THE BROADWATER PLUNGE
PATRICK DUFFY’S FAMILY BAR IS A GEM
Depending on what generation you hail from, you may know actor Patrick Duffy from the juggernaut TV show “Dallas” (1978-1991) where he played the iconic and hunky Bobby Ewing or as one of TV’s favorite dads on the hit sitcom “Step by Step” (1991-1998).
And you might be surprised to learn that the Duffy family business isn’t acting but rather bartending—or bar owner to be precise. Duffy and his son Padraic Duffy, and Padraic’s wife Emily Hosloski, own The Broadwater Plunge in Los Angeles, a bar situated inside their Broadwater theater complex. The bar operates whether or not a production is playing and guests never need theater tickets to get into the Plunge even during a show.
The Broadwater Plunge represents the fourth generation of Duffys in the industry as Patrick Duffy grew up in his parents’ bar The Owl in rural Montana where it would be a common occurrence to see a young Patrick in his pajamas.
“That was my living room,” Duffy says of growing up in The Owl. “Our living room sucked so this was a playground living room.”
On Sundays when his parents, Terrence and Marie Duffy, would sleep in, Patrick and his younger sister, Joanne, would sneak into the bar and steal candy bars.
“It never dawned on me to drink,” Duffy says of those days living above a bar.
When asked if he remembers his first drink, Duffy thinks and responds fondly.
“Out by the lake on lawn chairs and my cousins drank martinis so I had a sip and I tried to back out of my face. ‘Why would anyone drink this?’ But now, I love martinis. But then, it was almost frightening—like an electric shock.
Now at age 70, Patrick Duffy comes to The Plunge to do carpentry work and hang photos.
“I come in and fix the stools,” Duffy says. “It’s my prideful contribution that no one knows about. There’s nothing about me, career wise, in this bar. One of the spices in the stew is Patrick Duffy but it won’t be predominant, the flavor should be this great Montana bar.”
Yes, the inspiration for The Broadwater Plunge can be traced back to the Montana towns in Broadwater County where Patrick Duffy was born and raised. The Plunge even features an actual piece of Duffy’s parents’ bar.
Yet the fact that the Duffy family would open another bar might surprise many considering that Patrick’s parents were murdered in their bar in 1986 during a robbery gone wrong. Perhaps it’s Duffy’s Buddhism, which he’s practiced for nearly 50 years, but he doesn’t see tragedy and sorrow at The Plunge.
“I don’t have that tit for tat of cause and effect. The fact that my parents happen to have been killed in the bar doesn’t make me leery of bars. It makes me understand the unfortunate depravity of the human condition that an act like that can happen anywhere.
“I don’t feel overly sentimental,” Duffy continues. “It’s more like being a grandfather. When my youngest son [Connor] had our first grandchild, it was probably the most profound moment of my life. Even different than my first child being born. It’s that kind of pride that I see now.”
Cocktails at Broadwater Plunge are named after people that Patrick Duffy grew up with, including The Swede who would help around the bar, and Ed Haley who worked at a local mine, as well as Boulder sheriff George Paradise.
“The clientele at my folk’s bar was a second family to me, almost without exception,” Duffy points out. “Very few strangers came into the bar unless they were driving through town. But every one of these people; I slept in their homes or their children were my best friends all through school. I can talk about George Paradise and say that his wife was my third-grade teacher and his son, George, was my best friend.”
Indeed, there will be no Thigh Master cocktail in honor of Duffy’s “Step by Step” TV wife Suzanne Somers.
Whether you consider the Broadwater Plunge a theater industry hangout or a local neighborhood watering hole, it is a family-run bar that continues a rich Duffy tradition.
“This sounds so macabre to say,” Patrick Duffy reflects, “but literally up until the moment that my parents’ lives ended in that bar, they were so happy being bar owners. That was their calling. They did it together. And I look at this as being a direct genetic link. This is a happy place. And it should be.”
The Broadwater Plunge is located at 6324 Santa Monica Blvd. Open daily 5pm to close. Call 323-538-5660.
Story By: Jose Martinez
Photography By: Jessica Sherman