Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,399 bars; 1,525 bars in Seattle) - Click Titles for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, November 19, 2017

#2571 - Red Dog Saloon, Maple Valley, WA - 7/5/2014

Red Dog Saloon, Maple Valley, WA
The Red Dog Saloon is less than 20 miles southeast of the Seattle city limits but it is plainly a rural bar. It is popular with bikers, which for my money is highly reliable indicator of good bars once you get outside the larger cities. It appears to be an old farm site, with a sizable back yard area between the Cedar River and the Maple Valley Rention Highway. The back area features large cedar trees, a moss covered shed, horseshoes, cable spool tables, and a stage for live bands.

I have very limited data on previous incarnations, but it appears to have been the Red Dog since around 2012, Vinnie's Pub and Grill for a few years before that, and the Cedar Inn Saloon during the 90s. The main building was constructed in 1933.

Red Dog Saloon, Maple Valley, WA
The people are mostly friendly (although at least one man was stabbed to death in a Saturday night bar fight after reportedly saying to a bar regular, "Oh you're going to stab me? Really?"), and the food is unusually good versions of burgers, hot wings and other standard pub fare. The bar sponsors and hosts many of the events you'd expect from a popular rural bar, including live music on Friday nights, jam nights, car shows, chili cookoffs, karaoke, taco Thursdays and pinochle -- and a few you might not (an "arts and carafes" painting night and being part of a "Biker Games" weekend that includes a "Weanie Bite."

And like most places in an older building, some people believe it has a ghost -- although our bartender heard about a saloon up north where the owner eventually found out that the employees that were getting objects thrown at them by ghosts the ones that were stealing from him. I'm not sure that lesson that leaves us to draw.

Red Dog Saloon, Maple Valley, WA
The Red Dog is a good choice when you're looking for a relaxing respite south of Lake Sammamish.

18606 Maple Valley Hwy SE, Renton, WA 98058 - (425) 413-8600
Est. 2012?  - Building constructed: 1933
Previous bars in this location: Cedar Inn, Vinnie's Pub and Grill
Web site: facebook
Reviews: bikerfriendlybar - yelp

#2570 #S1267 - Lantern Brewing Tasting Room, Seattle - 7/5/2014

Lantern Brewing, Seattle
Lantern Brewing is one of 60 or so craft breweries in the city of Seattle but the only one that is two blocks from my house. I am of no help at all in telling you which of these various tap rooms you should try first, as they virtually all have the same basic vibe for me, they pretty much all have some very fine beers, and my preferences vary much more from beer to beer than from brewery to brewery.

Chris Engdahl started producing beer as a business in Jan 2011, using 26-gallon tanks in a basement space on Greenwood Avenue. In 2013 he moved to larger equipment and a drab, concrete warehouse space just off Aurora Avenue. Like so many other microbreweries in town, he carved out a tasting room space inside the warehouse and extending to the asphalt parking lot outside, with a nice wood bar counter, picnic tables, games, a good truck schedule and a friendly, ex-computer guy making beer. If you are partial to Belgians or a lot of unusual ingredients like mulberries, pickled beets, and squash, then this brewpub may stand out for you. These are not particularly helpful for me to separate Lantern from the many other nice microbrews and taprooms in town, but the advantages of having it within two blocks of stumbling distance should go without saying.

Lantern Brewing, Seattle

938 N 95th St, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 729-5350
Est. May 1, 2014 - Building constructed: 1985
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: washingtonbeerblog - phinneywood - seattlegreenlaker -  seattletimes- yelpbeeradvocate - untappd - thrillist

Saturday, November 18, 2017

#2569 #S1266 - Parlor Escape Lounge and Grill, Seattle - 7/5/2014

The Parlor "Escape Lounge" bar and comedy club closed Oct 26, 2015 and you're unlikely to miss it.

