Pub Reaches 25 Year Milestone

December 27th, 2016


Getting Started

“The whole neighborhood was against it,” explains Jocelyn, whose parents opened the Harbour Public House in 1991. Neighbors remembered the Bloody Bucket, a “rough bar” that had been down the street, and they didn’t want to deal with that headache again. But Jocelyn’s parents, Jim and Judy Evans, dreamed of opening a pub for years—inspired by Jim’s English heritage—and they were determined.

The couple had moved to Seattle in 1966 after Jim was offered a job teaching civil engineering at the University of Washington. The appeal of waterfront property and the cheap land prices of those days quickly brought the couple across the water to Bainbridge Island.

Both Jocelyn and her brother Chris grew up on the island. And after a brief stint of the family living on a sailboat (Jim and Judy also dreamed of sailing across the world with the whole family one day), the couple bought the property where the Harbour Public House sits today.

There were two homes on the land and years later one of them would be remodeled into the pub. It was an old house; with floors so slanted that Jocelyn remembers being able to let go of her toy car in one corner of the house and watch it roll across the floor to the other.

The idea of opening a business stayed with Jocelyn’s parents as they watched their kids grow up. And in the 1980s, they began the process of renovating the house into a pub.

All in all, it took about five years before the doors opened. The first step was getting the necessary permits, which was difficult since a year-long teaching job took Jim and Judy to New Zealand during the first part of the process. Although she was just a senior in high school, Jocelyn was tasked with going to the required city council meetings on their behalf and listening to the ‘Bloody Bucket’ worries of neighbors.

Eventually, the permits were granted and construction began. By this time, Jim was back at the UW and decided to take advantage of his class of civil engineering students. He posed the question of how to remodel his old home into a functioning bar as a final exam. The winning design was used in the actual building renovations.

The Early Days

After high school, Jocelyn went to college in California and spent some time traveling abroad in Italy and England. When her senior year rolled around, her parents still hadn’t opened the pub. They were stalling. The realities of their dream business was daunting.

But Jocelyn insisted they had to bite the bullet and give the pub a shot. And finally, during her senior year of college, they opened it. She came to help them with their first few weeks of operation, and then returned to school.

Not long before her graduation, Jocelyn got a call from her parents asking her to move back to the island to manage the pub. As it turned out, neighbor’s liked the Harbour Public House. It was nothing like the Bloody Bucket nightmares they’d imagined. But Jim and Judy didn’t have experience managing a bar, and they needed help running the place. Jocelyn wasn’t interested. But they kept calling.

“I had this mental block about living in my hometown,” explains Jocelyn about her apprehension to move home to run the pub.

In the end she agreed to come for one year. When that was up, she agreed to stay for one more year. And when that was up…

“I had applied to law school,” she explains. She had every intention to leave. The past couple of years had been difficult showing up as the owner’s daughter and managing a large staff of people — most older than she was.

But at the same time, she was surprised at how much she enjoyed the life she’d built on Bainbridge.

“Until I started working at the pub, I always considered myself an introvert,” she explains. “When I started working at the pub I could make jokes and people thought I was funny. That had never been the case before.”

Jocelyn enjoyed customer service, managing staff, and being a part of the Bainbridge community. It also didn’t hurt that she had recently met her future husband, Jeff, and wanted to stick around to see how their relationship would unfold.

After a little deliberation, she “gave in to the inertia and stayed.”

Part of the Community

Jocelyn worked full time at the pub for 23 years. She got married at the pub. She’s met some of her best friends at the pub. She’s watched as friends and staff members have met their future husbands and wives there too.

“My favorite thing about owning the pub is the community aspect,” says Jocelyn. “We’re living in a community and we’re an intricate part of it.”

And when they had their first child, Jeff and Jocelyn were able to split the business responsibilities, allowing Jocelyn to be a full-time mom with a full-time career without putting her kids in daycare.

“It was the best thing I ever did,” Jocelyn says about her decision to embrace the opportunities she had on Bainbridge.

Contributed by Liz Pleasant



EduCulture is partnering with the Harbour Pub this autumn on a fundraising campaign to benefit the edible education programs.  The Pub has a feature story about the work of EduCulture on their fall menu, encouraging patrons to contribute to supporting our work through the One Call for All campaign or directly through our non-profit organization.

For every dollar donated to EduCulture directly or through One Call for All during this fall campaign, the Harbour Pub will contribute a dollar, matching up to $7500 in contributions.
This opportunity to raise $15,000 will go a long way to build the needed infrastructure to further develop the edible education programs to meet their growing numbers of participating students and teachers.

We encourage you to consider making a tax-deductable contribution to EduCulture that can be generously matched by the Harbour Pub! (Please indicate “Pub” on your donation forms so they can better track these donations.

A Scary Good Time

October 19th, 2013


The time has come.  It is now the most haunted season of the year.  The Kitsap County Fairgrounds have been transformed into the Kitsap Haunted Fairgrounds, and if you’re itching for a good scare or simply a fun and thrilling thing to do on a Saturday night, make your way over to their chilling location in Silverdale.

Started in 2003, the “haunted house”, as it were, is located in three buildings on the fairgrounds.  The buildings are connected, and from the ticket booth guests are led (and followed by compellingly grim and macabre zombie actors) into the haunted maze.  The volunteers who act as ghouls and zombies for the event are terrifying.  I visited the haunted fairgrounds on Halloween night of 2008, and never made it past buying my ticket.  I was too afraid.  In fact, I (an 18 year-old at the time) was pursued out of the venue by a grisly and bloodily costumed 10 year-old actor, whose stares gave me the biggest chills I have ever experienced.  I proceeded to wait for my friends to finish the haunt.

