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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (2,807 bars; 1,353 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, June 28, 2015

#2386 - Pine Lake Ale House, Sammamish, WA - 12/29/2013

Even if it were not set in a small community set alongside a lake of the same name, the "Pine Lake Ale House" would evoke images of a lodgey building amidst tall trees sloping toward a crystal clear lake, no? Well, not so much. But you do have a fair view of the Safeway across the parking lot.

Even the sign on the building looks generic here. But they do have a good selection of beers, with a menu of fairly typical contemporary pub food.

640 228th Ave NE, Sammamish, WA 98074 (425) 898-9099
Est. 2001 - Building constructed: 1986
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: issaquahpress - chroniccravings - yelp - tripadvisor

#2385 - The Log Cabin, Lacey, WA - 12/28/2013

There's no hint of logs at the Lacey Log Cabin -- just rows of blue glowing pulltab bins like aquariums at a pet store, the standard beer corporation paraphernalia, and the occasional van coming through the wall. They do have a good mix of ages and gender, and all the suburban strip mall bar basics.

7035 Pacific Ave SE, Lacey, WA 98503 - (360) 438-3651
Reviews: yelp

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#2384 - The All In, Onalaska, WA - 12/28/2013

The only bar in Onalaska, Washington, the All In (often spelled "All Inn") is a fairly large place with a broad range of ages. The animal heads and fishing lures tell you that you're headed toward the mountains, and the beer and food selection are classic local bar fare. We chatted with bartender Dee (who presumably is the one who makes this 'the home of the "Dee" Burger,' as announced by the sign out front).

1783 Washington 508, Onalaska, WA 98570 - (360) 978-4631
Web site: facebook 
Reviews: yelp

Monday, June 22, 2015

#2383 - Brown Shack Tavern, Salkum, WA - 12/28/2013

Salkum Washington is an unincorporated community of about 700 people just north of the Cowlitz River, between I-5 and the Mt. Rainier National Park. It is said to be named for the Cowlitz tribe's word for "boiling water," inspired by the roiling waters of Mill Creek. The business community of Salkum appears to be one grocery store and the Brown Shack Tavern, the latter greeting you with a handpainted hillbilly sort of sign and an asymmetric gabled roof extended to cover a small expansion. Inside you can see the shape of the original gambrel roof, with the later expansion clearly demarcated by unpainted particleboard.

I believe it was bartender Shannon who told me that the bar had been here since 1920, though it would not have been a licensed bar at that time. Another sign that the place may have started out as a soda fountain is the eye-catching back bar, which features a plate reading "L.A. Becker" -- an early 20th century manufacturer of soda fountain equipment. I'd love to get some solid information on when it became a licensed bar.

Nowadays, as you probably expect for the only bar in tiny town, it is a little bit of everything for everybody. Lots of old folks, but also young, pull tabs, karaoke, live music and dancing, and sometimes even a male stripper for the Salkum ladies. On the customer side, the formica bar top is worn all the way through wood simulating color. It is one of a dwindling number of true taverns (beer and wine only) and on this visit I spotted an 86 List with 5 names on it. Since then a new owner took control in the following July, so perhaps "Miss Kitty," "Donny (Sandy's husband)" and the other three folks have a chance to start afresh.

155 Salkum Heights Dr, Salkum, WA 98582 - (360) 985-2603
Web site: facebook
Reviews: roadtrippers

Sunday, June 21, 2015

#2382 - Frank's Hide Away, Winlock, WA - 12/28/2013

There's not much unique in the physical place that is Frank's Hide Away, it's a typical small town dive, with Marilyn Monroe and James Dean prints, a lot of corporate beer paraphernalia, various Seahawks signs, and a small batch of mostly male, baseball cap wearing locals. The cocktails could lead one to question whether you're in bar or a candy store, with names like "Jolly Rancher" and "Gummi Bear." But one unmistakably unique feature is the snippet of conversations you occasionally overhear from some of the old folks there:

"They got robots now. You can't teach robots feelings. You go to shake their hand and they'll fucking crunch your hand."  
"There's no wind on the moon."

Stay safe from the robots, folks.

108 E Walnut St, Winlock, WA 98596 - (360) 785-0331                    
10 tc, 8 mc, 7bc, 0bbc

#2381 - The Club, Winlock, WA - 12/28/2013

Like it. Nice dive. Nice characters.

In Winlock, Washington, home of "the world's largest egg," the Club claims to have been here since 1933.

318 NE 1st St, Winlock, Washington 98596 - (360) 785-3143
Est. 1933 - Building constructed: 1924
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: facebook
Reviews: link - link - link

Saturday, June 20, 2015

#2380 - Barley Mill Pub, Portland, OR - 12/28/2013

This is a McMenamins, which means if you live in the Pacific Northwest you already have a pretty good idea of the menu, beers, and general vibe. If you have not been to a McMenamins, you can count on better than average bar food and their own better than average craft beer selections, in a colorful setting crammed with art that looks like it was created for a 60s underground zine. This actually the first joint venture of the brothers McMenamin, who, at least count, now have some 65 brewpubs spreading out from Portland and across the Northwest and beyond, often rescuing beautiful old buildings. The Barley Mill also emphasizes a Grateful Dead theme.

