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Towns Vignette: Ernie’s Tin Bar

Thursday, August 8th, 2013 | Posted by
Owner Ernie Altenreuther pours drinks for his regular customers.

Owner Ernie Altenreuther pours drinks for his regular customers.

Story by Katie Watts / Petaluma Towns Correspondent
Photos by Conner Jay / The Press Democrat

The folks at Ernie’s Tin Bar keep a running tally on a blackboard behind the door, counting each customer who walks in and says, “I’ve been driving past this place for years, but this is the first time …” Last month the total was close to 800, but once they stop at the Lakeville Highway landmark, newcomers often become regulars.

The place is owned and operated by Ernie Altenreuther, named for his grandfather, the original Ernie who opened the place in 1923 Now as then, farmers and dairymen come for coffee when the bar opens at 11 a.m. and stay for $2.50 beers until last call at 8 p.m. When the place gets packed, Altenreuther throws open the adjacent auto garage and seats the overflow crowd there.

Ernie’s has always been “a place to get together, where people came in the evening and just talked,” says Ernie’s grandmother Gloria, who at 84 still comes in to work.

Read the full story at Petaluma Towns. See more photos at PressDemocrat.com.

Bartender and owner Ernie Altenreuther, left, talks with regulars at Ernie's Tin Bar.

Bartender and owner Ernie Altenreuther, left, talks with regulars at Ernie’s Tin Bar.

An overflow crowd sits in garage in the back of Ernie's Tin Bar.

An overflow crowd sits in garage in the back of Ernie’s Tin Bar.

Traffic along Highway 116 passes by Ernie's Tin Bar.

Traffic along Highway 116 passes by Ernie’s Tin Bar.

Mechanic Kenneth Altenreuther, right, works in the garage in the back of Ernie's Tin Bar on Thursday, July 18, 2013. While people visiting the bar enjoy a cold beverage, they will notice that the bar and garage are next to one another.

Mechanic Kenneth Altenreuther, right, works in the garage in the back of Ernie’s Tin Bar. While people visiting the bar enjoy a cold beverage, they will notice that the bar and garage are next to one another.

 

  • http://none jan shaw (Maass).

    I came to this garage/bar with my dad in the 1940’s-50’s to buy tires for our car from the original Ernie A. While waiting to get the tires mounted, he would enjoy his “treat”, I would enjoy my “sweet treat” A good memory. Thanks for re-freshing the “good-ole-days”

  • Albert

    Back in the 80s,I worked for a Mrs.Miller at the Lakeville Ranch with my partner,Cecil, as maintenance grounds keepers for her property. After a day of toil, we get in Cecil’s truck and wash the days’ dust away with a couple of cold ones while listening to stories about the last buck they and others in the bar shot on their property.

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