Links: The Project | Seattle's Oldest Bars | Washington's Oldest Bars | Pete's Favorites | Favorite Reviews | Interesting Bars | Contact Pete

Bars where Pete has had a Drink (2,712 bars; 1,315 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

#2347 - Sazon, Bellevue, WA - 11/26/2013

The people at Sazon Mexican Kitchen seem nice, but it just seems like a slightly improved version of the utterly predictable, Azteca-style American Mexican restaurants and bars.

437 108th Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 - (425) 462-2530
Est. 2013 - Building constructed: 1943
Previous bars in this location: Las Margaritas
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelpurbanspoon - downtownbellevue

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

#2346 #S1191 - Grog, Seattle - 11/24/2013

It would be difficult for me to not like a bar named "Grog," and it becomes even more unlikely when they have a skull in their logo and actually serve grog.

Grog is the backroom bar behind the Ballard Annex Oyster House, which formerly housed the apothecary bar of Fu Kun Wu (and its purported opium den downstairs). Before that it housed the Ballard News printing presses. The new places are the work of Zak Melang and Nathan Opper, the two people best known for the Matador chain. Most of Melang and Opper's places are instantly packed with people, but Grog is a little different. It is marketed largely as an event space and the first evening I dropped by for a cocktail the space was reserved for an art class.

The drinks too were quite different, embracing east Asian and maritime themes, and offering real grog (rum mixed with water and other flavors) and other cocktails served communally in hot teapots. I have heard that sine that time they have changed to the more common cocktail menu (and containers) used by the Oyster House bar, so it could be that this experiment is over? Obviously a return visit is in order.

5410 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 783-5410
Est. Nov 15, 2013 - Building constructed: 1908
Previous bars in this location: Fu Kun Wu
Web site:
Articles ranked: seattleweekly - seattletimes - seattlemet - eatinseattle - yelp - eater - urbanspoon - tripadvisor - thestranger

#2345 #S1190 - Lamplighter Public House, Seattle - 11/24/2013

May still be temporarily closed due to electrical fire in Jan 2015.

The Sundown Tavern was apparently located on three of the four corners at this intersection, including the former laundromat building which would eventually become Sweet Lou's and now the Lamplighter Public House. New ownership assumed control in June of 2013 and would seem to want to gentrify the joint a bit. In addition to general cleanin and fixin and good beer addin, they've created patio seating out front. It's gotten less divey with each ownership iteration, and it's now a fairly typical neighborhood bar, owned by the Stedman family who also run the Magnolia Village Pub and now the more Bellevue-ish Normandy Park Ale House. I'm confident that most the neighbors like it better this way, though I have a weak spot for the divey old version with aged patrons and bartender.

820 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA 98117 - 820 NW 85th St
Est. Nov 19, 2013 - Building constructed: 1953
Previous bars in this location: Sundown Tavern/Saloon, Sweet Lou's
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp - urbanspoon

Sunday, March 01, 2015

#2344 #S1189 - Altstadt Bierhalle and Brathaus, Seattle - 11/24/2013

Despite being of more German extraction than any other ethnicity, I'm not much of a fan of German beer or German cuisine, so I'm not to be trusted to tell you about a place like Altstadt ("old town") Bierhalle and Brathaus. But I do immediately have interest in any place whose logo is a jackalope (if that's what they are called when they have wings -- did not even know that variation existed). Aldstadt sits about 250 feet from the former location of the first licensed bar in Seattle, Plummer's Snoqualmie Hall, now the site of the Bread of Life Mission. This is in Seattle's "old town," Pioneer Square," known for the original "skid row" and for the past several decades noted largely for bums and nightclubs that cater to douchebaggery.

The gentrification of Seattle over recent years has included star chefs like Matt Dillon (Bar Sajor and London Plane), Mike Easton (Il Corvo, Pizzeria Gabbiano) and Josh Henderson (Quality Athletics), and a number of other intriguing bars reinvigorating great old spaces, such as Good Bar. Altstadt continued this trend with award-winning chef  Brendan McGill (Hitchcock) the most well-known of three owners, moving into a historic space that has hosted bars at least as far back as 1906 and for forty years contained Larry's Greenfront, which would become Seattle's pre-eminent blues club for a couple decades. McGill sold his interest in Altstadt to the other two partners a year later.

