Pete’s Tavern

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At least four regular entities still enjoy “The Cave”.

They all have distinct personalities and characteristics!



Pete’s Tavern is a two story, brick structure with a basement that is a quaint, low-key neighborhood beer/wine cooler only bar that offers opportunities to hear live music, watch sports events on TVs, and play pool for 25 cents a game.


Because it was built during the construction of the historic beginnings of Nampa, Pete’s Tavern is in a row of stores, and shares two of its walls with neighboring store buildings. It is a very long structure, with a second floor. The stores all have fancy dentil work along the top of their structure, with inlaid bricks around the second-floor windows. The front of outside first floor of the tavern is painted red, giving it pizazz.

The interior is decorated in a colorful manner, using posters, lights, beer memorabilia, interesting pictures and artifacts from its long past and current history. There is a bar room in the back, called “The Cave,” that was remodeled many years ago to actually look like a cave, complete with walls and ceiling constructed to look like carved rock and stone. There is a long bar that takes up the entire North side of this room, decorated with interesting wood carvings. There are tables there as well. It has a similar historical decor found in the front part of the tavern.



Though the current establishment, Pete’s Tavern, was opened in 1945, the building itself has been here for many years before, and has a very long history. The original wooden structures in the historic downtown business district, were probably built in the late 1800s. As this city of Nampa was formed in 1885, one source claims that this row of buildings was built in 1886, to create a commercial business district. However, on July 3, 1909, a huge fire destroyed “The entire downtown block between 12th and 13th Avenues and 1st and Front Streets.” These downtown blocks were rebuilt, using brick instead of wood.

The earliest businesses here were a butcher shop, a common store needed for a community, and a Chinese Laundry, which reflected the influx of Chinese workers when jobs were plentiful for foreigners because of the railroad and other projects.

During Prohibition years, it contained a hidden speakeasy, in the back of the building, where a room was closed off with a wall and huge wooden door. Whatever business was located in the front of the building, ran one of the town’s “Speakeasies” where folks could enter via the wooden door and indulge in their favorite alcoholic drink. The entrance to this room, now called “The Cave”, still has its big, heavy wooden door with a peep-hole in it.

Sometime after Prohibition, if not sooner, the Owyhee Lounge was established, and held forth until 1945, when Pete’s Tavern became the local watering hole.



It is not clear as to who is keeping the living company in Pete’s Tavern. We have listed some possibilities below.

Popular neighborhood bars and taverns sometimes are still favorite places to go and stay for formerly alive patrons who still like to come in their after-life.

Former employees and owners of a commercial business also like to visit or still hang out to relive their memories, sometimes help or supervise the living, or get their chuckles at the living people’s expense. One wonders what the second floor was used for; probably living space. It could’ve offered some rooms to rent, or a place to live for the shop owners. If the entity had lived and worked in the same building, it would liken the chances that they would want to stay.



At least four regular entities still enjoy The Cave. While only shadows have been noticed, not actual apparitions, people have reported hearing and feeling things that have no natural causes.

Four different voices have been recorded several times: two males and two females. Three of them are described as playful and friendly, but there is always a wet blanket in every crowd.

Entity of an older man, who is very cranky, and grumpy.

Communicates tersely in one-word sentences.

Entity of a younger man, in his late twenties/early thirties,

who still has the gift of gab that he was blessed with while alive.

He has been very talkative with one investigator from Idaho Paranormal, answering questions and more, in a conversational way.

Entity of a woman who talks with either a British or southern accent.

Perhaps she worked in the bar in some capacity, as she complained about having her bottom pinched by customers to the investigators.

Entity of a soft-spoken woman,

who only whispers when asked questions, so softly that the words are hard to decipher.

Perhaps she was connected to the Chinese laundry era, but she could’ve come from any time period.

Staff and regular customers have experienced:

Whispers of disembodied voices.

Gentle touches by an unseen hand.

Intense cold spots that come quickly from no apparent natural source.

Members of the Idaho Paranormal team who participated on these investigations also had personal experiences.

Idaho Paranormal has investigated Pete’s Tavern several times and captured hard evidence to back up the claims of the reports that have long been experienced.

“The room will get very cold and you’ll feel the presence of things move near you and around you. The spirits in The Cave love to play with hair, touch your back and legs and move cold air past you. They whisper in your ear and will even tap on the bar to get your attention!”

Idaho Paranormal has posted their findings on their web-site.


Yes indeed! Pete’s Tavern is as popular with its unseen patrons as it is with its living regulars, who love to come and socialize, had something to eat and drink, and unwind watching a game or listen to a live band.



Pete’s Tavern
11 12th Avenue South
Nampa, ID 83651
(208) 466-9280

In historic downtown Nampa, Pete’s Tavern can be found in the middle of 12th Ave South, between Front Street to the north, and 1st Street to the south. 12th Avenue South intersects with Front Street, where Canyon County Historical Museum is located, making it an easy walk to Pete’s Tavern.



  • Ghost Hunter’s Field Guide
    by Rich Newman
    Llewellyn Publications
  • Pete’s Tavern page at
  • Pete’s Tavern page on

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Idaho