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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,240 bars; 1,489 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, May 20, 2017

#2523 - The Mint, Enumclaw, WA - 5/23/2014

The Mint, Enumclaw, WA

Below the volcanic noises of Mount Rainier which produced its name, the city of "Enumclaw" came into existence in 1885, then the Northern Pacific Railroad routed through the Frank nd Mary Fell Stevenson's property. (historylink) The Stevenson's also gave away property for a hotel and saloon at the same time. In 1906 The Mint was established. It seems to have survived in one form or another through prohibition until today, moving across the street to its current location at some point in the 1930s. I have notes that it was for some time called The Peach Tree and the n the Enumclaw Pub, but in my limited city guide data I can find only "The Mint" or "Mint Tavern" listed at this address going back at least as far back as 1941.

Bacon jam crostini, The Mint, Enumclaw, WA

The Mint closed suddenly in 2012, but re-opened under new ownership in August 2013. The current version retains the old bar and accentuates some of the history, as well as upgrading and broadening the food. A nice beer selection is complemented by some fresh cocktail choices -- not quite fine, craft cocktails, but better than average. I started with a tasty bacon jam crostini, and followed with the asparagus and salmon ravioli.

1608 Cole St, Enumclaw, WA 98022 - (360) 284-2517
Est. 1930s (1906 in different location) - Building constructed: 1923
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: link - link - yelp - tripadvisor - courierherald - patch

#2522 #S1250 - World of Beer, Seattle - 5/19/2014

Update: World of Beer closed in Dec 2014 and reopened under new ownership as 500 East.

Of course World of Beer has a lotta beer (50 rotating drafts, >500 bottles), but I was in the mood for something different so I had a MargaIPA. It was actually pretty good (bartender told me "I'm from California -- I can make a margarita"). This place later broke off from the big WoB chain but is much the same place, with some decent snacks, high ceilings, big windows, a small patio, and, well, lots of beer.

500 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 323-9110
Est. Nov 25, 2013 - Closed Dec 2014
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: capitolhillseattle

#2521 #S1249 - Mezcaleria Oaxaca, Seattle - 5/19/2014

La Mezcaleria Oaxaca / Puro Lonchera
Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA
Update:  Mezcaleria Oaxaca Capitol Hill is now Puro Lonchera (same owners and menu)

La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard quicky established itself as one of the most authentic and most popular Mexican restaurants in Seattle. With pretty much every night featuring lines out the door for a seat at the communal tables, the Dominguez family expanded first to upper Queen Anne Hill and now to an old auto body shop on Capitol Hill. This location is larger, features a roof top bar for summer time, and a "mezcal classroom."

422 E. Pine St., Seattle - (206) 324-0506                       
Est. Feb 25, 2014 - Building constructed: 1958
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: bizjournals - capitolhillseattle - yelp - tripadvisor - eater - thestranger - eatinseattle - seattlemet - thrillist - suzi-pratt

#2520 #S1248 - Babirusa, Seattle - 5/18/2014

Babirusa, Seattle, WA
The photo may not do them justice, but these
chorizo stuffeddates with remesco were delicious
Built into a dreary little strip mall portion of a 20-year-old mixed use structure, astride a Subway and below concrete steps to an apartment complex parking lot, Babirusa's location is one where you would not be surprised by a nice, cheap little ethnic joint, but not upscale, creative small plates and craft cocktails. And when it beckons you from this location with "the best burger in town," one would not expect that to come wiht charred eggplant aioli, confit onions, and sales verde, nor for the other options to consist of items like "Orcchiette with walnut pesto, flowering rapini and Parmesan," "Ling Cod with baby turnips and nettle puree," or "Belgium Endive salad with creamy jalapeƱo dressing, black radish and miners lettuce."

And yet here once sat Matt Dillon's tony Sitka & Spruce, then Nettletown, and later Blind Pig Bistro, and those are just the sort of dishes that appear on the rotating, chalkboard menu at Barbirusa. Indeed it is from the Blind Pig next door that Charles Wadpole (Anchovies & Olives, Mistral), Rene Gutierrez, and Ben Sherwood expanded into a teriyaki shop and remaded it into the bar. The Blind Pig closed in November 2016, but the newer place, named for the deer-pigs of some Indonesian islands, remains.

