Night Life of Seward, Alaska

If you've never experienced a night out in a small town, I highly recommend that you try it before you die.

Profound graffiti in the Yukon bar bathroom
Here in Seward, aside from sighting water or a mountain, the least challenging task that you could undertake would be to locate an establishment that serves beer. Following that, the next easiest task would be finding someone willing to consume beer along with you.

Due to convenience, drinking often begins at the Small Boat Harbor. The harbor is where most tour boats and fishing charters depart from and return to, thus at knock-off time, employees, captains, deckhands and fishermen need only cross a single street before arriving at alcohol.

At ambience-free locations such as The Breeze, patrons enjoy a drink or two, maybe a bite to eat, and then, pending their willingness to continue spending their minimum wage on beer, they begin to trickle downtown, about a mile away. Means of transportation include walking, bicycling, driving or taking a taxi. Since the number of taxi's supporting the entire town at any given time is three, if you choose this option you should be prepared to arrive last.

Seems legit.
Seriously though, Mad Jack's golden swan decorated taxi actually IS legit

There are five bars in the downtown area. This might not seem like a large number until you consider that 'downtown' is a single street spanning three blocks and consisting of around fifteen businesses in total.

Bar options include the Ale House (usually awkwardly empty), Thorn's (intriguingly incoherent decor) or Tony's Lounge, but the most infamous destination is surely the Yukon Bar. The Yukon is almost always packed with locals/ seasonal workers and a few confused, out of place tourists that have stumbled in and are easily identified by their startled expressions.

Yukon Bar - mounted bear head with child's shoe. 
Mondays and Wednesdays are karaoke nights at the Yukon. After 11pm, the place is saturated with dutch courage, bold, misplaced song choices, drunken, yelled conversations about life, love and travel, a chorus of voices screaming along to Garth Brooks' crowd-favourite, 'Friends in low places', and a smattering of applause if someone manages an even vaguely decent rendition of anything.
Important note: Passion rates higher than talent here, so as long as you fully commit to your song choice, the crowd will support you no matter how badly you offend their eardrums.

If karaoke is not your scene; fear not. Every Thursday is 'Dance Night', offering up a chance to hit the dance floor and allow the DJ to take you on some of the least smooth musical transitions possible. DJ Hankerchief doesn't read the crowd. He looks out at them, thinks, 'F you guys' and plays whatever the hell he wants.

By the time you leave the Yukon, you will almost certainly have acquired some new friends and a healthy number of alcohol spills on your clothing.

Having survived this far into the night and no longer sober enough to recognise that you are being sucked into a vortex of shame, there is only one place left to go; the Pit Bar. Situated ten minutes outside of town, it is the only bar open until 5am. It is also the only local bar that still allows smoking. Inside.

Imagine an injured, baby impala emerging from between trees to find itself in the middle of a pride of starved, male lions and you'll have some idea of what it's like to be a female walking into the Pit.

The ratio of men to women inside is around 17:4, two numbers that, coincidentally, add up to the total number of people inside at peak times.

This bar is truly the terminal destination of a night out and any later admission that you were in attendance is a clear indicator to others that the night got dark. Really dark. People lower their voices after they've heard the news - this is done out of consideration for your presumed hangover and because they are embarrassed for you.

The Pit Bar has such a bad reputation that we were told that it is one of only two places in all of Seward that our company shuttle drivers will never pick us up from.

The other one is jail.

Jail and the Pit share one more thing in common - both evoke a feeling of extreme relief upon safe release in the morning.


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