Polar Bear Behind Glass
Port Costa, California
In the tiny pocket town of Port Costa, next to the Carquinez Strait, there's an old warehouse converted to a saloon and restaurant. The Warehouse Cafe is where you'll encounter its permanent tenant -- a huge polar bear mounted behind glass, in an atmospherically murky dining room. The behemoth is posed upright, illuminated by spotlights.
At the bear's feet, on a fake plaster snowbank, an arctic seal sprawls, convincingly dead. Makes us want to order an appetizer....
A plaque informs that the star is a "World Record Class Polar Bear," and was shot by J. O. Kirby out of Kotzebue, Alaska in April 1965, taxidermy obtained in Spokane, Washington.
The Warehouse Cafe is cluttered with plenty of other funky displays, junk and knickknacks. Look for the Elvis shrine behind the entrance bar. And if the Boardwalk shop hasn't sold it yet, a Frankenstein's Monster is in restraints.
It was quiet early in the day, but you'll usually find friendly bar staff and patrons tolerant of visitors fixated on the bear.