Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,785 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, March 28, 2009

#790 - Snoose Junction (Part Dieu), Seattle (Greenwood) - 3/28/2009

Update: Snoose Junction closed March 9, 2013. (The first location in Ballard closed May 31 2012.)

Even the bar area upstairs is too much of a pizza place to really make this a destination bar, but this is a great addition to the neighborhood and likely to be one of my favorite places, even if not the first thought when you just want to go out and get a drink.

The bar area upstairs is beautiful all around, a comfortable triumph of local artists and designers. But the real attention grabber is the hand hammered copper sculpture (by Lisa Geertsen and Andy Blakney from Georgetown's Firelight Forge) that wraps owls, bats, and snakes over and around the back bar.

The food is good, the beers and liquor selection quite serviceable, and since they play only vinyl, the bartender does an interesting balance of server and DJ. Parking is a bit of an issue, and perhaps that's not a coincidence given the green ethics of the owners (Snoose delivers by bicycle). Seattle institutions like the Sunset Bowl and Garfield High's old wood floor reappear in beautiful new form, and fit well in a place that already gives the impression of being an essential institution of the area.

10406 Holman Rd. N. (Next door to the unenticing looking but fabulous tasting Manna Texas Style BBQ on Holman and 105th - map
Est. March 6, 2009 - Closed 2013 - Building constructed 1988
web site - myspace - phinneywood

#789 - Pillagers Pub, Seattle (Greenwood) - 3/28/2009

Update: Pillagers Pub closed Nov, 30, 2012.

All of a sudden, this little neck of my neighborhood has an embarrassment of riches for the drinker, and particularly the beer drinker. Two of the greatest dive bars in this city, recently joined by (and pleasantly contrasted with) the hip Gainsbourg's, now share a block with two new beerlovers' destinations with Naked City and Pillager's pub, opened earlier this week.

The latter looks a little hastily assembled, and the space is a bit too light and too obviously designed for a different sort of business. But Pillager's now gives us access to the brews of Baron Brewing and Three Skulls Ales, in addition to a small but nice menu of late night eats.

This pub seems much more of an iffy business proposition than an instant neighborhood institution like Snoose Junction, but cheers and best wishes to small brewers bringing us something new.

8551 Greenwood Ave - map - - yelp
Est. March 2009 - Closed Nov 30, 2012
Previous bars at this location: None

Thursday, March 26, 2009

#788 - Art Lounge (The Four Seasons), Seattle (downtown) - 3/25/2009

Update: ART closed March 16, 2015. It was replaced by the Goldfinch Tavern.

Once again, there's not a whole lot of the bar part of the bar here, but the space is nice, with a nice view of the steam factory and Elliot Bay. Appetizers are pretty good too -- though I always feel ridiculous putting the tiny lettuce, tomato and condiments on my tiny slider hamburgers. (The things we do to fool ourselves into dressing things up as a delicacy.)

Try the: Pearfection

web site - map - yelp - seattlemag - stranger

#787 - Il Bistro, Seattle (downtown) - OOO

Probably had a bit of a mental block in adding this one from long ago -- for reasons I won't go into right now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

#786 - Urbane (Olive 8), Seattle - 3/23/2009

It's almost unfair to judge this as a bar. Not because it's only been open for five weeks, but because once again it's an afterthought to the restaurant. I had a couple good conversations with the patrons to either side, I liked the bartender, and my "Pill Hill Sling" was very tasty. But the bar is too small, too bright, and too much like it's stuck in a hallway -- almost like an airport bar out on some extended terminal.

So kudos to the building for being LEEDS certified and I heard good things about the hotel service; and I liked most the decor, even if I find the exterior a bit of an eyesore. But this is not a bar worth going out of your way for.

1635 8th Avenue (map) - - yelp

#785 - Hurricane Cafe lounge, Seattle (Belltown) - 3/23/2009

Update: The Hurricane Cafe closed Jan 1, 2015

One would be tempted to call this the classic greasy spoon dive lounge, were it not occupying the carcass of the much more classic old Dog House. And it's the bar that's suffered the most in its transformation. It has characters but no innate character, and again suffers from inevitable comparisons to drunken old fogeys croaking out classics around the Dog House piano bar.

Of course any good city's got to have a couple places like this for 3am after-the-show greasy eggs and get-togethers. But I'd just as soon keep going for a few blocks to make to the Five Point.

2230 7th Ave (map)
Est. 2002 - Closed 2015 - Building constructed 1940
Previous bars at this location: The Dog House Piano Lounge
myspace - seattlest ("Bastion of Darkness") - The Stranger - yelp - citysearch

#784 - Brasserie Margaux, Seattle (downtown) - 2008 (OOO)

401 Lenora St, Seattle, WA 98121-2508 - (206) 777-1990
Est. 1999

Sunday, March 22, 2009

#783 - Skylark, Seattle (West Seattle) - 3/21/2009

A nifty, little West Seattle club where there's lots of good live music and it's always no cover. The decor includes painfully hokey (e.g. street signs on the walls) to delightfully so (the leopardskin carpet on stage) and rotating art. When I went there Lushy was playing with Johnny Astro, the place was packed, and the party was on.