Aldstadt serves pretty much the menu and beer selection you would expect from a large, modern German bierhalle, but a bit upgraded. The space would be completely unrecognizable to anyone who remembers Larry's Greenfront -- or for that matter the Crimson C nightclub that spent a few desultory years here. It has been opened up exposing a large brick-surrounded space with rustic wood tables, including long picnic style communal tables and a chess set sitting on a plank set across to casks. It seems positioned to attract a wide range of potential customers and is in a good location to attract fans on their way to see the Sounders, Seahawks or Mariners. And unlike most of the new places listed above, it makes the area seem studier and considerably nicer, without such a jarring diremption between its grimier past and the fine dining young professionals both visiting and moving into the neighborhood in ever greater numbers.

209 1st Ave S, Seattle, Washington - (206) 602-6442
Est. Nov 14, 2013 - Building constructed: 1900 or earlier
Previous bars in this location: Larry's Greenfront, Crimson C
Web site: - facebook
Articles Ranked: seattlemagseattletimes - culinaryfool - eater - thestranger - yelp - zagat

#2343 #S1188 - Louisa's Cafe, Seattle - 11/22/2013

Louisa's is a homey, feminine sort of cafe and bakery that seems like it belongs around the corner from the main street in some tiny town. It's menu is both slightly fancy and American traditional comfort food, and though it's a fairly small place it often hosts live music. In October 2013 they added a 7-seat cocktail bar, and while I feel like I'll have to come back to get a good handle on it, I was quite content with my "Cocktail a la Louisiane" (rye, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, pastis, and bitters). The emphasis at Louisa's for most hours remains the bakery and cafe, and the bourbon flatiron steak sandwich was quite nice.

Bourbon Flatiron Steak Sandwich (whiskey marinaded grilled
steak on warm focaccia with arugala, tomato, and smoked
sweet onions - Louisa Cafe, Bakery, and Bar, Seattle

Season salad (red pear, toasted almonds, mixed greens, white
balsamic vinaigrette) at Louisa's Cafe, Seattle

2379 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102 - (206) 325-0081
Est. 1998 - Bar added Oct 14, 2013 - Building constructed: 1989
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: gastrolust - seattlepi - thestranger - yelp - thrillist

#2342 #S1187 - Roux, Seattle - 11/19/2013

I don't know how much of this is New Orleans and how much of this is Matt Lewis, but the food at Roux is demented. Root beer barbecue, watermelon pickle, frog legs with parsley, braised rabbit leg, crispy pig ear, turtle bolognese, fried alligator tail -- the menu reads like something you might see people forced to eat on a cruel Japanese game show. And yet everything I have here tastes really good.

NOLA native Lewis became well known around Seattle starting in 2010 with his "Where Ya At Matt?" food truck. In 2013 he opened this place in an historic Seattle bar location, the home of the Buckaroo Tavern since 1938. Nothing can compensate for the demise of a great old dive like the Buck, but it's a bit comforting that it was not replaced by a Starbucks, but a unique contribution to the food and drink scene. There are some intriguing cocktails -- less weird sounding than the food -- and I was fond of the Doctor Boggs (pecan infused bourbon, chicory syrup, bitters). Lewis's chef (since departed) Michael Robertshaw was said to be combining Creole recipes with his classical French background and Northwest influence. All I can tell you is that the stuff sounds crazy, but tastes crazy good.

