Part of Pabst Blue Ribbon’s resurgence as a hipster brew of choice in recent years: a certain blue-collar Americana ’80s nostalgia. You may not have lived through that chapter in the beer brand’s history. (Glimpse it in this 1983 PBR commercial featuring Jason Alexander. Tagline: “Pabst is the place!”) No matter. Now you can be transported back in time and fully immerse yourself in that era with an overnight stay at a Pabst Blue Ribbon-themed motel. In a nod toward the vintage ad campaign, the belovedly basic beer brand is calling it “Pabst: The Place.”
PBR has partnered with the Grand Traverse Motel, a historic roadside motel in Traverse City, Michigan, to offer retro-beer-loving vacationers an immersive experience in three rooms distinctly — and elaborately — appointed in accordance with different PBR themes.
The Arcade Room features working classic ’80s arcade games and a king-size bed that also functions as a pop-a-shot machine, with two basketball hoops built right into the towering, wraparound headboard. Designed for “the kid at heard who is old enough to legally drink,” the room promises to “fulfill your childhood dream of having a sleepover at the arcade,” according to the official description on the Pabst: The Place booking site.
The Dive Bar room, meanwhile, is meant to transport overnight guests into a “classic, hole-in-the wall bar, but with a king-size bed” as well as “cleaner bathrooms,” PBR says. It features “kitschy decor,” a glowing Pabst-branded jukebox, a bar area with stools, a lot of Pabst memorabilia trumpeting “your favorite no-frills beer.”
Last, the Rec Room offers wood-paneling, shag carpeting, a vintage cabinet-encased TV, a panoply of earth-tone-patterned furniture and wallpaper, and a stone fireplace we imagine is probably as faux as your enjoyment of it would be real. (Extra props to the decorators of this room for the carpeted toilet seat and tank covers!) “Complete with board games, a foosball table, and a queen size bed masquerading as a pull-out sofa, this room will transport you back to your grandma’s basement. In a good way,” the brand promises.
“The idea speaks to that special place PBR has in your heart and mind. A place that’s indifferent to the passing of time, where the beer is cold and friendship is forever. And now, is a place you can actually visit. This one of a kind motel experience evokes the vibe of summers past and present,” Rachel Keeton, marketing director for PBR, said in a news release.
“Pabst is the Place represents all the little things that make the brand what it is. The Motel becomes the Place, evoking that comfortable and timeless feeling of PBR for visitors to experience first-hand.”
The rooms, which quietly became available on August 1 for stays extending until the end of the month, can be reserved on the motel’s website. As of press time, the Dive Bar room was all sold out, but a couple of nights in the Arcade Room and Rec Room were still available.
If you’re ready to grab your overnight bag, hop into your vintage pickup truck or beat-up paneled station wagon, and hightail it over for a stay at the motel — which is located just a block from Grand Traverse West Bay, a popular summer beach destination — you should probably book super-fast though. Given PBR’s place in the hearts of both oldsters and hipsters, the remaining available nights probably won’t be available for long.