113 E. Holly Street
Every day Never Closes
If you come back to the same restaurant three times and you feel like you’re a stranger, the restaurant is doing something wrong, according to owner Jack Kahn. The Horseshoe certainly evokes a particular affection in anyone who has spent time within its smoky confines. The Horseshoe was established (according to the sign) in 1886, and is billed as Bellingham’s version of Cheers. It may be a long way from an upscale Boston watering hole with its Texas Longhorns and western art, but it is certainly a place where everybody will get to know your name.
The green naugahyde seats in their faux wood frames are a matter of pride, as well as the wood carvings that were designed by Duff Tweed, one of the original designers of Disneyland. The menu is consistent with the retro feel of the restaurant, consisting mainly of traditional American fare of the 40’s and 50’s diner. As an acknowledgement to the college crowd, veggie burgers and a few other hip items have been added to the menu. I found myself watching my P’s and Q’s with the waitress, who seemed more like a friend’s mother than a waitress -- another testament to the down-to-earth feel of the Horseshoe.
The Ranch Room, a separate part of the establishment where the hard liquor is served, is the main attraction at the Horseshoe on a Friday or Saturday night. The close quarters of The Ranch Room certainly make for an intimate get-to-know-your-neighbor atmosphere, if only out of sheer proximity. Because it is open all night, the Horseshoe also serves as a favorite place for the bar hopper’s end of the night meal. You would be hard pressed to find a more interesting place (besides St. Joseph’s Emergency Room) at 3 a.m. on a Friday.
From Lakeway, take Holly Street to downtown. The Horseshoe is on the right after Railroad Avenue and before Cornwall.
Beer and Wine | Breakfast | Dinner | Full Bar | Lunch
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