Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,476 bars; 1,545 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, March 17, 2018

#2638 - Big Lake Bar and Grill, Mount Vernon, WA - 10/19/2014

Big Lake Bar & Grill, Big Lake, WA
The city listed in the address for the Big Lake Bar and Grill is nearby Mount Vernon, but passers by know it as Big Lake and older locals refer to it as the old community of Montborne. The lake itself is not huge, but it stretches for over two miles along Highway 9, about two thirds the way from Seattle to Canada. Inside the Big Lake Bar and Grill there's a large old photo of the old Montborne community, founded by Dr. H.P. Montborne in 1884, and snippets on the area's history and historic houses.

There's been a tavern at this location for many years. "The tavern operated under several names: the Montborne Tavern, Jim's Tavern, Pat and Marty's Tavern, Sherm's Tavern, and Jo D's, and it is currently the Big Lake Bar and Grill, referred to by locals as the Big Lake Tavern." (Big Lake Valley)

Big Lake Bar & Grill
Today it is a 50s themed diner and bar, with many of the stereotypical touches of the theme -- the Route 66 signs, classic cars, photos of Elvis, black and white checkered patterns. The menu is also lartely what you would expect with this theme, augmented by an outdoor barbecue and a good selection of beers.

18247 Washington 9, Mt Vernon, WA 98274 - (360) 422-6411                  
Previous bars in this location: Montborne Tavern, Jim's Tavern, Part and Marty's Tavern, Sherm's Tavern, Jo D's
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - jeepspubtaverns
Big Lake Bar and Grill song - youtube 

#2637 - Big Rock Roadhouse, Mount Vernon, WA - 10/19/2014

Big Rock Roadhouse/Tavern/Grocery/Cafe
Mount Vernon, WA
This gas station, grocery store, diner, tavern, and music venue has been in business in one form or another here, just outside the city limits of Mount Vernon Washington and just south of Nookachamps Creek, for over 100 years. It was called the "Big Rock Tavern" from the years of prohibition to the 1980s; a photo on the wall from '28 shows then owner Clarence Barney with his jazz band performing there. Some locals recall subsequent owner Floyd Schopf roasting beavers for the patrons. It's run under any number of variations on "Big Rock"/"BigRock" names over the years (the titular volcanic mound rises just across the highway).

Big Rock Roadhouse, Mount Vernon, WA
It closed again a year or two after this 2014 visit -- someone told us the roundabout on the corner of Highway 9 out front had hurt business -- but reopened December 10, 2017. The menu contains much of the modernized pub food you'd expect from a community gathering place presenting lots of different products to folks young and old. There's the obligatory Taco Tuesday, clam chower on Fridays, and specials like Crispy Buffalo Chicken Wrap and Chicken and Waffles with Sriracha maple syrup. There's a good selection of beers and a patio for warmer days.

The previous owners had hosted musical groups from Knut Bell to zydeco, and the current owners appear to be keeping the long-running musical tradition alive. Like a lot of places we visit along our roadtrips, I'd love to come back to see what must be a very different personality on a Friday or Saturday night.

I wouldn't let a roundabout disuade you from stopping in.

14779 Washington 9, Mt Vernon, WA 98273 - (360) 424-7872
Web site: facebook 
Articles ranked: goskagit - yelp - locality - tripadvisor - untappd  

#2636 - North Fork Beer Shrine, Deming, WA - 10/11/2014

North Fork Beer Shrine, Deming, WA
I feel fairly confident stating that North Fork is the single finest beer shrine pizzeria beer museum wedding chapel in the greater Mt. Baker area. The pizza and comfort foods in the cozy roadhouse space make this worth stopping for (and for over 100 couples, worth getting married at). But their beers are the star attraction.

"The North Fork Brewery produces beer in the time-honored, time-intensive style of British Ales, Barrel-aged Belgian style Sours and Lagers, light and black. Our small batches (109 gallons) are hand transferred from fermentation to conditioning and on to serving tanks or oak barrels where they are served directly in our tap room, ensuring a fresh pint every pint."

