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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,183 bars; 1,463 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, February 26, 2017

#2504 #S1238 - Dulces Bistro and Wine (Capitol Hill), Seattle - 4/15/2014

Update: This version of Dulces closed in August 2014.

After an 18-year run in Madrona, chef Julie Guerrero has had a series of shortlived attempts at restarting Dulces and her Latin spin on French and other European cuisines on the fringes of larger business districts. They were down in the original Wild Ginger location on Western, not quite on the beaten track for downtown, the waterfront, and the market. They had apparently been slated for the Joule building on Capitol Hill and then the space on Union were Restaurant Zoe has now faded to an event space. This space, at the base of a newish condo building not quite in Madrona and not quite in Capitol Hill seemed like another tough sell, a large space that seemed like it would have to generate a fairly substantial excitement for people to wander there, forgoing all the many other temptations just a few blocks east. The food was nice and different, the cocktails acceptable, and the wine list huge, but it seemed evident in my first visit that generating the necessary level of mindshare on the hill was unlikely (I put my Probability of Making it Three Years at 10% after this visit), and indeed they were closed four months after that. But here's hoping they find their niche again someday.

1818 E Madison St, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 557-7627
Est. Nov 8, 2013 (this location) - Closed Aug 2014 - Building constructed: 2012
Previous bars in this location: None - Subsequent bar: Thudsuan Kitchen and Bar
Reviews: capitolhillseattle - yelp - winemag

Sunday, February 19, 2017

#2503 #S1237 - Le Zinc, Seattle - 4/14/2014

Le Zinc closed after New Years Eve 2014.

Le Zinc was established in this new building in 2013 by Willy Boutillier and Axel MacĂ©, the owners of Maximillien, which has enjoyed a 40-year run in Pike Place Market. The concept was affordable, fine French bistro cuisine, with all entrees at $22 or less. The name is derived from the classic French zinc bar tops -- "“In France, when you say you’re going to the zinc, back in the day, it meant you were going to the bar,” Boutillier noted to

The bar program was run by Andy McClelland, who grew up in Belgium and later bussing tables in Palace Kitchen. He worked the bar at Tom Douglas's Lola and then with Maria Hines at Golden Beetle. The emphasis at the elegant Le Zinc was on the classics, with an emphasis on absinthe, cognac, and eau de vie.

I put my Probability of Making it Three Years at 80% after dinner and drinks at Le Zinc, as not only was it highly regarded but our late night experience was quite fine and it had a fair amount of patrons for the hour. And yet this was a Friday night, and Mace told that businsess was excellent on weekends, but they could not draw enough patrons through the rest of the week, despite pricing for a local crowd, so Le Zinc est mort.

1449 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 257-4151
Est. June 24, 2013 - Closed Jan 1, 2015 - Building constructed: 2013
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: facebook
Reviews: seattlemet - seattlemet - cornichon - capitolhillseattle - seattlemet - seattlemet - bizjournalseater - culturemixmagseattlemagyelp - tripadvisor

Saturday, February 18, 2017

#2502 #S1236 - Mix Martini Lounge, Seattle - 4/12/2014

Kate, at Mix Martinii Lounge
Mix closed later in 2014.

Mix is another bar that went under before I could get to blogging about it. It was not a big surprise (I gave it a 35% chance in my Probability of Making it Three Years rating), but it wasn't a bad place at all. The drink program from Justin DeLong was pretty good and the few dishes we had were unusual and tasty. Friendly bartender Kate suggested we don't judge by our first reaction to reading the "Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings," and she was correct. noted that it was opened by a tugboat captain who had never run a restaurant or bar before, and perhaps that added to the challenges in a location where you have to compete with the cocktails of Rob Roy and the comfortably worn character of Shorty's and Lava Lounge. Everything seemed fine but there was no unifying theme between the wood and metal, gas fireplace and steampunk sculptures. Without a compelling vibe it just never seemed to be able to capture the momentum that you need in a busy neighborhood.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Wings, Mix Martini Lounge

2318 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 448-2656              ;
Est. 2014 - Closed 2014 - Building constructed: 1925
Previous bars in this location: Karma
Web site:
Reviews: eater - yelp - drinkadvisor

#2501 - Bar Code, Bellevue, WA - 4/11/2014

Bar Code, Bellevue, WA
Bar Code closed in early 2016

For an area dense with young, white collar workers during the day, it's a little surprising that there are not more choices in downtown Bellevue for a quality cocktail after work. Yes, in the evenings, as Tan Vinh has noted, Bellevue is "still a Cosmo-and-candy-cocktail kind of town and "still the only city I’ve been to where folks still order Long Island Iced Tea and Harvey Wallbangers in abundance." (seattletimes)  But it still seems surprising to me that there are really only two serious cocktail bars in the area, and still no pseudo, instant dive bar -- even if the available spaces are almost completely soul-less.

