Nfld. & Labrador

Tiniest pub in Newfoundland has gone to the birds — literally

Junco's Pub in St. John's doesn't serve up any India pale ale or local brews, just seeds, nuts and millet. That's because the tiny bar-themed bird feeder was made only to accommodate winged patrons.

You won't find any pints at Junco's Pub, just seeds, nuts and millet

Newfoundland's tiniest pub has gone to the birds

Here and Now

6 years ago
There's a new bar in downtown St. John's that's doing a booming business. It's called Junco's Pub. But not everybody can get in. This one is JUST for the birds 2:11

No, giant birds are not invading a St. John's bar.

The junco pictured above is enjoying some time at Newfoundland's tiniest bar, called Junco's Pub, located in Elling Lien's backyard.

"[People] see pictures of it online and ask, 'Why would you start up a bar?' and then they see pictures of what they think are huge stuffed birds and, 'Why do you have huge stuffed birds in there?' No, they're actual birds that have just visited this thing."

They're pretty much there for the bar snacks. They don't really go for the drinking very much.- Elling Lien

Lien said he was inspired to create Junco's Pub after watching a livestream from Norway called Piip-show, which featured a bird feeder set up like a cafe.

After a year of working on the project, Lien now has a 24-hour livestream of his mini pub online.

Decked out with tiny posters, miniature bar stools, a Coca-Cola machine and what may be the world's tiniest dart board and karaoke machine.

And yes, there are even tiny bottles of beer and liquor — which Lien said is pretty much just for show, not for the birds.

"They're pretty much there for the bar snacks. They don't really go for the drinking very much — the Lambs Navy rum is pretty much just for show," he said.

A makeshift television on the bar's wall is actually an old iPhone stuck to the back of the bird feeder/pub, which Lien has hooked up to the computer broadcasting the live feed so it can play whatever he selects.

"I can put whatever I want on it, including karaoke. It has been showing public domain science fiction and horror movies recently, but today is a special day so — karaoke."

Love shack?

The very first bird that ever visited the pub was a junco, Lien said, and it wasn't long until other birds caught wind of it.

"He approached it really tentatively and hopped up there and was looking around and eventually found the feed behind the bar and that was it. He just kept coming back like once an hour to eat more seeds and nuts and millet and from then on, other birds get word of it," said Lien.

Yeah, they've hooked up. It's like a bar romance.- Elling Lien

"What's interesting, 'cause it's spring, they're pairing off now. That one junco that visited, he's got a buddy, he's got a female that visits with him regularly now. Yeah, they've hooked up. It's like a bar romance."

Lien said the same thing happened with a blue jay that regularly visited. Eventually, that blue jay brought its partner along to the pub.

"In order to explain to the other blue jay that there was food in here, I saw the blue jay take food in its beak and then feed the other one and then the other one hopped down and eventually kind of lumbered up here — they're really big for this size — and found it, ate it and I'm sure they'll be back."

According to Lien, there isn't much in it for him other than enjoying seeing the different types of birds stop by.

He hopes to eventually see a goldfinch.


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