6186 Mt. Baker Highway, Deming, WA 98244 - 360-599-2337
Est. 1997
Web site: - facebook 
Articles ranked: beersatthebottomwashingtonbeerblog - traptrail - huffingtonpost - beerblotter - cascadianbeer - northsoundlife - kulshan - yelp - tripadvisor - beeradvocateuntappd - ratebeer 

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

#2635 - Maple Falls Cafe, Maple Falls, WA - 10/11/2014

Update: The Maple Falls Cafe closed sometime in 2015 or shortly thereafter.

Maple Falls Cafe, Maple Falls, WA
Sam Hassan is an interesting guy. He's founded restaurants in South America, in London, and Seattle. In the latter he founded a couple Brazilian restaurants followed by Paratii Craft Cocktails in Ballard, before moving north to the decidely non-urban community of Maple Falls Washington -- population 324. There, above the North Fork of the Nooksack River, and 5 miles south of the Canadian border, he created a distillery that makes a smokey bourbon, a smokey rye, and a smokey rum, and ran a tiny restaurant called the Maple Falls Cafe.

I have to confess to chuckling as we approached the place on the side of the Mount Baker Highway and saw a readerboard message about "amazing cocktails." But our fear of flavored vodka monstrosities quickly disappeared as we reviewed the menu of Brazilian fusion choices mixed with classic American comfort foods, and asked the server a few questions about cocktails. Sam quickly made his way from the kitchen and was very involved in understanding our tastes, providing us samples, and making some excellent cocktails to go with our fine meals.

The Maple Falls Cafe is now gone, but you can still enjoy Sam's engaging personality and surprisingly sophisticated food and drinks just 8 miles down the highway. He took over Milano's Italian Restaurant in Glacier, and added Bar Veneto. It is far from our beaten tracks, but we are eager to try it the next time we are anywhere close to the area.

7471 Mt Baker Hwy, Maple Falls, WA 98244 - (360) 599-1800
Est. 2013
Previous bars in this location: Slide Mountain Bar and Grill
Web site: facebook 
Reviews: mountbakerexperience - yelp - tripadvisor - bakerbirchbay 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

#2634 - Tavern Hall, Bellevue, WA - 10/7/2014

Tavern Hall, Bellevue, WA

If you must have a big Bellevue Mall bar, let this be it. The modernized comfort foods sit in a nice balance between old school pub fare and fancy, upscale plates and are affordable too. It's a sports bar filled with TVs, but that theme is neither dominating nor formulaic. Far from the standard jerseys and 8x10s, the noticeable elements of the decor include church windows from Portland, a light fixture from an aircraft hanger, a large clock from Buenos Aires, decorative boulders from Baltimore, lanterns from Coney Island, and the facade of an old New York psychiatric hospital. Even the televisions are discretely unintruding, leaving it to the customer to decide whether to follow a game.

Tavern Hall, Bellevue, WA
There are two bars, 20 beers on tap, and some good cocktails. It is a refreshingly stolid turn from the Vegas-y Munchbar from some people who have created a number of good bars -- Marc and Bret Chatalas own The Cactus down the hall as well as in various locations of Seattle, and James Weimann and Deming Maclise have had a string of hits with Rheinhaus, Bastille, Poquitos, Stoneburner, and Macleods. It was a reliable place for lunch when I worked in downtown Bellevue, and it's a nice choice for big games -- full of enthusiastic fans but not oppressingly loud.

700 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004 - (425) 454-7500
Est. Oct 5, 2014 - Building constructed: 2005
Previous bars in this location: Munchbar 
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattletimesseattlemet - eater - yelp - tripadvisor 

#2633 #S1284 - Lucia, Seattle - 9/23/2014

Lucia, Seattle, WA
Lucia is a modern looking Italian restaurant at the base of Greenlake Village, a new condo complex with a dispiriting design that is the near opposite of the quaint connotation of "village." The decor of Lucia itself is certainly not unattractrive, but seems like it could have been transferred directly out of a catalog, with the familiar standards of Edison bulbs and wine racks, and nothing particularly personal evident. My bruschetta was not good -- the bread was neither fresh nor crispy (I would hope it would be one or the other), the toppings were fairly standard and the portion unusually small. The spaghetti bolognese was quite average, and the service was adequate but perfunctory. The cocktail list is not designed for serious drinkers -- starting with perfectly fine elements but adding sparkly and/or overly sweet components -- so I would stick with the wine here.