Perhaps it was with this in mind that Evan Martin decided to help open the craft cocktail stop at "Bar Code," at the foot of the TEN20 condo building. Martin worked with Andrew Bohrer and at Needle and Thred and went on to become bar manager at Chantanee, Chino's, and Ba Bar. He won the cocktail contest at the 2010 Tales of the Cocktail with his "Death in South Pacific," and was named one of the top 100 bartenders in the world by Grand Marnier. The location, previously Grand Cru Wine Bar, is off the beaten track of the downtown area, and alas, by the time I caught up to it in this blog, Bar Code was no more.

Bar Code, Bellevue, WA
But for the record, the drinks were lovely, of course, and the food was more interesting and tasty than average, with Tandoori chicken skewers in mango curry and a bacon-wrapped meatloaf sandwich. I won't miss it much now that I no longer work in Bellevue, but despite its failure, the area still deserves a few more good bars.

1020 108th Ave NE, Ste 100, Bellevue, WA 98004 - (425) 455-4278
Est. Oct 10, 2013 - Building constructed: 2007
Previous bars in this location: Grand Cru
Reviews: patchseattletimes - seattlemag - bellevuedowntown - yelp - tripadvisor 

#2500 #S1235 - Red Star Taco Bar, Seattle - 4/7/2014

In the heart of the Fremont neighborhood, across the street from a 7-ton brass statue of Vladimir Lenin, the Red Star Taco Bar serves up some of the better tacos in Seattle along with slushie margaritas. The tacos come with chorizo, carne asada, shredded beef or tofu, and the blended margaritas come in lime, strawberry, raspberry, mango, peach or pomengranate. The bar is said to be owned by three people who bartended up the street at Ballroom (thestranger), and in the place of the funky live music bookings of the former ToST Lounge and White Rabbit, they feature Mid-Week Movies on Wednesday and Trivia on Mondays to a diverse set of taco lovers.

513 N 36th St, Seattle, WA - (206) 258-3087                    
Est. March 13, 2014 - Building constructed: 1928
Previous bars in this location: White Rabbit, ToST
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: thestranger - noshologyseattletimes - cbslocal - yelp - fremontuniverse - tripadvisor - untappd - fremont

#2499 #S1234 - Watershed Pub and Kitchen, Seattle - 4/6/2014

Watershed Pub, Seattle, WA

Here again I must start with my standard admission of bias against bars located on the ground floor of large, soul-less condo buildings, and with so many other choices in the city this is not the sort of place I would recommend people go out of their way to visit. That said, if you're in the area, feel like a beer or two, and perhaps have your laptop or phone with you, it will likely be a fairly pleasant stop. They have a large selection of nice beers, and mitigate that concrete condo to a creditable degree with a lot of nice wood and nice light. The food choices include some pretty good sandwiches, pizzas, and pie folds. And with modern life in mind they have plenty of convenient power outlets throughout the place.

Watershed Pub, Seattle, WA

10104 3rd Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington 98125 - (206) 729-7433
Est. April 1, 2014 - Building constructed: 2009
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattletimes - washingtonbeerblog - yelp - tripadvisoreaterbeeradvocate - thestranger

Sunday, January 29, 2017

#2498 - Parky's, Tacoma, WA - 4/4/2014

Parky's Tavern, Tacoma, WA
While up the block on McKinley Ave the Top of Tacoma provides a fine example of a fresh, new bar that helps rebuild a neighborhood, just one block south, but a world away in culture, Parky's Tavern presents the sort of classic old dive that one prays will never change. Parky's is a legit tavern down to the yellowed jar of pickled eggs, and it hews to the technical definition of a tavern in this state by serving only beer and wine. The crowd here is much older and more blue collar than its neighbor up the street, and has elements of a mid-century diner in features like the sparkle on the tavern sign out front, and inside a checkerboard pattern and red neon wrapping around the ceiling with the bar. It's a bar lovers's bar where nexpensive beer and stories from the locals flow freely. If you like old neighborhood dives, it is not to be missed.