1629 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214 - (503) 231-1492
Est. June 22, 1983 - Building constructed: year
Previous bars in this location: The Scuttlebutt (1934-1977), Fat Little Rooster (1977-?)
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: portlandmercury - yelp - tripadvisor - barfly - beeradvocate - travelportland

#2379 - The Central Club, Kirkland, WA - 12/26/2013

For the first 28 years of the city of Kirkland's existence there were no legal bars -- it started as a dry city from the date of its incorporation in 1905. Perhaps Kirklanders are making up for that these days, as in recent years they tend to dominate the county in DUIs (1, 2). The city was never completely dry, however, as druggists were allowed to sell liquor for medicinal purposes, and for example during a 6-month period in 1918, the afflicted of the city were prescribed 13,444 gallons of whiskey, 3,441 gallons of brandy, 1,744 gallons of gin, 4,140 gallons of wine, and 33,840 quarts of beer. (3)

Central Tavern, Kirkland
Like its neighbors Bellevue and Redmond to south and east respectively, Kirkland is now an affluent area, the shipbuilders and wool workers of its earlier days now replaced largely by tech workers from Microsoft, Google, and other IT companies in the area. It is a long way from its beginnings in the 1880s, where Peter Kirk dreamed of making it the "Pittsburgh of the west." Having gobbled up neighboring communities like Houghton and Hubbard, it is now the 12th largest city in the state of Washington.

Photos from the Central Tavern in the 1940s
Kirklanders wasted little time legalizing beer once federal restrictions were removed, voting to allow beer in April 1933, the month the Beer and Wine Revenue Act first allowed it. It was only three years after that when L.C. Streeter and Joe Reidt established the Central in a location across the street from where it operates now, moving to the current location around 1940. (4)  To this day the bar defiantly remains a cozy neighborhood joint with character and characters, happily resisting the onset of chains, modernization, and bland development.

On this particular visit I much enjoyed a chat with bartender Drea, along with customers Guy and Dan, the latter of whom owned the Central Saloon in Seattle during the 80s.

124 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033 - (425) 827-0808
Est. 1936 at 111 Central, c.1940 at current location - Building constructed: 1924
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: link - yelp

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

#2378 - Hector's, Kirkland, WA - 12/26/2013

Hector's has been around since 1975, although it has been substantially remodeled from the more divey version of a decade ago. It is comfortable and unremarkable, serving American standards (steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salads) along with a few nods to more contemporary trends (kale & quinoa salad). The back bar is a striking antique mahogany work, which is worth a visit in itself. The cocktail menu is best avoided -- "Vintage cocktails" included a Spiced Appletini, a pomegranate margarita and something called a "Purple Hector" made with grape vodka.

Antique mahogany back bar at Hector's, Kirkland, WA
112 Lake St S, Kirkland, WA 98033 - (425) 827-4811
Est. year - Building constructed: 1918
Previous bars in this location:
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: link - seattletimes - yelp - tripadvisor

Sunday, May 24, 2015

#2377 #S1200 - La Romanza, Seattle - 12/22/2013

La Romanza, West Seattle
West Seattle's California Avenue is happy jumble of styles and eras. It's ability to preserve old mom and pop places and easy mix of downscale with upscale makes me think of the stretch as Seattle's bit of Portland. So it seemed perfectly sensible to me that here, a block from the divey Poggie Tavern and Corner Pocket, across the street from a junky "antique" store, near the casual hipster West 5, a yoga studio, and a cupcake store, someone would create a delicate "Tuscan Tea Room" that looked like a break room in the Palace of Versaille.

La Romanza, West Seattle
Aimee Pellegrini, whose parents run the Italian Bistro "La Rustica," started a flower shop here catering to weddings. This she gradually expanded to an ornate, white clothed tea room and bistro on certain evenings of the week, adding a cocktail bar in April 2012 and eventually growing into a full-time Italian restaurant with live acoustic music. It closed in August 2014, and with it we lost a bit of the variety of this avenue, still one of the better bar walks in the city.

La Romanza web site 2014 (Wayback Machine)
4521 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 - (206) 906-9914
Est. April 26, 2012 (Nov 9, 2010 as Tuscan Tea Room) - Closed Aug 2014 - Building constructed: 1946
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: (wayback machine)
Reviews: seattletimeswestseattleblog - thestranger - yelp

#2376 #S1199 - The Bridge, Seattle - 12/22/2013

This is the new version of The Bridge, now in the old Chuck and Sally's location after being forced out of their original location in the former Redline space. You won't find me coming here for the sugary, fruity cocktails, but if you want to watch a game with a spirited crowd and better than average bar food menu (with a french fry bar!), this is one of your better choices in town.