3803 Delridge Way SW - map - - music calendar - blog - myspace - yelp - The Stranger
Est. 2006 - Other bars at this location:  Delridge Tavern, Madison's Café, Steel Sky Bistro, Madison's Café II

Thursday, March 19, 2009

#782 - Turf Lounge, Seattle (downtown) - 3/19/2009

 Update:  The Turf closed to remodel into Ludi's in 2011

Most people think of Turf as the greasy hangout of bums, drunks and the down-on-their-luck -- the people on the surrounding streets that lead white collar people in nearby offices like mine to know local businesses by nicknames like "Creepy Coffee" and "Scary Teriyaki." And so it is to a pretty fair degree.

But the Turf Lounge is an honest bar, and makes no apologies for it's age -- as evidenced by the two massive Smokeeters® that still dominate the small space -- and no apologies for its clientelle -- as evidenced by the two ladies chuckling at the man lying supine on the sidewalk across the street (a fellow who seemed to be familiar to them).

It's tiny, with small versions of all the standard dive bar features -- one small pull tabs bin, one game screen, one TV -- and I like it. I'm not ready to give it my "great dive bar" rating, but I'll probably be back a few times and the right combination of clientele could lead me to change my mind.

Historical notes: The Turf Smoke Shop Restaurant, featuring the Waggin Tongue Tavern, was at 1407 3rd Ave since at least 1948, and moved to 107 Pike in 1988 (a space that later became "Johnny Rockets").  It moved to this last location at 2nd and Pike at some time in the early 2000s.  "For decades the diner and bar has been a sort of one-stop shop and service center for downtown's poor, its pensioners, odd-jobbers and welfare recipients.  Here they could get their benefits or temporary labor checks cashed, without having to mess around with the banks." (Danny Westneat)   More history can be found at this homage to owner Pat Altshuler.

Turf patron?

200 Pike St - seattletimes - yelp

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

#781 - Odd Fellows Cafe, Seattle (Capitol Hill) - 3/16/2009

The small bar counter in the cavernous restaurant makes the bar appear to be a bit of an afterthought. But the historic old building and -- more to the point -- the finely crafted cocktails more than make up for it. Another fine addition to Capitol Hill. - flickr - seattlest

1525 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122-3806 - (206) 325-0807
Est. 2008

Thursday, March 12, 2009

#780 - Red Fin, Seattle (downtown) - 3/12/2009

Update: Red Fin closed in July 2013

There are certain people you work with in corporations who are assholes, but not to everybody. If you're in their select group -- equal to or above them in the reporting chain, or perceived as an ally, as opposed to most other departments -- they may seem like perfectly friendly people. But to people below them, people they unilaterally decide are internal competitors, people who are not their gender, etc. etc. -- these people they treat like shit. And while it's tempting to ignore that if you happen to get into one of the groups they don't treat like shit, I don't think you should forget the fact that they are assholes toward a lot of other people.

There are bars like that too. Red Fin is like that. They give the impression of place created by 30-somethings who made a good chunk of money in software, and picked up enough foodie pretensions and acquaintances that they feel like they could make it just catering just to their crowd, and are pained to sacrifice any time and effort for outsiders.

Thus, when I sat down at the bar, without knowing anyone and without a backwards baseball cap, the bartender some 15 feet away reading a magazine felt it a higher priority to finish his article, chat with a friend, and lazily peruse some wine labels, before eventually checking to see if perhaps I might have sat down at his bar because I was interested in having a drink. And it wasn't just one person either -- other workers wandered into the bar area and lazily prepared drinks without so much as a nod to the customer who was sitting there twiddling his thumbs behind an empty bar counter.

In their defense, Red Fin is less of a bar than a downtown sushi joint, and pretension and attitude are the primary products of many a downtown sushi joint. But if you'd prefer to avoid assholes altogether -- whether or not you are lucky enough to be in the group that doesn't experience the asshole side -- I strongly suggest skipping Red Fin.

612 Stewart St., Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 441-4340
Est. 2005 - Closed 2013
Previous bars in this location: None known
Subsequent bars in this location: Millers Guild - yelp - citysearch

#779 - Suite 410, Seattle (downtown) - 3/12/2009

This may be my favorite downtown Seattle bar. Now, that's a fairly low bar (so to speak), and there's nothing really unusual or spectacular about this bar. But it's a small, fairly hidden, internally dark and swanky place -- "like a New York bar," as Benji the bartender put it. The crowd is comfortably balanced between hip and pretentious, young and old, and the vibe is romantic. I think I'll wind up here often.