Parky's Tavern, Tacoma, WA
Parky's was celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2014 which of course would date it back to 1939. However, it has been in its current location since 1958, and was in its previous location up the road (3527 McKinley, which later became Nick's Pizza and then part of Top of Tacoma) from when that structure was built in 1945 to 1958. If "Parky" was Lloyd Parkins, he ran a bar a bit further up McKinley Ave, at 3523, since at least 1941. If anyone can point me to information to help clarify and confirm that age, I would be very grateful.

3551 McKinley Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98404 - (253) 272-0203
Est. 1939?, 1958 at current location - Building constructed: 1915
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor

#2497 - Top of Tacoma Bar, Tacoma, WA - 4/4/2014

Top of Tacoma, Tacoma, WA
Crammed full of hipsters, the Top of Tacoma bar replaced long-running "Harry's Place," typically described as a "seedy dive," with a lively joint that has helpled revitalize the McKinley neighborhood, The art deco back bar apparently (?) came with Harry's, which had been here from at least the 50s until 2007. Along with Harry's, the owners also acquired Big Nick's Pizza next door and coverted it into a deli that also serves the bar with a solid menu of better than average modern pub food including sandwiches, tacos, salads, and pasta. If I lived in the area, I'm pretty sure this would be a regular stop.

3529 McKinley Ave E, Tacoma, WA 98404 - (253) 272-1502
Est. 2007 - Building constructed: 1945
Previous bars in this location: Harry's Place (1950s - 2007)
Web site: facebook
Articles ranked: movetotacoma - kevinfreitas - northwestmilitary - TNT - tacomaweekly (beer garden crash) - yelp - tripadvisor - instagram - dhomeyer

Saturday, January 28, 2017

#2496 - Flying Boots (Spur Room), Tacoma - 4/4/2014

Flying Boots, Tacoma, WA
After 75 years in business, the Flying Boots Cafe and Spur Room bar closed on July 27, 2013. Thank the bar gods that new owners have snagged it and are trying to revitalize it. The current version has a relatively tiny selection of spirits (one hopes they'll be successful and expand the choices) and they have replaced the old school cafe menu with a typical contemporary bar food menu. The new menu emphasizes the wings (the name of the business is now "Flying Boots & Wings"). They also host live bands, and if this particular night was any indication, probably the worst karaoke singers in the northwest. But it was a fun crowd, and I had a pleasant chat with Dave, who is 71 years old and has been drinking here since 1964. Dave was happy to see the place re-opened and he approved of the night's young female bartender ("I like the whole package").

Flying Boots & Wings, Spur Room, Tacoma, WA
It's great to have any bar operating under that splendid sign, and the new joint is a nice place to have a beer and some wings and chat up some old locals. I like the whole package.

614 S 38th St, Tacoma, WA 98418 - (253) 475-9628
Est. July 1938 - current version reopened April 4, 2014 - Building constructed: 1960
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Articles: tnt - yelp - tacomaweekly - exit133

#2495 - The Mountain Tavern, Tacoma - 4/4/2014

The Mountain Tavern, Tacoma, WA
The Mountain is an old school, working man's dive that has been here on Pacific Avenue for a long time. Pierce County tax records list this building as having been constructed in 1939. However, city guides show a Mountain Tavern at this address at least as far back as 1935. With the standard Washington suburban bar features -- pulltabs, paraphernalia from the big beer corporations, pool, and characters of virtually all ages, the Mountain serves old school bar food including having Smitty Burgers on the menu for 30 years. I enjoyed chatting with local Rebecca about the bar and neighborhood.

The Mountain Tavern, Tacoma, WA

5520 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98408 - (253) 472-2993                 
Est. 1935 or earlier - Building constructed: 1939
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews:  yelp

#2494 #S1233 - The Fuse Box Moto Tavern, Seattle - 4/3/2014

Fuse Box Moto Tavern, Seattle, WA
Seattle's smallest biker bar was created in a shack snug by Seattle Used Bikes on Aurora Avenue, just south of the city zoo. Jeremiah Robinson and Sean Westlake (a founder of the Cretins Motorcycle Club) opened the tiny joint with a focus on vintage motorcyles and local beers. It's a nifty, tiny spot for locals and bike lovers.

