PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ newest watering hole features a 42-foot-long bar and a variety of hard-to-find bourbon.
Bourbon West opened its doors Thursday at 125 W. Front St., after a nearly seven-month remodel of the former Station 51 Tap House and Zak’s Tavern.
“Like any project, coming toward the end of it and seeing it all come together is truly awesome,” said majority-owner Jacob Oppelt on Thursday.
“This is 100 percent what I pictured in my mind and it’s awesome to see it mature to the point we’re opening it up today.”
Oppelt’s business, J Oppelt 125 Group Holdings, purchased Station 51 Tap House and renegotiated the lease on the lower portion of the building.
He said the tavern “almost has the western saloon-style feel to it,” but it doesn’t go over the top.
The 42-foot-long, 22-seat bar made of reclaimed wood on the west wall is the centerpiece of the tavern.
The bar has a pool table, a metal-tip dart board and a stage on the north side of the bar.
Bourbon West also has five TVs and a subscription to the NFL Sunday Ticket.
“You’re going to get a different level of bar atmosphere here,” Oppelt said. “It’s a classic classy style, but also a very high attention to detail on the cocktail menu and the food as well.”
Oppelt, co-owner of Next Door Gastropub at 113, W. First St., described Bourbon West as a complement to the gastropub — which is entering into its eighth summer — and a place where the food will compliment the drinks.
From the sidewalk, people walking past can see into the kitchen as staff prepare a variety of bar food, including wild-game sausages and jerky, he said.
“Anything from venison to bison to kangaroo jerky,” he said. “Smoked wings, fresh baked pretzels with different dip options.”
For now the bar has 10 taps, but Oppelt plans to add six more. When complete there will be eight rotating taps, four steady beer taps and cider, cocktail, and red and white wine taps.
Oppelt said the bar will have all the liquor that people would expect. The bourbon list will be a “feature,” he said.
“We will have bourbons that are hard to find in the area and in general,” Oppelt said. “We’ll do whiskey flights that will allow you to sample lots of varieties you’re not used to seeing.”
Oppelt, who has interest in other properties in Port Angeles, said he has other ideas “that are not officially in the works,” and suggested he should focus on the latest business and his family in the near future.
“I have a son who turns two and a two-month-old daughter,” he said. “Now that [Bourbon West] is getting going it might be time to focus on building a home and not another business. We’ll see, I’ve said that before.”
He said he is thankful to those who helped get Bourbon West to the point that it could open and said he is excited to welcome people into the new bar.
“The team that got it together has done an amazing job,” Oppelt said. “I’m excited to see the town’s reaction and I’m excited to see people come in the door now.”
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at email@example.com.