4201 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 547-5420
Est. Nov 19, 2013 - Building constructed: 1908
Previous bars in this location: Buckaroo Tavern
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattletimes - seattlemag - gastrolust - foodhipstereater - yelp - urbanspoon - thestranger

Saturday, February 28, 2015

#2341 #S1186 - Le Petit Cochon, Seattle - 11/19/2013

I admire the ethics of "nose-to-tail" chefs like Le Petit Cochon's Derek Ronspies -- though less than I admire the ethics of vegetarians. But as a culinary moral reprobate myself, I'm just more likely to reach for dishes with terms like "pork belly" than I am for ones with "feet" or "face," let alone "legumes." Ronspies, who previously worked with his brother at fancy Art of the Table, actually revised the Cochon theme in 2014, shifting away from "fine dining" and more toward a "gastro pub." Whatever the case, I would be quite happy eating the rotating dishes here as well as some really nice cocktails.

I had a nice conversation with Bonnie, and older customer who loves Art of the Table and knows her restaurants, as well as with Derek and bartender Kate. I enjoyed an "Ole Smokey" (house made cedar infused bourbon, bitters, sugar, orange peel), and sampled the "Kurtwood Farms Loghouse Tomme (aged Tomme style cheese, with "D’s Nuts," pluot jam, and peppered honey) and the Duck Quacklins. And while it is less bar than restaurant, the quality and creativity of the drinks plus the fairly intimate and offbeat space make it a nice choice whether you're hungry or not.

701 N 36th St #200, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 829-8943
Est. Oct 2, 2013 - Building constructed: 2001
Previous bars in this location: Showa
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: thehungrydogblog - gastrolust - seattleweekly - seattlemet - seattletimes - thestrangereater - yelp - urbanspoon

#2340 #S1185 - Cafe Con Leche, Seattle - 11/18/2013

Cuban sandwich at Cafe Con Leche, Seattle
Okay, you know a place is not focused on the bar when they are closed by 7pm every night and all day Saturday. But there is a fairly handsome bar here, with a small number of spirits, ready to serve lunch time visitors or patrons of events at the Sur space from which they carved out Cafe Con Leche. For the Cuban sandwiches and meals, I am tempted to redirect you all the way across town to Paseo, but the food is pretty good here.

2905 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134 - (206) 682-7557
Est. May 1, 2012 - Building constructed: 1927
Previous bars in this location: Sur Artino
Web site: - facebook - percuba2
Articles ranked: seattletimes - seattleite - yelp - seriouseats - thrillistthestranger - seattlemag - seattlemagurbanspoon - eater

#2339 #S1184 - Redline WS, Seattle - 11/17/2013

Update: The Redline WS closed in August 2014

Let me begin by noting that if you live very close, have kids with you, and are only moderately interested in watching a game, this may be a pretty good choice for you. For someone like me, who has to drive here, has no children, and was very interested in watching the Seahawks game, this was not a good choice.

Across the street, where the Redline used to be, and where The Bridge will remain for just a couple weeks, the place was rocking. The Redline in that location went from a place too scary for most the locals, to fairly gentrified, and now, in this new location, to family-friendly and utterly uninteresting to adults.

First, there's no soul to the place. They have TVs and the sort of sports decals you could have purchased in ten minutes. But there is no warmth, no personal touches, no collectibles that meant something to the owners, no photos or memorabilia, no personal or quirky touches -- just a stale, diner-style decor. (This post has led me to notice that Yelp's "Ambiance" choices do not include "None.")

Second, despite having at least a couple dozen people in Seahawks gear, they didn't seem to take the fans' interests very seriously.  When someone finally told them we need the channels changed to the Seahawks game, a fellow (perhaps the owner?), told his customers "Just relax, people."  This was right as the team was kicking off, so it was hardly justified to mock your customers for being concerned about actually turning on the game that everyone came to see.

Third, at first they would not turn the volume on during the game, and when they did it was not high enough for anyone to make out (and it was far from a raucous atmosphere). That's would be fine for many places, but if you're not going to have the sound up high enough for everyone to hear during a Seahawks game, it's something like a bait and switch to call yourself a sports bar.

Fourth, parking is a mess.  There's a tiny lot of with probably 8-10 public spots that was filled, and we had to park four blocks away.  Again, that would be unsurprising if we were going to a bar in PIoneer Square or Capitol Hill, but it's surprising in the middle of new developments off the main drag in West Seattle.