Babirusa, Seattle, WA
Painted Hills burger with confit onions
The attitude is wry and casual. and I quite liked the touted burger, although the aoli was not my favorite. I loved the chorizo stuffed dates. and my cocktails, a "Rye a Reason" and classic Boluvardier, were also quite fine. And while it would be far from my first choice to live in the sprawling corridor of mixed use condo buildings that now coats Eastlake Avenue, this joint, squeezed into the corner of a vestigial strip mall, is just the sort of hidden gem any neighborhood would love to have.

2236 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, Washington 98102 - (206) 323-7531
Est. May 13, 2014 - Building constructed: 1988
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: -
Articles ranked: thestrangerseattletimes - eater - seattlemag - yelp

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

#2519 #S1247 - Chippy's Fish and Drink, Seattle - 5/14/2014

Chippy's Fish and Chips, Seattle, WA
Update: Chippy's closed Feb 14, 2016 and was replaced by Marine Hardware.

Chippy's is the 10th restaurant from Seattle chef Ethan Stowell, a smaller, less upscale sliver of a joint squeezed in between fancy places (Staple & Fancy, Walrus and the Carpenter, Barnacle) and serving up less rarefied dishes like fish and chips, chowder, crab salad and tuna poke. It seats only 18 people. It is said that the secret to the fried fish batter is "lots of vodka, which evaporates quickly for added crunch, and rice flour." It is one of better plates of fish and chips in town, but not so much better that I would seek it out, except when I was hankering for some fairly basic fish and chips with a high quality cocktail.

Chippy's Fish & Chips, Seattle, WA

4741 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 257-4390
Est. May 14, 2014 - Building constructed: 1910 - Closed Feb 14, 2016
Previous bars in this location: None known
Reviews: eater - thestranger - bizjournals - annetrent - myballard - vittlemonsterseattlemagyelp - thrillist

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

#2518 - Outlaw Saloon, Bellingham, WA - 5/11/2014

We much enjoyed chatting with bartender/owner Jamie -- good drinks (Moscow mules in copper mugs) and fun -- and also visiting Wesley the dog. The place seems like it would inevitably host a lot of douchebags, but there was no sign of that while we were there.

2023 Main St, Ferndale, WA 98248 - (360) 380-0808
Est. July l, 2011
Previous bars in this location: Cedars Tavern
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

#2517 - Cabin Tavern, Bellingham, WA - 5/11/2014

The Cabin Tavern, Bellingham, WA
The Cabin Tavern was located at 1213 Cornwall from at least the late 40s to mid 70s. By 1980 it appears at its current address. The current building dates back to 1900 or earlier and has alternated between many different types of businesses, punctuated by years of vacancy. Previous businesses include Abraham Saperstein's music shop, Price Less Shoe Store, State Woodworking, George Fisher's bakery and Farm Electrical Contractors. (Jim Talbot)

The Cabin was remodeled and reopened by a new owner after this visit and these photos, and it looks even more cozy than before (I saw a Facebook post requesting more antlers which I took as a good sign). The lighting looks nicer, they've added a small patio space, they feature Taco Thursdays, have a nice selection of local craft beers, and host live music. They remain hipster friendly, gay friendly, and geezer friendly, and seems like it would be a good choice to by your regular place.

The Cabin Tavern, Bellingham, WA

Cabin Tavern, Bellingham, WA
(Wish they still had this sign up)
307 W Holly St, Bellingham, WA 98225 - (360) 733-9685
Building constructed: 1900
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: whatsupwhatsup - yelp

Sunday, April 30, 2017

#2516 - Waterfront Tavern, Bellingham, WA - 5/11/2014

The Waterfront Tavern, Bellingham, WA

Bellingham's venerable Waterfront Tavern has a reputation for fish and chips, being the last remaining Old Town building on pilings, and as the watering hole of choice for serial killers. Ted Bundy, the Hillside Strangler, and the Beltway Sniper are all said to have downed some cold ones here before being arrested -- and that's not even to count James A. Kinney, a relative slacker in the murder business, whose single victim was found just off the Mount Baker Highway. It's almost surprising that the regulars are not said to include Green River Killer Gary Ridgeway, given that he once worked in Bellingham, and included a Bellingham native among his 90 known victims.

