“I’m going to be painfully frank with you right now, and this is going to be difficult for me to say: the Jive is currently broken. We won’t be able to reopen our doors if we don’t achieve our goal.”
Jenna Schrenk, the mother of Bob’s Java Jive den, posted a plea for support on Facebook from the popular dive bar she manages. She says, “This pandemic just broke us.” “Brought us to our knees”
Electrical and plumbing problems plagued the nearly 100-year-old structure. “There are leaks everywhere,” Schrenk says. That was until cash flow was cut off due to pandemic restrictions. Schrenk wondered how long the Jive could last.
Bon Von Wheelie, the drummer for Girl Trouble and a regular travelling, says, “We can’t risk this one.” “This one is exceptional, and I believe we will lose Tacoma if we lose it.” The large coffee pot-shaped house, which was built in 1927 as a roadside attraction on Pacific Highway, became a cultural icon when Bob Radonich bought it in the 1950s.
“The whole room is packed with memories,” Schrenk says, “and it would be great to listen if the walls could talk.” House bands like The Ventures and The Wailers will perform. Bobby Floyd, Radonich’s uncle, can be heard playing his piano, as he has done nightly for decades. Granny GoGo may be showing off her moves on the dance floor.
“Up on that wall is an autograph of Ace Frehley from Kiss,” Schrenk explains.
It has a view of the pool table where Keanu Reeves and River Phoenix plotted a murder in the film “I Love You To Death.” And when singer Neko Case worked at the bar, she tried to persuade Radonich to book Girl Trouble and a new band named Nirvana to perform here.