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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (2,735 bars; 1,322 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

#2356 - El Caminos, Vancouver, BC - 11/29/2013

A nice place to have some tapas modified from various Latin countries, or just some good margaritas or tequilas.


3250 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5V 3M6 - (604) 875-6246
Est. 2012
Web site: elcaminos.ca - facebook
Reviews: vancitybuzz - straight - thetacoproblem - yelp - urbanspoon - dinehere

Sunday, March 08, 2015

#2355 - The Shameful Tiki Room, Vancouver, BC - 11/29/2013

Owner Rod Moore took in some of the top new tiki bars around the country including Martin Cate's Smugglers Cove and put together a tiki bar in Vancouver that is top notch in both decor and cocktails. If you step into the darkness from a sunny day outside, you'll need a few moments for your eyes to adjust to the welcoming dark glow of the float lights and fishtrap lamps amidst the bamboo and thatch. Moore says Cate advised him "Don’t go cheap: even if no one in Vancouver knows what tiki is, they will all know what cheap is" (straight.com), and the attention to detail shows. The narrow space reminds me a little bit of Portland's Hale Pale,


The food is smallish menu of Trader Vics-like polynesian and Asian tastes, and the cocktails are reliably good, with shared, flaming Volcano Bowls and Mystery Bowls available, which are sometimes delivered Mai Kai Mystery Girl style, a gong, smoke, thunder and lightning. They also have a Rum Club and we had the good fortune of meeting our friend and Vancouver bon vivant Peter there on the night he became the very first person to complete a passport, having ordered 50 different rums.






4362 Main Street, Vancouver, BC V5V 3P9 - (604) 319-1747
Est. March 2013
Web site: shamefultikiroom.com - facebook
Articles ranked: critikistraight.com - vancitydrinkspecials - theglobeandmail - vanbrosia - winetimestikiroom - vancouversun - scoutmagazine - foodadventuretime - urbanspoon - yelp - foodology - bcliving - vancourier - 10best - lonelyplanet - kiosk - ooga-mooga

#2354 - Funky Winker Beans, Vancouver, BC - 11/29/2013

Funky Winker Beans, Vancouver, BC
Just across West Hastings street from Funky Winker Beans is the Grand Union Hotel, which I have described as a very pure dive, with an elderly crowd and not a hint of hipness. Funkys is the opposite sort of dive, where young people go to hear live punk and metal shows on the weekends, and karaoke every other day of the week.

For many decades previously the building appears to have operated as a hotel and brothel, and the old photographs of women on the bar walls are said to be prostitutes who worked upstairs around the 1920s. It features a grand, antique back bar and columns that look like they date back to about that time.

Funky Winkerbeans, Vancouver, BC



37 W Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G4 - (604) 569-3515
Est. 1984? - Building constructed: year
Previous bars in this location: The Palace Hotel
Web site: funkywinkerbeans.ca - facebook - tumblr
Reviews: yelp - theprovince - alienatedinvancouver - tumblr - tumblr - ahamedia

Saturday, March 07, 2015

#2353 - Grand Union Hotel, Vancouver, BC - 11/29/2013

At the moment I am writing this I have listed 2,713 different bars where I have had a drink, and I don't believe I've ever seen a more classic, more pure dive bar than this one. You walk through the sketchy neighborhood and past a couple people out front with their belongings in shopping carts, and enter a medium-sized space that is utterly uncompromised by hipsters or college students, craft beers or matching furniture. Of course it has the staples of a classic dive -- cheap, strong drinks, elderly, low-income patrons, and decades of repairs done on the cheap or not at all. Eventually we noticed, almost stunned, that with more than 40 people in the joint in the middle of the day, we could not find a single hint of a mobile phone. So you'll have to excuse the lack of interior photos, as pulling out a camera or iPhone just seemed entirely inappropriate.

The bar appears to have been established sometime in the 20s (prohibition stood in British Columbia from 1917 to 1921), and we were told it has had the current owners since 1960. While there is, unsurprisingly, little about the bar online, apparently as evening sets in some people under 70 will wander in, and here are a few selected comments from yelp contributors and bloggers to help give you a bit more of the flavor:

'The cop’s reply: “If I were you, I’d get the fuck out of here right now. With every passing second, the likelihood of you getting stabbed with a needle or a knife grows larger,”' (viren.ca)

"I asked a couple of girls to meet me there, however, and they both felt really uncomfortable and asked that we leave."

"Where the bar band goes up on a tiny stage and plays spirit of the sky with a midi-synth drummer on a cheap panasonic keyboard? Where youre GUARANTEED to get a shoulder massage by someone much older and drunker than you are, to be sold a pair of bowling shoes ..."

"The place may be filled with older native people who may or may not have teeth, but these are the friendliest people you're going to meet on a drunk adventure in Gastown."

"When you walk through the doors, you know that life is, or has been, a warzone for almost everyone inside."