Island resident Aryn Versteegh, 22, has also visited the Kitsap Haunted Fairgrounds.  Unlike this writer, Versteegh made it through the ordeal.

“I really liked it,” she said.  “My favorite was when they chased us out (at the end) with a chainsaw!  They get you to do a lot and you think you’re safe, then you’re not!”

The Kitsap Haunted Fairgrounds is run entirely by local volunteers who are partnered with Kitsap County Parks and Recreation.  This year, as part of a new partnership with the Kitsap-North Kitsap Rotary, all proceeds will directly benefit the local community and charities chosen by the Rotary organization.

The event will run for five more days in October –  the 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th and on Halloween – plus the first two days of November.  While they do have one hour when guests can experience the haunt with the lights on, I strongly encourage everyone to go for the full scare later on in the evenings!!

For more information on the Kitsap Haunted Fairgrounds, or to find out how to volunteer, visit their website at

Destination: Bloedel Reserve

August 31st, 2013


Among other sights and scenes of Bainbridge Island the Bloedel Reserve is a standout. Begun as the home and estate of the Prentice and Virginia Bloedel family in 1950 the 150 acre site is now a crown jewel of gardens open to the public.

First time visitors will want to follow the trails throughout the Preserve using the self guided tour booklet available at the visitor center. In places such as this we always know many return visits will be required to fully appreciate the gardens as a whole or separately. Make time for lots of photography. This is a marvelous place for watching the seasons change and observing the ebb and flow of nature.

Our personal favorites for return visits include the Rock Garden, the Moss Garden, the Meadow, the Woods, the Japanese Garden and the Bird Refuge, all in no particular order. For us, as compulsive photographers, the gardens provide infinite opportunities to not just look but to see, what surrounds us in nature. Everyone who visits will find their own favorite quiet place to take in the essence of the garden. Among the vast array of plants are Birch trees, Red Alders and Japanese Maples. Well represented are species of Rhododendron, Huckleberry, Camellias and Oxalis. The moss garden has too many species to list. Throughout are plants and trees native to the Northwest.

The French Country style home overlooking Port Madison Bay near Agate Pass is now the Visitor Center and includes a large library for on site research. An eagle nest is visible from the house.

Garden Etiquette asks that cell phones be turned off to better take in the aura of peace. Also, picnicking and food is not allowed. Artists and amateur photographers are welcome. Please stay out of flower and moss beds.

Current events scheduled include an exhibition of sculpture by Julie Speidel through October 13. Ongoing exhibition of Botanical Artworks Exhibition by local chapter members of the American Botanical Artists.

September 14 enjoy a concert by the Bainbridge Symphony Brass and on September 29 American Flute Music by Gary Stroutsos. For current information and events visit


Teak and mahogany, cedar and spruce, oak, pine, brass, copper and varnish are the raw materials. Skill, experience, passion artistry and vision bring all these materials to life in the wooden boats that ply the waters of the Salish Sea and beyond.

Join us on Saturday June 15th and Sunday June 16th at Harbour Marina on Bainbridge Island for tours, talks, photos and admiration of the flotilla gathered for the second Bainbridge Island Wooden Boat Festival. Builders, owners and sailors will be here to talk to the curious and devoted alike. Whether built for work or pleasure, to cruise under sail or engine power, come to visit and share in the wealth of knowledge gathered here to spread the gospel of craftsmanship and tradition.

The event is being held at the Harbour Marina, adjacent to the Harbour Public House. There will be boat tours, live music and a Speaker’s Forum. Bob Schoonmaker owner of The Chandlery at Winslow Wharf is the chair and driving force behind the festival. First held in 2011, 43 boats and some 2,000 visitors attended. Sponsor’s, including Harbour Public House, The Hudson Company, Roger Katz and Associates among others are expecting this year’s event to be even better attended. The Marina is within walking or cycling distance from the ferry terminal. Sample the island’s maritime history and marvel at the artistry of the boats themselves. Admission is free. Plan to spend the day and soak up the beauty and grace of these remarkable vessels Festival hours are Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 10-4.

For more information visit.


On St. Patrick’s Day, this Sunday, March 17th learn about some of the history of Winslow (pictured above in the 1890s looking west down what is now called Winslow Way).  Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is sponsoring a walk through historic Winslow featuring stories and photographs from the past. Learn more at

Winslow boasts of a variety of architecture, connection to the logging industry, shipbuilding and the iconic Mosquito Fleet that steamed Puget Sound. The fleet was the forerunner to the modern day Washington State Ferry System. Winslow is certainly fun to explore for a day or a weekend.

Any visit to Bainbridge Island is remiss without stopping at the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum While there, you can listen to the tales of the First Nations who lived here for millennia. Follow the exploits of the explorers and settlers who came later to build the farms, mills and shipyards of the island. The museum showcases archeological finds as well as photos of the early residents at work and at play. Learn about the dark days of the relocation of Japanese Americans from their farms and homes to the desolate camps in California, Wyoming and Montana. Read the denunciations of this move by the editors of the Bainbridge Review, the local newspaper which was one of only a few who protested this action by the Roosevelt Administration.

All that plus much more.


The award was presented at the Historic Preservation Annual Meeting June 18th. To read more see


May 18th, 2012

Friday, May 18
Celebrate History Month
If you missed our ‘Beef on Weck’ sandwiches served at our new years day party then this is for you cause we’re doing it again.

The Bainbridge Island Historic Preservation Commission presents a program including the announcement of this year’s “Blakely Award” winner. Food and beverages. At the new Art Museum auditorium.

Public Welcome!

Special music Guest “The Weavils”