Bob's Java Jive
Bob's Java Jive
3.5
Bars & Clubs
Read more
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Monday
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Tuesday
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Wednesday
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Thursday
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Friday
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Saturday
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
Sunday
8:00 PM - 2:00 AM
About
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

3.5
15 reviews
Excellent
5
Very good
1
Average
3
Poor
5
Terrible
1

catb1rd
Sumner, WA15 contributions
Apr 2015 • Couples
The Java jive inside is definitely not what people would expect, especially after seeing a picture of the building itself. I had always heard about it and it seemed to me like it would be more of a coffee jazz kind of place, but to my surprise there was a three-piece punk rock 20 something band playing there.

Last night my wife and I stop there on a whim just to check it out. When you first enter the building you walk directly into a fairly small room with only seating at the L-shaped bar. They only serve beer and wine. To get to the room where the band is playing, you walk up a small incline just passed the bar. The band plays on a small stage elevated about a foot and a half. The room where the band played was divided into two sections. The area where the band plays has a small open space for dancing with a couple of booths along the outer wall. The other section had a pool table, dartboard and couple pinball machines.

The band was a lot of fun. The musicians were top notch and the combination of originals and cover songs were done with excellent quality. There was about a dozen and a half people in the bar, all very engaged with the band. The customers could be divided into two age groups. Half were around the 20/30 age and the other half were around 50. Everybody as I said before were really engaged with the band. At no time did I see any dancing couple style, but on a number of songs several of the young men would dance by repeatedly jumping up and down in a rigid way.

Yes, as some have commented, the bar is a dive, but I looked past it as I immersed myself in the music. My wife and I totally enjoyed the experience and would definitely go back especially if they have the same caliber and music style of a band. Don't go there if you don't enjoy loud grunge like music. What I don't know is if they change up music styles on different nights or if they have a grunge like band every weekend.
Written April 26, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

NMC_12
Houston, TX266 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
Ok, this roadside America attraction took all but 2 minutes to snap pictures of but over an hour to get to through Seattle traffic. Still? You just GOTTA do these things because HOKEY things like this off the beaten path is what makes us Americans unique!

Bob's appears to be more along the lines of a dive bar now that offers karaoke but the coffee pot shape of the building still makes it one of those things you gotta see!
Written September 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

r a
Tacoma, WA125 contributions
Oct 2014
An iconic structure truly out of the past, harkening back to the 40's song by the Ink Spots with the refrain, "I love the Java Jive and it loves me." Talk about a funky place! Walk in and you think you might be back in the WWII years! If someone with some money owned this place, it could be turned into a fantastic historic venue. Right now it's more like a curiosity worth a visit.
Written July 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Annacillu
Brookline, MA83 contributions
Sep 2017 • Friends
This place is a truly weird and wonderful dive.

From the outside this place looks like a dilapidated teapot. Inside the door is a dimly lit bar area surrounded by old bus seats covered with neon and animal print textiles. Order cheap beers from the crusty local (in the best way) bartender. One of the regulars will immediately start regaling you with the Jive's history. It includes Elvis and Kurt Cobain and we were entirely sure he was making it up until we read up on the spot the next day.

We moved into the second room just as karaoke started getting going (about 9 pm on a Tuesday). It was our group and a handful of what seemed to be regulars from all walks of life. They had a vast catalog of songs and we were able to find everything we were looking for from the 50's and 60's. Everyone there was participating and cheering and just extremely welcoming - even when my tone-deaf boyfriend got up for his second song. It didn't matter; no one was very good but everyone was enjoying themselves.

Come with a few friends and an open mind and you'll love this Tacoma landmark as much as we did.
Written September 17, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Carlos A
129 contributions
Feb 2017 • Solo
I was planning to stop and look at this place and maybe get a drink. Outside looked like a junkyard with old cars, it looked rundown. I decided not to park and walk inside after seeing the exterior.
Written February 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review, Carlos I'm glad you wanted to visit and I'm very sorry our place wasn't looking as it should. This was, is and always will be unacceptable to me and as long as it is my responsibility, Tacoma's Jive will never look bad or be shamed for the way it looks again. The question of "Is that place still open" is a thing of the past! That said, I thought you would like to know that Bob's is under new management and things are steadily improving. It has new paint, some new booths, pool table has been redone, etc. Cleanliness and keeping the "jive" look and feel are one of my highest priorities. I hope you will get the chance again to stop in, have a burger, beer, belt-out one of your favorite tunes and get that Java Jive experience and what it is about this place that make people truly love this old bar. The best to you, Rich ~ Bob's grandson.
Written May 28, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Rebecca V
5 contributions
Jul 2018 • Friends
Sit down and listen to the history of the place. Love the decor inside. Love the story of how the Teapot came to be. Love the history of Nirvana and it's start there. Love absolutely everything about this bar.
I guess I even like that people are too chicken to even walk into this amazing place.
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

iammsleah
Tacoma, WA19 contributions
Sep 2017 • Friends
No Tacoma visit is truly complete without a karaoke excursion to the venerable Jive. If you're too exhausted to go inside, at least drive past the place. You can't miss it—the building is shaped like an enormous coffeepot. The original owner, Bob, left this universe several years ago, but his ghost remains. “Java” and “Jive” were the names of two monkeys who lived inside the establishment long ago, when folks still thought such shenanigans were cute. Don't let the bar's exterior scare you—it's all part of the charm. This is the real Tacoma, and we want to keep it that way. Karaoke at the Jive is a transcendent experience, set against the garish backdrop of flickering lights and tiki ornaments. You can belt out your smoldering rendition of “I'm Not in Love” or “Takin' Care of Business” seven days a week, and nobody cares what you sound like.
Written September 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Richie D
Santa Barbara, CA754 contributions
Dec 2013 • Friends
More like Java Dive...

I came here simply for a nostalgic picture. Yes, while singing "I'm a little [coffee]pot, short and stout." As an outsider, I truly thought it was a coffee shop. I was extremely disappointed to not get my caffeine fix. With that said, I don't imagine I'm missing out on much based on the look of the coffee pot and the sloppily, hand-written note on the door.
Written December 28, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TAMAN1951
Liberty Lake, WA5,898 contributions
Sep 2013 • Couples
Looks like it may have been a cute coffee shop at one point but now it seems to be a dive bar.

Definitely not worth the 1 hour drive from Seattle.

Needs to be removed from roadside America places to see.
Written September 8, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

dasbergermiester
Marietta, PA88 contributions
May 2018
My 25th birthday was like 30+ years ago , There were Live chimpanzees (java & Jive) , in a plexiglas section of the bar(to the right) , a baby grand piano, and trees? well when they built the bar they put in Live trees with the hope of a clear ceiling, the clear got tart papered over the trees died and remained in their hug pots 10 years after death became their master!The food was typical bar food with people ordering out for pizza and the piano player was a master of the craft an"Idiot savant" who's best could only be ruined by playing 3 little fishes, that he would play there after the whole night! and the requesting/offending customer got bounced! and the Mistro was escorted off stage! The last of My Party Birthdays! after that i went with one one one or solos! I would go back but i fear my memories would be stolen and crushed!
Written October 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 15
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Bob's Java Jive (Tacoma) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Bob's Java Jive

Bob's Java Jive is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 PM - 2:00 AM