As he seemingly always is, Bundy was described by patrons as charming when he was said to visit the bar in the mid 70s, that is, right around the time he began a killing spreed that included an admitted 30 victims, and suspicion of perhaps 100 or more. There is little evidence to tie Bundy to the area, but Bundy's victims were spread around Washington state and among several western states before his escape to Florida, including women he met at Dante's in Seattle and The Flame in Burien.

On the other hand, while it is not clear that he actually frequented the Waterfront, Bianchi made sure no one would forget his presence in Bellingham when he raped and murdered a Western Washington University student he met while working as a security guard at the Lakeway Drive Fred Meyer, along with her roomate. After his arrest by Bellingham police, Bianchi eventually confessed to commiting, with his cousin Angelo Buono, 10 murders in Los Angeles that dubbed him the Hillside Strangler.

The Waterfront Tavern, Bellingham, WA
While the connections of Bundy and Bianchi to the Waterfront may be simply some tall tales of a few of the patrons (klipsun), the Waterfront patronage of James Kinney and John Allen Muhammad is much more firmly established. Kinney was known by regulars to suffer from mental illness before he murdered a visiting 20-year-old young woman and was eventually caught with the aid of the television program "America's Most Wanted."

Along with co-conspirator Lee Boyd Malvo, John Muhammad lived in the Lighthouse Mission, a 4-minute walk up W. Holly Street from the tavern. He was described to the New York Times and other sources as being polite but often belligerent, making no effort to warm to other regulars or hide his positive views of the 9/11 attacks, in between sipping Budweisers and watching "The Price is Right" and ESPN. In 2002, Muhammad and Malvo would leave Bellingham to murder 17 people and injure 10 more in sniper-style shootings in Washington D.C. and across the east coast, motivated by a desire to throw off suspicion for killing his ex-wife, and/or some kind of jihad, claiming inspirations from Osama bin Laden to characters from "The Matrix."

The Waterfront Tavern, Bellingham, WA
With that hoary history associated with it -- including being named the roughest bar in America by Esquire Magazine 2003 -- it may be almost anti-climatic to amble in to the quaint fish and chips shack extending over Bellingham Bay. Sure it can maintain a certain edginess while hosting punk bands on weekend nights, but most of the time it is a comfortable joint for locals, eating seafood, burgers or fried chicken and sipping Bud Lights or Fireball shots before the nightly Texas Holdem games.

It is, as mentioned, the lone survivor of the buildings on pilings here in "Old Town," established as "Whatcom" before the four area towns were merged. "It was this sort of maritime community that we really don’t just conceive of anymore, there’s almost no vestige of it, besides the tavern," Whatcom Museum curator Richard Vanderway told the Bellingham Herald. "Before Roeder Avenue was built, boats would dock at the lower level, and patrons would enter through a trap door. Once upstairs, they could get a drink at the bar or a quick trim at the barbershop (now the kitchen)," notes Teresa Schmidt.

A sign on the roof says "1910," and some locals will tell you that's when the bar was founded, but it has only clearly hosted a bar since shortly after prohibition, and became the "Waterfront" Tavern in the late 40s. The building apparently started out in 1911 hosting two businesses, including the Keith and McDowell restaurant, and hosting various sorts of shops in the following years. The Marine Tavern appears to have been opened here in 1935 by Rudolph Mastny, and after a few vacant years in the mid 40s, it is reopened as the Waterfront Tavern by Edward and Jacob Kammerzell in 1947. (Jim Talbot)

The bar has some high spirits and friendly locals with, as we have documented, some stories to tell. The food, the beer, and the cocktails at the Waterfront are fairly pedestrian neighborhood bar fare, but if the waterfront setting, the established history, and even the dubious legends are not enough to entice you in, we must have very disparate tastes in bars.

