Hazel’s Tavern is under new ownership.

Bob and Elizabeth Knutsen sold Hazel’s Tavern in downtown Astoria to Stephen “Steve” C. Allen. Allen, an Astoria-based certified professional accountant, is also an owner in the Desdemona Club (aka Dirty D), the Wet Dog Café & Brewery and Astoria Brewing Co. in Astoria, and the Evergreen Pub & Café in Rainier.

“It was time to get out,” said Bob Knutsen.

The Knutsens bought Hazel’s Tavern nearly two years ago. At that time, “it was a dump, it was horrible,” Knutsen said. “It’s a nice, clean little bar now.”

Knutsen’s son John ran the tavern, but Knutsen said overseeing the operations was “just not my cup of tea… I’m an insurance guy.”

Knutsen owns Knutsen Insurance with Jeff Canessa. “With 25 employees in two offices, I have plenty to do,” Knutsen said. “It was just too much.”

Hazel’s Tavern closed May 30 and will likely reopen in about a week, said new owner Allen. Allen had originally considered opening the tavern sooner, but he's decided to hold off until after they reopen Andrew & Steve's Chart Room June 1.

"We're leaving it a sports bar," Allen said. The Allen's plan to add video poker to the bar's offerings in the future.

Allen said purchasing the tavern was a "good opportunity. We're in the business ... it just fit with what we're doing."

Between Allen and his wife, Karen Huber Allen, they have seven children. Three of the kids work in the family businesses full time. Allen said he expects two or three other kids to work with the family this summer.

"This year, we'll either have five or six kids working for us," he said.

 Hazel's Tavern is located at 1313 Marine Drive in Astoria.

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