It did actually have better than average drinks and better than average appetizers -- I had nachos with filet mgnon and spicy ketchup. Downstairs was a large space for comedy shows (ala its sister operation in Bellevue) and event rentals, and featuring a high tech lighed bar on which you could make ripples or play pong.

But for all that the place still seemed to have the soul of a hotel business convention, never seemed like the kind of place where you'd regularly hang out, nor did it attract the sort of acts that would pull you in. The Bellevue location carries on.

Escape Lounge, Parlor Seattle

1522 6th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 - 206.602.1441                
Est. June 2014 - Closed Oct 26, 2015 - Building constructed: 1929
Previous bars in this location: Fox Sports Grill, Edge Grill
Reviews: yelp - evadopr - spacefinder

Sunday, November 12, 2017

#2568 #S1265 - Intermezzo Carmine, Seattle - 7/3/2014

Intermezzo Carmine
In a bright white formality, Intermezzo Carmine rolls out a cocktail and small plate destination in an area more accustomed to sports bars and cowgirls dancing on the bar. That is Pioneer Square today, where beachheads of upscale dining pierce the territory long held by frat boys, the homeless, and sports fans. Intermezzo is owned by Maria Smeraldo, who has carried on her deceased husband's highly regarded Il Terrazzo Carmine, which has been serving fine, traditional Italian cuisine in an understated and elegant setting next door since October of 1984. I did not have anything to eat in this stop at Intermezzo, but there is little doubt that you can count on the food, and while I have lost my notes on the particular cocktails I ordered, I do remember enjoying both them and the service from bar manager Cody Robison.

409 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 467-7797                   
Est. June 16, 2014 - Building constructed: 1913
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattletimes - seattlemag - seattlemet - thestranger - seattlemet - yelp - tripadvisor - zagat - thrillist

Monday, October 16, 2017

The First Legal Beer After Prohibition

The image quality is quite lousy, but in this photo from the Seattle Daily Times we see the location of what was believed to have been the first legal beer served in the state of Washington since before prohibition. The brew was served at 12:01 AM Friday April 7, 1933 at Rippes Cafe, an establishment which traced its lineage back to the original Rippes in 1904, and forward to the current Von's 1000Spirits GustoBistro today.

Many people assume that moments like this happened only with the repeal of the 18th amendment in December of that year, but in fact this was enabled by the earlier Beer and Wine Revenue Act (AKA Cullen-Harrison_Act), which made it legal to sell beer and wine of 3.2% ABV and lower (as most beers were in the pre-prohibition era) starting on what has recently come to be celebrated as National Beer Day. Washington was one of 18 states where it became legal for licensed establishments to serve at 12:01am that Friday morning, the earliest point allowed by the federal legislation. In the previous November Washington had passed Initiative 62, repealing all state liquor prohibitions except the one forbidding minors, and clearing for the renewed flow of beer in all but a few cities and counties preserved a "local option" against it. By the morning of that April 7th, the Seattle City Council, in consultation with the chief of police, had approved around 150 licenses of various types for serving beer and wine -- most of them to restaurants and only one or two for "beer parlors," which were initially restricted from serving after midnight.

While Washington's state-wide prohibition had banned beer since Jan 1, 1916 (by 3am that morning a saloon owner had already been arrested for serving), it came as a surprise to many people across the countrythat beer and wine had been prohibited in the first place -- even after the passage of the 18th amendment. The amendment refers to "intoxicating liquors," a phrase generally taken at the time to be confined to hard spirits. So when Congress later passed the Volstead Act over Woodrow Wilson's veto and defined the phrase to include beer and wine, this came as a shock not only to the general public but to many brewers. (wikipedia)

On the first day of relief from the act, as would be expected, supply was not up to meet the demand. At the time there was only one brewery in Seattle (the Hemrich plant on Airport Way) and the Columbia Brewery in Tacoma. Actually having beer to serve at 12:01 generally required restaurant owners to purchase and transport the supplies themselves, fighting through "a jam of hundreds of automobiles and several thousand persons," despite the fact that breweries were not allowed to sell directly to the public. The supply appears to have essentially run dry around 11am, even as trucks from Tacoma and trains from San Francisco and St. Louis departed at midnight to relieve thirsty Seattlelites. Some trucks were accompanied by an impromptu escort of motorists, honking their horns and shouting as they tracked the brew to its destination.

