The Inspiration for Two Tops – The Ark Bar in Nahcotta, Washington

A quick trip down memory lane for you, boys and girls.  Back when I was trying to figure out what sort of ‘toon to do I realized I didn’t want to do a superhero – too many done far too well.  I didn’t want talking animals – same thing.  I didn’t feel technically adept at lots of backgrounds and locations.  So I tried to think of places I could set it.  One place where I was happiest in my past would be The Ark Restaurant and Bakery.  I was a waitress.  I was a hostess.  I made rum balls during a time when I couldn’t waitress due to an oyster accident.  When I stopped working there, I haunted the bar.  It was such a warm, welcoming place – due mainly to the excellent bartender and human being, Dr. Scott.

In winter, when the tourists had fled, us locals would hang out (no smoking! way before it’s time) and drink and eat be very very merry.  We’d enjoy the winter storms making the big plate glass windows bow in and out.  We’d hope for a power outage to make things more interesting.  I brought men I loved there and one I eventually married.

I thought what a perfect place for a webcomic to be set.  And then I decided to populate it with the local human types AND local non-human types.  It seemed that would make for endless storylines.  In keeping with the Northern Exposure, Cheers and even Doc Martin, I brought in someone from the big city – Emily – to be a newcomer amongst the ghouls and Gorns and ghosts and zombies and creatures and vampires. Today I thought I’d share a few photos from my inspiration.   The Ark Restaurant and Bakery is no more – the building abandoned, the owners who had it when I was there have moved on to a great seafood cafe just south a bit – Jimella’s Seafood Market.  But I’ll always have it in a very special corner of my mind and heart.   And look,there’s the very inspiration for the character of Captain Phil smiling at the camera.  The Real Captain Phil.   Hmmmm, looks like I need to give my Captain Phil some silvery hairs in his beard.  Can you see the redhead just to the left of the Captain?  That’s Cherry – she was the “best man” at my wedding.Here I am during my Rum Ball Adventure.  That’s Jimella, the incredible chef.  I had wrenched my back while trying not to drop a large platter of fried oysters.  I ended up slamming the whole platter against a wall so that everyone could enjoy the spectacle of the oysters sliding slowing down to the floor.   This is a birthday celebration in the bar, with the glorious Willapa Bay in the background.  That’s my mom and my brother on the left.  I think at some point after this photo, I was annoyed with him for some reason and so stuck an alien sticker on his head.  That’s my sister, Laura Beth and me on the right.  Standing behind the alien head is Jimella, and that’s Nanci, co-owner with Jimella and a marvelous baker on the right. Yet another birthday celebration!  Oh, wait, this must be the same one, or else my brother, Brian and my mom had a very limited wardrobe.  I wish I could remember the fluist’s name…   My mom had a special place in the hearts of the owners there.  Still does, I think! Had to include this, although it’s out on the lawn.  This is Poncho, a friend of Dr. Scott’s.  I really should include him sometime!  Sweet guy.

I view this place and time through a lovely rosey nostalgic haze.  I felt a part of the community in a way I haven’t been able to replace.  Was it that it was a small town and everybody knew everybody?  At any rate,  that’s my inspiration!  The End


4 thoughts on “The Inspiration for Two Tops – The Ark Bar in Nahcotta, Washington

  1. Very cool post! Planet Allison is always interesting. And I always believed I’d have interaction with an ET but didn’t expect it to wear a vest and sip coffee.

  2. Hello Allison,
    My name is Bailey Roth and like you, I have a lot of great memories wrapped up with The Ark(RIP) restaurant. Almost every summer since I was a child my family would go to Long Beach for the IKF and have a great dinner there. In fact you may have been our waitress one of those times! We now enjoy Jimella’s just as much, but I still miss the place.

    Currently, I am attending Lake Washington Technical College(now LW Institute of Technology) for an AAS in Architectural Graphics, and this quarter I am enrolled in a final design class. For my project I chose to do a theoretical renovation and remodel of The Ark. Possibly to the point of adding a second story and trying to incorporate a bed & breakfast idea to the site. Big plans!

    Thank you for posting these interior pictures, as I am having a terrible time finding photos like them and have been relying on my memory to get a prelimenary floorplan put together. I was never old enough to moor up to the bar so that really helps!
    If you have the time to do me a huge favor, and earn many Karma points, please post or send me any other photos you can upload of The Ark.
    Happy Haunting, thanks again
    Bailey (

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