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Old Edison Inn--Lost Its Way [Bow WA]

kaleokahu Jul 22, 2011 11:01 AM

It is with some sadness that I'm marking this venerable spot off my personal rec list. I've been eating and drinking at the Edison since 1978 (well, actually before that--take that WSLCB). It's been through several owners and one location change since then, baseline tav/pub food (with a special focus on oysters) to fancier fare. But the food has always been consistently good and the vibe.. well... consistently Edison.

With the initial (previous owner's) move toward more varied/elaborate dishes, the place kept the sense of honored history as well as most of the time-honored menu items. It also made moves to extend and enlarge that tradition (e.g., the warm beet salad, the sirloin skewers, Steak Night, etc.)

But under the present owners, things have slipped. And not back to the Good Old Days, either. The specials items were obviously picked to sound eclectic, but only in relation to each other. There's now a color organ- CD jukebox thumping rappy house music, and the tap list is neither good nor varied (It reads as if there is one distributor pushing the Mac-N-Jack pablum hard). Service is desultory to spotty at best, and last night the owners could be seen and heard openly squabbling behind the bar. The overall effect is conveyance of the sense that they could care less if the patrons have a good time or not. A great--if unintentional--metaphor for this is that they keep one half of the entry doors tightly locked.


  1. k
    kaleokahu Jul 31, 2011 10:10 PM

    My Friday night return here confirmed my fears in the OP. This venerable spot has taken a turn toward "nightclub", and a turn away from its historical focus on good food.

    RIP Edison Tavern.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu
      sedimental Aug 10, 2011 08:22 PM

      Okay, I went there for lunch on Friday. I have my "usual" fish and chips. Here is the deal...the fish was the same -only a bit smaller. It was good. The french fries were WAY smaller- but much better! They seasoned them with something....maybe lemon pepper. It was an actual improvement! The beer list seemed smaller..but I always have my Hefeweizen with lemon with my fish and chips (nothing special)...so didn't notice any difference there :)

      So, it may be about the same for an average lunch and apps during the week. It looked cleaner- but I am not sure that is an improvement..given that most go there for the dirty biker gourmet ambiance :) Time will tell.

      1. re: sedimental
        kaleokahu Aug 14, 2011 07:19 PM

        Hi, sedimental:

        Maybe the difference is a weekday lunch vs. a weekend dinner. But I'll give them one more try on your rec.


    2. s
      sedimental Jul 22, 2011 03:56 PM

      Say it ain't so!

      I am going there next week for lunch! I only go there once or twice a year but look forward to the fish and chips. I will be sorely disappointed if I have to listen to rap-crap and supermarket beer :(

      2 Replies
      1. re: sedimental
        kaleokahu Jul 22, 2011 07:38 PM

        Hi, sedimental:

        I hope it was just an off night, but the color-organ and tap list were ill omens. My 30-year (yikes!) high school reunion weekend starts there next Friday night, so we will see.

        I once turned my law partner's brother on to the Edison's cocktail sauce, and he gladly and regularly did the 140-mile roundtrip for it. My aged parents and I used to love this place. And I have a historical antipathy for the competition up at the other hairpin corner, so I'm not pleased at the prospect that Edison is now bereft of good food. [Partial exception, insofar as the Edison Cafe, and the more-distant Rhododendron, have good food, just not the Tav vibe.] Oh, well, there's always the Corner Tavern (n/k/a Corner Pub & Grill, f/k/a West Allen Dump Stop, if you don't mind NASCAR on the bigscreen, live Rockabilly some Thursday nights, and peanut shells on the floor. Good broasted chicken there, too.)

        I greatly respect your posts here, so I welcome your review of the Edison from next week.


        Corner Pub
        14565 Allen West Rd, Bow, WA 98232

        1. re: sedimental
          HeronRidge Sep 26, 2011 08:03 PM

          It is true! The Old Edison Inn has fallen from an excellent rating to poor within the last year. Tonight was the third time this year that we tried the food. Each time (2 lunches and 1 dinner) the food was terrible. The lunch hamburger used to be like you would make at home. Nice and juicy with fresh tomato and lettuce. Now they are thinner and with a lot of filler and dry. The grilled onions were just that - grilled onions not bourbon onions. The chowder tasted like it had vinegar in it. the oysters might have been breaded but thye were served in a clump with clumpy bit of crumbs. We will not go there again.

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