Stella and Mac. In 2013, Stella’s nest got a new upgrade. They installed a platform just for Stella’s nest, bringing her closer to the guests and raising her further above the water.

Now after 3 years of nesting in other locations, both Stella and Mac are back at Tides Tavern — and the employees and guests at Tides Tavern couldn’t be happier. Now that she’s claimed her special ledge, she is back to her old antics. One particularly funny memory was when Stella first returned and took up her usual tradition of tearing up their daffodils. “She had one daffodil in her mouth and was kind of scratching her back with it,” said McManus.

She soon settled down and began her nesting, laying five eggs on April 1. With a 28-day gestation period, guests at Tides Tavern should be treated to views of cute, fuzzy chicks within the next week.

Though Stella rarely returns with her babies, the Tides Tavern is positive that Stella and Mac will come back on their own. “They’ve been around for a while and we’ve kind of kept the saga of Mac and Stella going,” said McManus.

It’s clear that no matter where the wind blows, Tides Tavern will always be a welcoming home for Mac and Stella, as well as any future little ones!

April 5, 2016

Gig Harbor featured in PreWow's "The Friendliest Towns in America"

The secret’s out on Gig Harbor. Once a sleepy fishing town on Puget Sound, it’s now home to chain stores, upscale restaurants and vacationers. Nonetheless, Gig Harbor has retained its true, unpretentious vibe. Come any summer weekend to find open-air movie nights, chowder competitions, theater productions and farmers’ markets. The tight-knit community takes pride in their town--just ask Guy Hoppen, an Alaskan salmon fisherman who’s kinda of a local mascot--but don’t worry: They’re happy to share it with others.

March 30, 2016

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There’s nothing better than good food with a scenic view, especially when it’s right by the water. With places by the coast, Puget Sound, and along our many islands, lakes, rivers and bays, we have plenty of fantastic waterfront dining options throughout the Pacific Northwest. Sit down at one of these local spots, and you’ll experience a meal unlike anywhere else.

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If you're over 21, this top-rated tavern offers a great place to sit and dine overlooking Gig Harbor. The marvelous views, along with their fresh salads, salmon, steaks, signature pizzas and burgers have made them a local favorite for years.