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 Baghdad 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.