Finally, the food and drinks were lackluster. I'm willing to give them a bit of pass on this because they are new and were busy. It may take them a few weeks to figure out that the thin bread they use for their French Dip and special is not appropriate for those kind of sandwiches, and becomes soggy before you try and somehow hold it together to dip in au jus.  Or that tater tots should be cooked enough to hold together even when you are busy.  They did have what looked like a very interesting set of choices in sliders, as well as some pretty basic old school sports bar choices of pizza, nachos, salads, etc.

In summary, the food may improve a bit, and they may eventually start to take the whole sports bar thing seriously at some point, and I always wish businesses well in finding their demographic. But given the range of choices in West Seattle I can't see any particular reason for me or any of my friends to choose this place unless they lived in the condos above and didn't want to go out in the rain.

3478 SW Avalon Way, Seattle, WA 98126 - (206) 258-4605
Est. Nov 5, 2013 (2007 across the street) - Closed Aug 2014 - Building constructed: 2009
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site:  -
Reviews: westseattleherald - westseattleblog - yelp - redtri

#2338 #S1184 - Capitol Cider, Seattle - 11/8/2013

If you are in the mood for hard cider in Seattle, your choice of bars should not be difficult. Capitol Cider has 20 rotating ciders on tap (along with 10 beers) and over a hundred additional choices in bottles. The owners aim to have the largest selection of draft ciders in the U.S. These are served a in large two-level space with lots of wood and art, an and emphasis on American colonial days (when cider was a staple). Downstairs is the Ballast Bar, which features a remarkable mural on the back wall, communal tables, games, and an atmosphere that encourages people to linger. In addition, owners Spencer Reilly, his wife Jordan Sinclair, and his mother Julie Tall brought in Phil Thompson from Tavern Law and Coterie Room to lead the cocktail program, and there are a number of great options beyond the ciders and microbrews.

818 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 397-3564
Est. June 13, 2013 - Building constructed: 1912
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: edibleseattlecapitolhillseattle - thrillist - newrestaurantseattle - seattleite - seattlemet - ratebeer - seattlemetyelp - luxseattle

Friday, February 27, 2015

#2337 #S1183 - Bar Sue, Seattle - 11/8/2013

Here's how Bar Sue describes itself:

"Seattle based Southern style bar on Capitol Hill, great food, ridiculous happy hour, lots o' whiskey, karaoke and big f'n pickles!"

Here's how Bar Sue explains its name:

"Sue Kerr Hicks (December 12, 1895 – June 17, 1980) was an American jurist who practiced law and served as a circuit court judge in the state of Tennessee. He is best known for his role as a co-instigator and prosecutorin the 1925 trial of John T. Scopes, a Dayton, Tennessee teacher accused of teaching the Theory of Evolution in violation of Tennessee state law. Hicks may have also been the inspiration for the Shel Silverstein song “A Boy Named Sue,” which was popularized by country music performer Johnny Cash in 1969."

So the place has a southern theme, but it's never quite clear if "south" means the American South or the Georgetown neighborhood in south Seattle. You can get hush puppies and homemade Fireball and pulled pork sandwiches, not to mention some well made cocktails.

1407 14th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 328-0888                          
Est. Sep 1, 2013 - Building constructed: 1963
Previous bars in this location: Lucky 8 China House
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: capitolhilltimesseattlemagseattlemet - capitolhillseattle - yelp - thestranger

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

#2336 #S1182 - Westward, Seattle - 11/5/2013

View from Josh Henderson'sWestward, Seattle
Westward is the sort of place you wish you could keep a secret. The location entices you to entertain this fantasy, with it's adirondack chairs gazing over the oyster shell fire pit and across Lake Union, all safely stashed away between the warehouses and dry docks of Northlake Way. The restaurant portion of the building is not visible from the street, and even the large sign in front of the building seems to sit by inconspicuously. But as if the view and location were not already enough to get the word out (in this seaport city with a surprising paucity of good water view seating), the food and ownership of Josh Henderson (Skillet, Hollywood Tavern, Quality Athletics) are enough to shoot your would-be secret all to hell. It would be hard enough to land a couple of those great seats on the small beach on a sunny day if it was fronting a humble fish and chips shack; the odds become nigh impossible when the food has been written up in the New York Times, the decor nominated for a James Beard award, the restaurant named one of the 10 best new ones in the country by Bon Appetit, and the joint covered by every foodie blog in town.

