The Red Dog Saloon is a drinking establishment at 278 South Franklin Street in Juneau, Alaska, U.S. The Red Dog has been recognized by the Alaska Legislature for its longevity as the oldest man-made tourist attraction in Juneau.
Originating during the heyday of Juneau’s glorious mining era, this world famous saloon has provided hospitality and fellowship to weary travelers and local patrons alike. Early day proprietors, Earl and Thelma (Pederson) Forsythe provided dancing and long time entertainer “Ragtime Hattie” played the piano in her white gloves and silver dollar halter top.
During territorial days, during his tenure of over twenty years as owner, Gordie Kanouse would meet tour boats with his mule that wore a sign saying “follow my ass to the Red Dog Saloon”. In the early seventies the Harris family bought the saloon and continued to grow and protect the priceless collection of furs, guns and antiques. The saloon hosted an episode of The Ed Sullivan Show just after Alaska became a state.
The Red Dog Saloon has had several different locations here in town. Originally the saloon was located about 2 blocks up Franklin street and later across the street next to the Alaskan Hotel. In 1988 the saloon was moved, intact, to this site. Great care was given to replacing most everything to its original place within the room. The Kanouse family, back in the late 40’s began luring the tourist customers from the arriving steamships. Some old timers tell us the Red Dog Saloon used to be just a tent on the beach during the mining heydays.
In 2008, the saloon was purchased by a group of local Juneauites who continue the tradition of providing hospitality, fellowship and entertainment to weary travelers and local patrons alike. In 2012 the saloon was expanded slightly and connected to the new larger Red Dog Mercantile which carries a wide variety of Red Dog souvenirs and apparel. Today the local owners of the Red Dog Saloon continue to work to improve and enhance the experience behind those swinging doors and above those sawdust floors and hope to see you soon at the world famous Red Dog Saloon!
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