The shortages also took advantage of the unwary with scams such as "needled beer" -- near beer injected by the seller with alcohol and carbonated water, and sold on ice with a story like "this came from Spokane by motor truck." (Seattle Times 4/8/33). In the legal joints lucky enough to get a supply, beer sold for 5 cents a 7 oz glass "below the line," i.e. in the "skid road" joints south of Yesler, and in the "uptown" establishments at 10 cents for a 10 or 12 oz glass. Details are spotty on which places had or did not have beer at the outset, but in addition to Rippes some of the establishments licensed to sell by the very first day were the Virgina Inn, Smith Tower, the Arctic Club, and a bar of unknown name at 7320 Greenwood (the original location of the 74th St Tavern and now Herkimer Coffee.

Of course the limits on ABV and the ban on hard liquor ended officially later that year, with the repeal of the 18th Amendment. The 21st Amendment was officially effective Dec 15th, but few people waited for that after ratification was official on Dec 5. In Seattle, the City Council would continue providing licenses to establishments that the police approved until Jan 23, 1934, when the state passed the Steel Act, establishing the Washington State Liquor Control Board. Over 80 years later, on November 3, 2015, the city of Fircrest Washington voted to allow serving alcohol by the glass, thus ending the last dry community on the west coast.

Monday, September 18, 2017

#2567 Galloping Gertie's, Lakewood, WA - 6/27/2014

Galloping Gertie's Bar & Grill, Lakewood, WA
Galloping Gertie's Bar & Grill dates itself back to when Gertie Rice opened a one-woman hamburger joint in 1952. In 1959 she moved it into its current location in the Tillikum neighborhood of the city of Lakewood, about ten miles south of where the more famous Galloping Gertie shuddered itself to death in November of 1940. The lounge was added in 1972, and one has to assume looks little different, in decor or menu, than it did that year.

You might assume that Gertie's nickname was an inevitable inheritance from the great bridge disaster, but her family says that it was primarily based on her love or horses and the racetrack. The restaurant still celebrates March as the month of she first opened for business, the month in which she passed away in 1991, and the month of her favorite holiday, St. Patricks Day.

Her bar is situated in a small strip of land pressed between American Lake and the highway, in a low income area surrounded by military bases and chain fast food joints, with the only public access via the freeway. Then suddenly the neighborhood's north end is capped by the Tacoma Country Club and Thornewood Castle.

The family sold the place after Gertie passed at the age of 83, but her daughter and son-in-law soon re-purchased it and run it to this day. The family appears to share Gertie's love of the track (the entity paying taxes on the property is "Long Shot to Place LLC").  With the National Guard's Camp Murray to the south and the massive Joint Base Lewis-McChord looming just over the highway, the diner and lounge especially cater to the military crowd. The grill half is classic American diner fare, and the bar side is a 70s dive frozen in time. Neither is particularly remarkable, but on a small stretch populated by a McDonalds, a Subway, a Jack in the Box, a Pizza Hut, a Taco Bell, a Papa Johns, and a KFC, it feels like a precious respite of humane forebearance.

15417 Union Ave SW, Lakewood, WA 98498 - (253) 584-4848
Est. July 1972 (restaurant only started in another location in 1952) - Building constructed 1958
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook - facebook
Articles ranked: tnt - nwmilitary - yelp - tripadvisor

Sunday, September 17, 2017

#2566 - Pints Barn, Tumwater, WA - 6/27/2014

It's a late sunny Friday afternoon and the Pints Barn in Tumwater, Washington is rollicking. When the Old Red Barn tavern closed in 2010 after 43 years in the location, the newspaper said that it might be turned into a daycare. It's far from that now. The building and exterior were both extensively remodeled by the owners of "Pints & Quarters," a craft beer hotspot that took over an old 7-Eleven. If anything, the location is more rustic now, with wood from an old barn, antiques, and knickknacks paying tribute to local history and in particular the Olympia Brewery (which, an owner of the Old Barn used to tell his patrons, piped beer to the tavern direct from the brewery).