But while snagging prime seating in prime weather is unlikely, and just finding a parking spot within a short hike can be a challenge, it's well worth it to grab a seat inside or even standing room on the patio. The decor is maritime and apparently inspired by Henderson's love of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Behind the bar is a cut-away sculpture of a ship hull featuring rows of little boxed rooms, each containing a different diorama scene -- like Wes Craven storyboards staged by the staff of Archie McPhee. Bartenders and servers sport the classic French navy blue and white striped shirts. But if it sounds overwhelmingly kitschy, it doesn't feel that way -- it retains a sort of casual elegance that would feel more familiar on the coast of one of the nearby islands.

The food and cocktails are certainly not kitschy. Far from the sort of fried fish and chips you might expect from the blue collar surroundings, the Westward menu's seafood options include items like octopus Bolognese risotto, grilled Bering Sea octopus, and quick fried east coast squid with skordalia and sesame seed pistou. Much of the menu is Greek influenced, as Henderson agreed to in hiring chef Zoi ­Antonitsas, formerly of Madison Park Conservatory. The drinks from cocktail director Allison Hagie are also quite nice, with intriguing takes on some of my favorites, including their Negroni and a barrel-aged Boulevardier, as well as the "Remember the Maine" (12 rye, sweet vermouth, cherry heering and absinthe).

It all adds up to pretty much the opposite of a secret, but it's also well worth sharing.

2501 N  Northlake Way, Seattle, WA - (206) 552-8215
Est. Sep 3, 2013 - Building constructed: 1971
Previous bars in this location: None known (Lakeside restaurant previously in space upstairs)
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattlemet - thestrangernytimes - seattletimes - surlygourmand - seattlemag - seattleweekly - foodhipster206oregonlive - seattlemet - seattletimes - seattleweekly - thestranger - urbanspoon - yelp - bonappetit

Sunday, February 22, 2015

#2335 - Prohibition Gastropub, Everett, WA - 11/3/2013

When I stumbled upon the Prohibition Gastropub, I had no idea of the drama that had taken place a year earlier with Gordon Ramsey and Kitchen Nightmares. Had I been aware, I definitely would have arranged to eat there, but as it was I had just finished dinner elsewhere and settled for a nice Old Pal, and no clear judgment on how much I like the place. The decor is a tad too precious for my tastes but the menu looked pretty inviting. They came out of the Ramsey show with the temporary services of respected Seattle chef Tyler Palagi. so it will would be nice to go back soon to see how they are getting on.

1414 Hewitt Ave Everett, WA 98201 - (425) 258-6100
Est. 2008
Previous bars in this location:  Home Tavern, Time Out Tavern
Web site: - facebook
Articles: gastrolust - kitchen nightmares - thesunbreak - heraldnet - heraldnet - yelp

Saturday, February 21, 2015

#2334 - Fish Tale Brew Pub, Everett, WA - 11/3/2013

This Fish Tale Brew Pub closed Sep 20, 2014

This was the second brew pub opened by Fish Tale Ales but in contrast to the long-running Olympia version, this one closed after just three years, maintaining that they could not draw enough customers when there were no events at Xfinity Arena across the street. But it's hard not to peg this one on Fish Tale, as the space lies at the corner of heavily traveled Broadway and Hewitt Ave, which has supported a large number of bars for over a century.

2019 Hewitt Ave Everett, WA 98201 - (425) 789-1510
Est. 2011 - Closed Sep 20, 2014
Previous bars in this location: Turner's
Web site:
Reviews: theheraldbusinessjournal - yelp