Let 'er Buck Room

For nearly a decade, local bars have come together to settle one very important question: Just which bar is the best in Pendleton? (Anyone who’s spent more than a night here knows there’s some stiff competition.)

And this year is no different, as the ninth annual Battle of the Bars–hosted by the Pendleton Round-up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame–returns on March 1 to figure out which bar is the best in town. Appropriately enough, the light-hearted competition takes place in the Let ‘er Buck Room at the Pendleton Round-up grounds.

Want to learn more about the competition? Here’s a breakdown of what to know before you go.

What exactly is the Battle of the Bars?

Each of the 10 participating bars will create a signature drink for the event–and the only stipulation is that each must contain Pendleton Whisky. Attendees can then purchase a drink from any of the participating bars and vote for their favorites. (Note that tasting portions will be available for attendees who’d like to try each bar’s offerings before making a final call.)

Votes will be tallied at night’s end, and the winner will receive a plaque and bragging rights–at least until next year’s competition. (In the end, though, isn’t everyone who attends technically a winner?)

The competition itself takes place from 6-8 p.m. March 1, though attendees can stay and enjoy refreshments until 11 p.m. The Pendleton Lions Club will be on hand to sell dinner throughout the night, offering a menu of burgers, German dogs, and several sides.

Which bars will participate?

The lineup includes a who’s who of some of Pendleton’s most popular establishments. Expect creative cocktails from Crabby’s Underground Saloon (a two-time champion), Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s, Hamley Steakhouse and Saloon, The Prodigal Son Brewery and Pub, and more.

Does the Battle of the Bars raise money for local organizations?

The 21-and-older event is a fundraiser for the Pendleton Round-up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame; money raised at the Battle of the Bars helps cover the museum’s ongoing costs.

Interested in staying in Pendleton?

Don’t worry about driving home–Pendleton offers a mix of historic hotels, B&Bs, resorts and more, with plenty of lodging within an easy walk (or short cab ride) of the Let ‘er Buck Room. See where to stay in Pendleton, and make your reservation before rooms fill up!