The menu now features modernized comfort foods and the bar itself hosts live music from country bands to underground punk shows. Inside it is packed and loud, but the servers are friendly and there's ample room on the patio, which is guarded by twin chainsaw art Bigfoot figures. The beer selection, it should go without saying, is very much improved.

It's very pleasing to see an old, locally iconic tavern like this rescued and buffed up by a new generation of barkeeps. Perhaps someday we'll even see it done with the great old brewery itself.

The Pints Barn, Tumwater, WA

114 E St SW, Tumwater, WA 98501 - (360) 628-8838
Est. year - Building constructed: 1967
Previous bars in this location: Old Red Barn Tavern
Web site: facebook - (archived)
Reviews: thurstontalk - northwestmilitary - - yelp - tripadvisor

#2565 - Captain Jack's, Sumner, WA - 6/27/2014

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA

Captain Jack's was named for the favorite potations of owners Lee and Penny Hogenson, and you'll spot references to Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan in a several places in the bar, most strikingly, in the additions to the train mural on the side of the building. The warehouse-like structure was constructed in 1925 here across the street from the still surviving old cannery warehouse and railroad tracks, and the property is still owned by the Union Pacific Railroad. The bulding housed a feed store and gas station for many years, and most recently Coco Joe's Tropical Island bar, before the Hogenson's bought it in 2008.

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA

The greater area around what is now the city of Sumner Washington, about 30 miles due south of Seattle, was home to about 2,000 citizens of the Puyallap tribe when Europeans first started to join them here in the 1850s. It was called Stuck Junction for a bit, back while the White River was known as Stuck Creek, and then was Franklin until the United State Postal Service required a name in less common use. When three leading townsmen could not agree upon a new name they each submitted a name and Sumner was the one picked out of a hat by a local boy. Thus they incorporated in 1891 under the name of "the leader of the anti-slavery forces in Massachusetts and a leader of the Radical Republicans in the U.S. Senate during the American Civil War working to destroy the Confederacy, free all the slaves, and keep on good terms with Europe." (wikipedia)

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA
To the southeast another 25 miles or so is Mount Rainier, and it is the reason that the city of Sumner is living on borrowed time. Rainier is an active volcano resting between eruptions, and every 500 years or so it has exploded with enough gusto to send a lahar -- a massive, speeding slurry of melted ice, mud and boulders -- all the way into Puget Sound. When it does so the next time, it is likely to wipe out the communities of Orting, Sumner and Puyallup in short order, and it may do so at time when the mountain has been quiet and given no particular warning signs.

Captain Jack's Bar & Grill, Sumner, WA
If you are going to be buried under a 100 foot wide concrete-like wall traveling 25 to 50 miles per hour, there are a lot worse places to have your last drink than Captain Jack's. The decor is nautical-cowboy-taxidermy-biker bar. (I don't know about you, but when it comes to dive bars I will take an eclectic accumulation with unique character over a carefully curated theme every time.) The many dead animals, I was informed, were shot by the owner himself. The menu is classic American roadhouse - steaks, burgers, salads, and pizza and the like. -- and the drinks, as you would gather from the name, are standard dive fare. Out back is a large, grassy beer garden with a nifty sailing ship fire pit.

Inside I sat next to a quiet fellow who looked like an elderly Kenny Stabler. and chatted with bartender Sue, in between her sniping with her husband, It seems like it would be a fun place on a weekend night, and it feels rustic and relaxed on a lazy afternoon. I would unhesitatingly put Captain Jack's among my favorite dives in the nation's lahar paths.