Fuse Box Moto Tavern, Seattle, WA
4911 Aurora Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 701-9411              
Est. Oct 9, 2013 - Building constructed: 1936
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - thestranger

Sunday, December 25, 2016

#2493 #S1232 - Twisted Pasty, Seattle - 4/2/2014

Twisted Pasty closed on Jan 7, 2016

Twisted Pasty opened for what would be a two-year run in Belltown with a menu built around the pasty ("pass-tee"), which originated in Cornish mining communities and spread to the American midwest. While the classic pasty wrapped beef, onion, potato and rutabaga in pie crust sort of wrapper, the "twisted" versions provided by the mother and daughter team here included things like curry chicken, chile verde, Philly steak, and chicken cordon bleu.

If you never went there, you may be envisioning a rustic diner with red and white checked tablecloths and 19th century tools on the walls. But Twisted Pasty was hosted in a dark-wooded, high-ceilinged space that feels like an old school steakhouse, including well-stocked wine racks and craft cocktail bartender Kevin (Vessel, Tavern Law, Knee High, Sun Liquor). E.g. I had a "Burning Redwoods," cedar-infused bourbon, Punt e Mes, maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters.

In short, it was a fine option for having some nice and affordable food you couldn't find anywhere else in the city, and while enjoying a top notch cocktail. In my bar data I gave it a 15% chance of making it three years, but that doesn't mean I personally won't miss it.

2525 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 402-3831                     
Est. Feb 26, 2014 - Building constructed: 1990 - Closed Jan 7, 2016
Previous bars in this location: Shallots, Henry and Oscar's
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattletimes - seattleweekly - eater - seattlemag - mybelltown - yelp - tripadvisor

Saturday, December 24, 2016

#2492 #S1231 - Russell's Bar, Seattle - 3/30/2014

I'm not particularly fond of locations on the ground floor of newish condo buildings. But if you're going to do it, this is a good way -- with a neat, rectangular presence that feels like a neighbor's juiced up garage. The eponymous Joe Russell is a friendly, engaging guy, and thankfully he agrees with me that Sunday is the best drinking day of the week. His small bar reflects his amenable personality and provides a neighborhood joint for casual conversation. But it also provides a modern menu of elegant small plates -- and homemade pies -- which almost seems like a relief in this area where most the new joints have been emphatically high brow, and not a place where you'd just hang. They make some pretty good cocktails as well -- I enjoyed Joe's Sidecar.

Russell's, Seattle, WA

4111 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 547-1653                  
Est. March 21, 2014 - Building constructed: 2012
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: seattlemet - wallyhood - yelp - eater - thrillist - thestranger

#2491 #S1230 - The Rhino Room, Seattle - 3/29/2014

The Rhino Room, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA
The economic model of the urban dance club is a mystery to me. They always seem to packed with people when I see them, and often with a subset of guests only too eager to drop cash ostentatiously into vacuous perks like VIP sections. They may have limited hours, but when open they pack far more customers per square inch of space than other bars. They can't spend much money on liquor -- the tastes of their customer base tends to run toward things like candy flavored vodka concoctions at craft cocktail prices -- and their staff and fixed costs seem like they should be well understood. And yet they can never seem to stay in business.

The Rhino Room, Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA
You might glibly write off the management of these clubs as prone to the same excesses generally associated with their club scenes, but if the model worked, surely there would be cooler headed capitalists to step in and herd the cash cows back into the black. And yet, with the exception of one or two old school gay clubs, they never seem to outlast the suburban tavern that never has more than five people in it. Do laser lights and fog machines just have untenable maintenance costs?

Despite emulating Studio 54, the Rhino Room may not be strictly comparable to the clubs I have in mind. It's smaller, and it's run by folks with a deep history in upscale restaurants -- Patric Gabre-Kida (Book Bindery, Anchovies and Olives), Jacob and IL Mihoulides (Tavolata, How to Cook a Wolf), Emma Schwartzman and Chris Rice. And I have a fondness for bars named "The Room" especially if the is a random, remarkable artifact (Gabre-Kidan found the rhino on Craigslist).

I dropped by on a lazy Spring Saturday afternoon when I was one of two customers in the place. I had a nice cocktail, but not having stood in line for an hour to get in on a throbbing Saturday night, I'm really in no position to assess the place. Then again, even if I was, I'd have no idea if it will still be here tomorrow.

1535 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122                                        
Est. March 7, 2014 - Building constructed: 1906
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: therhinoroom.comfacebook
Reviews: seattletimes - seattlemet - capitolhillblogcapitolhillblog - yelp - thestranger