"If you value ur health and safety, do not go in!"

"Check your teeth at the door, as you'll be one of the few who still has them all. Prepare to be asked for a cigarette 90 times by the same person in a 5 minute span, told you're beautiful (at least I think that's what the word was), and called by any name the regulars can remember (one guy was named Boy George all night)."

"We went in, sat down and within five minutes a woman wearing a bright pink turban staggered over, mumbling incomprehensibly as she gestured at her cell phone. I assumed she was trashed and couldn't turn it on, but we eventually figured out that she was trying to sell it to us. When that didn't work, she sat on my friend's lap and tried to steal my cider."

"6 Asians walk into a bar and what do you get?  Stares and incoherent hellos in every Asian language possible.  Apparently Asians rarely go to the Grand Union Hotel."

"Also sitting down a tranny sold me friend shoes. We danced and crowd surfed on the dance floor. Then left to watch chicks brawl outside. It was amazing."


74 Hastings St W, Vancouver, BC V6B 1G6 - (604) 681-6611
Est. 1920?
Web site: Um, no.
Reviews:yelp - viren - sleazybars

#2352 - The Lamplighter, Vancouver, BC - 11/29/2013

Gastown's Lamplighter is said to be Vancouver's oldest bar, established in 1925 on the ground floor of the 1902 Dominion Hotel:
"In 1925, the Lamplighter, which received Vancouver’s first pub license, took over the ground floor. The pub is called the Lamplighter after John Clough, who was Vancouver’s one and only lamplighter. In 1887 John used to light the coal oil street lamps of Gastown until the same year the city introduced electric lights and John’s nightly patrols became part of history. The Lamplighter was the first establishment to serve ladies with ‘intoxicating refreshment’- although they were supposed to be escorted by men!" (gastown.org
Today the Lamplighter is a fairly typical north American Irish bar, with exposed brick, dark wood, televisions for watching sports, a broad selection of beers, and average modern pub food. Naturally, like every 100-year-old building investigated by ghost hunters as long as ghost hunting has existed, it has been found to be haunted. In terms of the more palpable form of spirits, I quite liked the "Sip of Cigar" cocktail (Winer's spiced whiskey, Glenlivet 12 year single malt, sweet vermouth, Angostura orange bitters, orange zest).

92 Water Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2K8 - (604) 687-4424
Est. 1925 - Building constructed: 1900 - 1901
Web site: donnellygroup.ca/the-lamplighter - facebook
Reviews: vancitybuzz - gastown.org - urbanspoon - yelp

#2351 - The Bottleneck, Vancouver, BC - 11/28/2013

A swanky little lounge, serving fancy small plates and cocktails, recently carved out of a space for storing furniture in the venerable Commodore Ballroom, which itself has been around since 1929 and hosted acts from Duke Ellington to Nirvana (insidevancouver).

870 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2C9 - (604) 739-4540
Est. May 2012
Web site: thebottleneck.ca - facebook
Reviews: vancouversun - insidevancouver - vancouverisawesome - yelp - urbanspoon

#2350 - The Morrissey, Vancouver, BC - 11/28/2013


An odd but pleasant combination of old hotel bar, alt music venue, shabby chic hipster hangout, and craft cocktail bar. I had a nice "Betty Monster" (Makers, Ramazzoti Amaro, Bittered Sling Moondog Bitters, Ardbeg Mist, Griottine cherry) and we enjoyed chatting with server Sashina.

1227 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M5 - (604) 682-0909
Building constructed: 1906
Web site: themorrisseypub.com - facebook
Reviews: miss604 - yelp - tripadvisor - urbanspoon

#2349 - Two Parrots Perch & Grill, Vancouver, BC - 11/28/2013

A college bar sort of atmosphere, where the cocktails are mostly of the cloyingly sweet sorority party, but the staff is friendly and the crowd is fun, and if you are so inclined you can take the 2-pound burger challenge.


1202 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC V6Z 1M4 - (604) 685-9657
Web site: twoparrotsvancouver.com - facebook
Reviews: followmefoodie - yelp - dinehere

#2348 - Baselines Pub, Langley, BC - 11/28/2013

An oddly shaped but fairly typical sports bar, where multiple friendly people told us how much they love the Seahawks. Unfortunately we were not there for the monthly "lingerie lunch."

20340 Fraser Hwy, Langley, BC V3A 4E6 - (604) 534-2102
Est. Dec 2005
Web site: baselinespub.com

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: sazonmexicankitchen.com - 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: ballardannex.com
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: lamplighterseattle.com - 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: altstadtseattle.com - 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: louisascafe.com - 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: restaurantroux.com - 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: gettinpiggy.com - facebook
Articles ranked: thehungrydogblog - gastrolust - seattleweekly - seattlemet - seattletimes - thestrangereater - yelp - urbanspoon