Lucia, Seattle, WA
It's not a bad place and I wish them well, but based on my limited experience, if I were speaking to friends headed there, I would recommend they drive 6 minutes south down Greenlake Way to the much more lovable Bizzarro.

7102 Woodlawn Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98115 - (206) 258-4523
Est. July 21, 2014 - Building constructed: 2014
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - seattlegreenlaker 

#2632 #S1283 - ZapVerr, Seattle - 9/22/2014

ZapVerr, Seattle, WA
Seattle is happily awash in Thai restaurants, with 126 at last count, or one for every 7 Thai residents. ZapVerr, which replaced another Thai joint in this space, distinguishes itself with a  highly stylized interior and a menu focused on the Isaan cuisine of northeastern Thailand:

'We have an enormous menu coming from “E-Sann”, the northeastern part of Thailand. E-Sann Thai food is very different from Thailand’s Central Cuisine, it uses more chili, less sugar, more herbs and a unique fish sauce called “Pla-raa”. Our secret recipe is very important to make every dish authentic, delicious, and nicely presented.' As per the restaurant "zap" means delicious and "verr" means over the top.

That said, I generally start at a new Thai place with some standards from the American Thai menu, and these were a bit underwhelming. The chicken skewers were over-cooked and a bit gamey, and the Panang chicken was okay, although I would have preferred more than a few nano-slices of veggies. I will need to come back and try one of their signature dishes. The Thai Mai Tai was better than most, with the lychee cutting the sugary taste. There's no denying that the decor is cool, and that with the club music playing gives the place a nightclub vibe.

3410 Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 632-2898                
Est. Aug 2014 - Building constructed: 1926
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: thestranger - yelp - tripadvisor - fremontuniverse - eater 

#2631 #S1282 - Buffalo Wild Wings, Seattle - 9/21/2014

A great big chain sports bar with wings and beer and cheesy cocktails.

1624 4th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 467-2743
Est. Aug 2014 - Building constructed: 1926
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor  

Thursday, March 08, 2018

#2630 #S1281 - Quality Athletics, Seattle - 9/21/2014

Quality Athletics, Seattle, WA
Quality Athletics is a sports bar from Seattle chef and mini industry Josh Henderson, who in recent years has gone from a food truck to a double digit count of high profile restaurants in the Seattle area, including one stretch in which he opened 9 in 7 months. He remade a humble dive in the Hollywood Tavern, created a top notch shoreline experience in Westward, brought fine cocktails to view from the roof of the Thompson Hotel in Nest, among many others.

Quality Athletics is located in a newer building in the shadow of the football and baseball stadiums and, as the name implies, it takes the sports bar theme seriously. There are walls of trophies, a row of lockers, artificial turn, a table tennis door, televisions and medicine balls. The "un-sports bar" concept they talk about comes into play in the food, which includes many sports bar standards but with creative twists by Henderson's chef Seth Richardson. On top of those they throw in such unsportsmanlike options as a sprouted quinoa and kale bowl, pork belly ramen, and spicy prawn tom kha soup. And you can certainly get a few nice cocktails here, as you can at any of Henderson's joints, but it will be the games and food that bring you into this one.

115 S. King St., Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 420-3015
Est. Sep 2014 (soft opening Sep 4, official open Sep 12) - Building constructed: 2014
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattletimes - seattlerefined - seattlemag - komonewseater - theinfatuation - suzi-prattseattlemet - bizjournals - yelp - tripadvisor - thestranger - thrillist  

Saturday, March 03, 2018

#2629 #S1280 - Giddy Up Burgers, Seattle - 9/20/2014

Giddy Up Burgers and Greens, Seattle, WA
Giddy Up Burgers and Greens is a western-themed, burger and beer centric bar and restaurant in the "Frelard" area between Fremont and Ballard. The burgers are diverse and high quality, with chicken and vegetarian options to the organic, grass-fed beef. In addition to a broad selection of beers there are a few wine and cocktail options. The setting is a 1966 convenience store remodeled beyond all recognition with dramatically angled wood beams, reclaimed barn wood siding, large windows, and an ample patio in the event of sunny weather.

Giddy Up Burgers and Greens, Seattle, WA

4600 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 782-2798
Est. Aug 18, 2014 - Building constructed: 1966
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: giddyupburgers.comfacebook
Reviews: seattledining - yelp - tripadvisor