By Bill Pumford, Image from Russ Keller Collection
TITLE: THE CRASH INN COCKTAIL LOUNGE: This week’s image is a photo of Obie’s Crash Inn Cocktail Bar in Top Town Crestline from the late 1940’s. The Crash Inn was an institution in Crestline for decades. It was built by Jim Olivas in the 1930’s when he was the manager at Suverkrup Lumber Company. In 1936 the lounge was operated by Chet Beehler and served burgers, chili, wine, and beer. In April 1944 the Crash Inn was reopened by Marston and Ina Obershaw as Obie’s Crash Inn Cocktail Bar and after a couple of years it went back to being called just the Crash Inn. The Obershaws served barbequed ribs and chicken plus steaks, pork chops, and, of course, cocktails. In May 1949 Jim and Hon Olivas had yet another grand re-opening of the Crash Inn. The Obershaws had moved on, eventually opening Obie’s Bar in Yermo. The new operator of the Crash Inn was the same Jim Olivas who built it originally. The menu expanded during this period to include Mexican food. The restaurant was on the lower level and was accessed via a steep set of stairs. Over the years the Town Hall and the Crash Inn became the two most recognizable bar/cocktail lounges in Crestline. As a cocktail lounge the Crash Inn did experience patron disputes over the years that had to be settled by the sheriff, guns, knives, or fists. In the 1980’s the Crash Inn was run by Sherry Pelz and featured a Chinese restaurant managed by Henry Wong. The staff at the Crash Inn represented the cocktail lounge at local events such as Jam Days (the coffin race and pool tournament). By the mid-1990’s the building became a private residence which up until recently was available for rent. This is located next to a new restaurant that serves smoothies and hot dogs.