Grumpy’s Bar In Sun Valley, Idaho: The Greatest Ski Bar In The World

Two days ago, I wrote a blog about my experience here in Sun Valley, Idaho. The entire conceit of the blog stemmed from an encounter with a local man at the supermarket, where he scared the shit out of me and told me never to write about Sun Valley. The implication was that he didn’t want tourists flocking here—to this peaceful, rustic gem of a ski town—to clog up the lift lines and traffic stops. I obliged his wishes by writing a completely and obviously sarcastic, negative review of Sun Valley to drive tourists away.

Unfortunately, a lot of Sun Valley locals missed this. Even though I wrote things like:

“I’ve been pelted with snow balls, I’ve torn my skis apart, and someone put a car bomb under our rented Navigator that failed to detonate, mercifully. And just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, our in-sink disposal stopped working.”

I described the guy in the market as having fangs. I pointed prospective ski tourists to “Vail, Aspen, Deer Valley, and Tahoe” instead—some of the most tourist-heavy ski resorts in the country. The blog was so drenched in sarcasm that I worried I had overdone it.

But then…


Have some fun with those replies. In a decade of being a comedian, I’ve never seen a joke fly so completely over a group of people’s heads. But I’m not here to mock them; sometimes it’s hard to pick up context from the written word. You text someone “k” versus “ok” versus “okay,” and it means three totally different things.

The point is, I’m not trying to dog Sun Valley or, especially, Grumpy’s. That bar is fun as hell. They serve massive beers called Schooner’s, and you’re only allowed to drink them with one hand. New Years Day is a total blowout celebration for a lot of people who live and work here, and when we went, they were having the time of their lives—both inside and outside the bar. If you want to sing songs and get fucked up after a long day on the slopes, you won’t find a better place than Grumpy’s.

What’s more, the snow on the mountain has been fantastic. No lift lines. Food is great. Everyone friendly as hell. The streets still feel like a place out of time, as though you can almost picture two quarreling men striding off their paces before shooting each other dead. And for what? Because one of them placed his trash in the other’s bins for collection? Christ, talk it out fellas.

So, Sun Valley, here you go: come visit this place!!! Immediately!!! Buy your flights and book your reservations now. As of this stupid fucking “explain the joke” blog, the word is out. Is this what you wanted, Grumpy’s? Come one, come all, to this glorious valley. I’m sending out the call to all of LA’s botox divorcées, all of New York’s Wall Street bros, every bachelor and bachelorette party from Vegas to Maine. Bring your screaming children, bring your dogs. Hell, bring your home meth cooking kit and set up an operation in the hills—nobody’s checking here. This place needs visitors! Get involved.

Just make sure to check underneath your car before you start it. You know, for bombs.