13501 Valley Ave E, Sumner, WA 98390 - (253) 826-0679
Est. 2008 - Building constructed: 1925
Previous bars in this location: Coco Joe's Tropical Inland
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: waymarking - northwestmilitary - yelp - tripadvisor

Saturday, September 16, 2017

#2564 #S1264 - Damn the Weather, Seattle - 6/20/2014

Damn the Weather, Seattle, WA
Try the: Calvados Old Fashioned

Damn the Weather is a very Seattle bar. From the climate-appropriate name (lifted from a prohibition era cocktail), to the owner having been the bassist for a local band (Fleet Foxes), to the setting within Pioneer Square's 1891 Delmar Building, erected immediately after the Great Seattle Fire, the theme continues with the local and seasonal food. Owner Bryn Lumsden left his position as manager of Rob Roy to open DTW after stints at Vessel and Vito's, and brought along with him Jay Kuehner (Sambar) and chef Eli Dahlin (Walrus and Carpenter). Eventually Dahlin moved on and was replaced by Brian Papenfuss (Stateside, Le Pichet, Wandering Goose, Ma'Ono).

The bar, under the State Hotel 75cent Rooms sign, sits in a portion of the old brick space most recently occupied by the New Orleans jazz bar for 27 years. This space has hosted bars on and off since at least 1894, when J.T. Slorah ran a saloon there, and again shortly after prohibition, with "The Palace" here by 1934. (It is a little unclear how many bars listed under the address of the other half of the New Orleans space extended into this one.) Today it pairs its creative dishes with one of the better cocktail programs in the city.

Damn the Weather, Seattle, WA

116 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 - (No phone)                              
Est. June 17 2014 - Building constructed: 1891
Previous bars in this location: The Palace
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattlemet - thehungersouthernwandererseattletimes - bonappetit - thestranger - seattlemet - eater - seattlemag - eater - yelp - suzi-pratt - tripadvisor - thrillist

Thursday, September 14, 2017

#2563 #S1263 - Brunswick & Hunt, Seattle - 6/18/2014

This is a very fine bar in several different ways. First, it adds a second quality cocktail location (along with Essex) just on this little out-of-the-way strip of  NW 70th Street. Second, the food is excellent (try the roasted chicken). Third, if the opening day was any indication, the service will be friendly, attentive, and competent. Finally, as the name indicates, they have done a service to the community by rescuing a trashed but fantastic antique Brunswick-Balke-Collender bar and sunk a small fortune into restoring it to its considerable glory.

It is amazing that the life this bar must have had in Winlock and elsewhere, well over a hundred years of what must have been considerable pre-prohibition saloon mayhem, decades of neglect and abuse, and many more years of irreverent treatment in everything from a Bavarian restaurant to a punk bar, has left it so intact. It's beautiful refurbished state, reflecting the grand antique painting across the room, are a welcome nod to bar history. But while you can come here for the museum quality pieces, you are likely to stay and return for the quite nice drink options (including a well-made daily punch option) and the fine food (the roasted chicken, prepared sous vide and roasted with rosemary, was quite simply my favorite chicken I've ever tasted).

Brunswick & Hunt, Seattle, WA
B&H was created by Barry Rogel (DeLuxe Bar & Grill) and Scott Rogel (The Athenian). Noticing my admiration for the antique Brunswick "San Domingo" bar, Barry kindly engaged me with the details of the purchase and restoration of the bar. It is a great pleasure to see the work invested into rescuing this fine, old piece, and to be able to admire it over a lovely cocktail and meal.

Brunswick & Hunt, Seattle, WA

Brunswick & Hunt, Seattle, WA

Brunswick & Hunt, Seattle, WA

Brunswick & Hunt, Seattle, 

1480 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA - (206) 946-1574                      
Est. June 18, 2014 - Building constructed: 1927
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: chowdownseattle - seattlemet - myballard - suzi-pratt - culturalambassador - thestranger - eater -  yelp - chowound - tripadvisor