6301 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98136 - (206) 402.4606
Est. Dec 2013, current location; 2011 on 35th - Building constructed: 1918
Previous bars in this location: Chuck & Sally's Tavern
Web site:
Reviews: seattleweekly - seattlemag - westseattleherald - yelp - urbanspoon - thestranger

#2375 #S1198 - Vif, Seattle - 12/21/2013

Vif, Seattle
I must confess that I did not expect Vif to last very long in this space. Like Brigham Young claiming "This is the place" at the brink of the Utah dessert, the idea that this bleak and boxy old Herfy's building was the right place for a "food-focused coffee and wine bar" just seems a little mystifying to me. Even the name -- a French word for "alive" or "lively" -- seems more in sync with their neighbors like Paseo or Brad's Swingside than this quiet, bright space that is never open later than 7pm. Perhaps "Calme" would have been more apropos?

But here they are still, and congrats to them. There is plainly a lot of care going into the environment and techniques used to produce their wines and ingredients. Their descriptions are filled with mentions of "terroir," "natural viticulture," and "non-interventionist winemaking" -- i.e. things that some must see as touchstones for ethical foods, and others as fodder for a "Portlandia" sketch. The menu is full of breakfast cafe options that seem like they would be entirely enjoyable if one could linger over them in a garden patio, but less so in the spare dining area, devoid of intimacy, and redolent of a corporate lunchroom. I'm not certain that I should really count this as a bar, and so far I have managed to stop in only for a couple glasses of wine, so it would be silly to venture a general opinion on their offerings. I just wish they had chosen a location that made me a little more eager to sample them.

4401 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 557-7357
Est. 2013 - Building constructed: 1965
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: sprudge - yelp

Sunday, May 17, 2015

#2374 #S1197 - The Barrel Thief, Seattle - 12/21/2013

I always enter a bar within the ground-floor retail section of new condos with an anticipatory sense of discouragement, but the Barrel Thief owners have done a fairly nice job of instilling some character and romance into this space. More to the point, their unique, botany-based cocktails and prodigious selection of wines by the glass make it a fine bar stop regardless of setting.

Established earlier as Wine Tea Chocolate, in mid-2013 it was refashioned as a wine and whiskey bar, with an inventive cocktail program by Nicholas Utke. I enjoyed the "Surrender at Appomattox" (rye, sweet grass, and herbs) which as promised had a "grassy and smokey" taste. The bar also features approximately 200 whiskeys and offers almost that many choices of wine by glass, with the aid of a Coravin device, which extracts wine via a needle and without uncorking the bottle, filling the space with argon gas to prevent oxidation.

Bitters, tinctures, and other ingredients used in the unusual
cocktail program of Fremont's "Barrel Thief."
I haven't yet had dinner there, but the menu features some tasty sounding, locally sourced snacks and small plates. In addition to regular wine tastings, special events at BT include things like a "fancy single malt tasting," an "obscure scotch distillery tasting," and tango dancing. (If these seem like they might catch your fancy, you may want to add yourself to their mailing list, as I've finally remembered to do.)

3417 Evanston Ave N #102, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 402-5492
Est. July 20, 2013 - Building constructed: 2012
Previous bars in this location: Wine Tea Chocolate
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: seattlemag - seattlemet - tripadvisor - thestranger - beeradvocate - untappd - urbanspoon

#2373 #S1196 - Shawn O'Donnell's, Seattle - 12/15/2013

Smith Tower, one of Seattle's most legendary buildings, was completed in 1914, approximately a year before the O'Donnell family says their ancestors Patrick and Bridget O'Donnell immigrated to the city from Tipperary. Inheriting his father L.C. Smith's fortune from sales of shotguns and typewriters (later "Smith Corona"), Burns Lyman Smith expanded on the plans of this father, stretching the white terracotta and steel structure to 462 feet and 33 to 38 stories, depending upon how you count them. As few people who have friends of family in the Seattle area have not been informed, this resulted in one of the 15 or so tallest buildings in the world at the time, and the tallest on the west coast for over 50 years. (For a peek into the remarkable apartment now in the pyramid at the top of the building see this King5 video.)

Off and on the basement and ground floor of the building have hosted bars and restaurants. During the 1960s the basement level contained Alberto Romano's the "Submarine Room" and the "Golden Goose," clubs that catered to the Seattle gay crowd then centered in the Pioneer Square area, while the ground level space that currently holds Shawn O'Donnell's was the "Gosling Room." In November of 2013, Shawn O'Donnell opened here a second location of his family's Irish-themed pub which has operated in Everett for the last 20+ years. The pub is a fairly typical American Irish pub, with the obligatory dark wood, Guinness decorations, map of the old country, and clock counting down to the next St. Patty's Day. The is menu dominated by modern pub food staples (sandwiches, burgers, salads, etc.) and various spins on traditional Irish dishes (boxty cakes, corned beef and cabbage, shepherd's pie, bangers and mash). The cocktail offerings are not remarkable but it's a pleasant enough place to stop by for a whiskey or pint.

508 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 602-6380
Est. Nov 4, 2013 - Building constructed: July 3, 1914
Previous bars in this location: The Gosling Room
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: thestranger - yelp