521 W Holly St, Bellingham, WA 98225 - (360) 676-1755
Est. 1947 - Building constructed: 1911
Previous bars in this location: Marine Tavern
Web site: waterfrontseafoodandbar.comfacebook
Articles ranked: bellinghamherald - nytimes - jimtalbot - sidebars - - klipsun - sfgate -  tripadvisor - bellinghamdailyphoto

#2515 - Horseshoe Cafe, Bellingham, WA - 5/11/2014

Horseshoe Cafe & Ranch Room, Bellingham, WA
The Horseshoe Cafe in Bellingham has been in its current location since 1958. However, it traces its history under that name through previous locations since 1886. The Horseshoe claims it is Washington's longest continuously operating cafe and cocktail lounge, and it may be in some sense, as this requires a peculiar interpretation of "continuously," at least from the bar perspective. Whatcom County voted itself dry by 1910. (The Horseshoe claims to have received the first post-prohibition bar license in the county in 1950, but since city directories list many beer parlors in the city shortly after federal prohibition, I wonder if this is not a reference to selling spirits by the glass, legalized in Washington state, with restrictions, in 1948.) It is also unclear whether the Horseshoe was actually a bar in 1886 or just a diner (along with cigar shop and fishing and hunting supplies). And the history of  the Horseshoe before moving to 113 E Holly is a bit convoluted. I have found "Horse Shoe" bars listed at 102 E Holly in 1903, at 914 Harris Ave in 1905, and at 106 E Holly in 1909.

Horseshoe Cafe, Bellingham, 1950s
You can judge for yourself whether or not one should overlook prohibition years and allow a claim to a "continuously" operating bar that admits a 40 year gap, and whether keeping some basic version of one name should be required to count as one bar. But in any case the Horseshoe does appear to be Washington's states longest running bar business under one name, and may be the oldest running restaurant and/or bar business under one name.

There were also bars in this location long before Long before the Horseshoe moved in there were bars in this location. The Oxford Bar is listed here by 1903 and appears to have remained in operation until local option prohibition took effect in Bellingham Jan 1, 1911.

In 2015 the Horseshoe was remodeled under new ownership. While the menu was upgraded and the dining room half revamped, there were thankfully few changes to the pleasantly dark "Ranch Room," with it's knotty pine, aging cowbow murals, and 50s western decor, hosting a mix of old geezers and hipsters. There's nothing fancy, at least once you pass the substantial neon sign, but it's a very agreeable stop for travelers and fine old regular joint for locals.

Photo hanging in the current Horseshoe Cafe
113 E Holly St, Bellingham, WA 98225 - (360) 734-0380
Est. 1958 (this location), 1886 elsewhere
Previous bars in this location: Oxford Bar
Web site: - facebook 
Articles ranked: bellinghamherald - onlyinyourstate - bellinghamreviews - thecrossingguide - seattlerefined - yelp - tripadvisor

Saturday, April 08, 2017

#2514 - Alger Bar and Grille, Alger, WA - 5/11/2014

Alger Bar and Grille, Alger, WA
The Alger Bar is at the main crossroad at the south end of this unincorporated community of about 400, just across the old highway from the Whispering Firs Motel and north of the Little Treasures Pygmies goat ranch. I don't know how old the Alger Bar is, but it appears that a restaurant has operated here since 1933. The building was constructed in 1915, though no vestiges of such age are readily available to the naked eye. It feels more like a rural cafe than a dive bar, which light pouring through the windows in the day and serving up the sort of food you'd expect from a rural, roadside diner.

But like any location this old, it has its ghosts, and we got a few of the stories from friendly employees Felicia and Janna. They told us that Steve the owner will not have ghost investigators in ("He doesn't want the evidence"), but that there were many, many stories of spirits rattling pans and throwing pennies. The told us that one beer delivery man was so spooked by two ghosts he say in the basement that he quit his job to avoid having to go back down.

It's not a place you'll run into accidentally. But if you need a break about half way on your trip from Seattle to Vancouver BC, it's a short turn off I5 to the ghosts of Alger.

1758 Old Highway 99 N, Bellingham, WA 98229 - (360) 724-3291
Est. 1933 (at least as a restaurant) - Building constructed: 1915
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor