A Toast to Vivian McCarty

A “Portland Best”


As one of the Eastside’s oldest watering holes, the Yukon enjoys a storied past. Part of that past includes a famous living legend by the name of Vivian McCarty. Vivian was a fiery, redheaded soul who tended bar at the Yukon for over 50 years – well into her 90’s, in fact.


Vivian was also a regular on the Portland music scene. She headed up not one, but two all-woman big bands; the San Su Strutters and the Four Femmes. The groups spent weekends traveling the Northwest music circuit, playing big band tunes as far south as San Francisco. They also played at the grand opening of Southeast Portland’s iconic Bagdad Theater.


In 2011, Willamette Week newspaper named Vivian one of the city’s “Best of Portland”. Today, the Yukon honors her memory with our own shrine – a collection of photos and newspaper articles that commemorate her life and times.


So the next time you’re in, raise a glass to Vivian: a Portland legend and a Yukon icon.


Vivian McCarty Shrine at Yukon Tavern
Vivian McCarty with Su Su Strutters
In the 1930’s, Vivian formed two¬†all-girl big bands, the Su Su Strutters and the Four Femmes. This photo of the Su Su Strutters features Vivian – second from the right.

Check out our Sister Pubs

If you like Yukon Tavern, we invite you to check out Greeley Avenue Bar & Grill and Mock Crest Tavern.

Greeley Avenue Bar & Grill
Mock Crest Tavern

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