410 Stewart St, Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 682-4101
(, facebook, Seattle Weekly, yelp)

#778 - Oliver's (Mayflower Hotel), Seattle (downtown) - 3/12/2009

Oliver's is one of those rare fine bars that out-of-towners may know better than the locals.  It has classic hotel bar touches -- high ceilings, maritime sconces, and big curtained windows looking out on a busy part of downtown.  It also has the sort of cocktails that make the crowd, beyond the serendipitous hotel visitors, comprised largely of mixologists from other bars looking for a quiet, quality cocktail away from any thongs of hipsters and foodies. It is also the first bar in Seattle where passersby could see bartenders making cocktails, and it was situated in the location of the first hotel cocktail bar in the city.

Some Oliver's history via the Seattle Times:
    'When Oliver's opened on June 26, 1976, it was one of the most controversial bar debuts in Seattle. The state had just lifted an esoteric law that banned cocktail lounges from having windows (to prevent the public from seeing folks imbibing). Oliver's put in floor-to-ceiling pane windows to showcase its bar in all its glory. "There were some ticked-off women," said Steve Johansson, the beverage director for the bar and hotel. "Women would walk by and say, 'Oh my God! Look at that. They're drinking and smoking at the bar.' "  Those scandalous windows now serve as one of the city's great people-watching spots downtown, especially during Christmas, when you can see the 12-story-high Christmas tree across the street.

    The view is majestic when there are snowflakes floating and Christmas carols in the air. In 1977, Oliver's hired a lad named Murray Stenson, who went on to become one of America's most respected bartenders. Stenson will serve as guest bartender at Oliver's on Thursday. Oliver's, said Stenson, "may have been the first bar in the city to have an espresso machine at the bar. It was a spectacular, 4-foot-tall, copper and brass Italian espresso maker."'
Note that the window law applied strictly to hard liquor, as much older bars like the Central Tavern had unobstructed windows.

The previous bar, the Carousel Room (compete with merry-go-round horses hanging from the ceiling) was the first to take advantage of 1948's Initiative 171 allowing hotels, restaurants, trains, boats and clubs (but not taverns) to sell liquor by the glass (Class H licenses), and thereby became Seattle's first licensed cocktail bar since prohibition.  (See

405 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 623-8700
Est. June 26, 1976 - Building constructed: 1927
Previous bars in this location: None (Bartell Drugs 1929-1946, The Carousel Room 1949-1974)

Monday, March 09, 2009

#777 - Boud's Pinehurst Pub, Seattle - 3/9/2009

A nifty neighborhood bar. The decor is utterly undistinguished (assuming you don't count Cassie, the sexy, Helen-Huntish bartender), but it's a very pleasant cross section of patrons. I'll be swinging by again.

11753 15th Ave NE
Other bars at this location: Cross Roads Tavern (50s-80s), Spot Too (90s)
myspace, yelp - the stranger

Sunday, March 01, 2009

#776 - Chester Club & Oyster Bar, South Bend, WA - 3/1/2009

Chester Club Tavern, South Bend, WA

If you want to find the real characters in the Willapa Bay area -- and there appears to be no shortage of them -- this is the place to go.

On a return visit to the Chester Club (or Chester Tavern) in Jan 2016, we had some old school bar food lunch and chatted with local Ed, who pointed out some of the historical photos, talked about his years as a millwright, and proudly showed us photos of his granddaughter. Since the mid 90s, the bar has been known for its fried oysters, which captured the attention of the New York Times.

The Chester Tavern has been here in South Bend a long time. Various sources date it being founded by Oscar Chester in 1897, although I have not seen any primary sources to support this and the only Oscar Chester I could find in the area in census records was born in 1889 (and presumably unlikely to establish a saloon at age 8). If anyone could provide me any additional data on sources, I would love to see it.

Trista, Ed - Chester Club, South 
1005 Robert Bush Drive West, South Bend, WA 98586 - (360) 875-5599
Est. 1897?
Web site: facebook
Reviews: New York Times - yelp - tripadvisor

#775 - Artic Tavern, Cosmopolis, WA - 2/26/2009

Depending on which sign you go by, this is either the Artic Pub and Smokehouse, or the Artic Tavern and RV Park. When I checked it out on a Thursday afternoon, this looked like a fine place to come in and warm up your overalls by the wood burning stove, pop a cold one, and catch the judge shows on daytime TV. But even though this is in the middle of nowhere, it looks like they sometimes get some pretty rocking bands.

#774 - The Triangle Pub, Seattle (Pioneer Square) - 2008 (OOO)

Update: The owners of the Triangle Pub Brian Honda and Martha Steward Honda announced its permanent closure on June 2, 2020, citing challenges due to construction, coronavirus, electrical and plumbing issues, and other issues.

This is a tiny, triangular pub that is a vestige of the historic Triangle Hotel and Tavern.  It is one of a handful of Seattle bars that pre-date Prohibition, if you allow it various name changes in between the end of prohibition and the mid 1970s.

It is casual and neighborly except before and after ballgames at the nearby stadiums when it is overflowing.  For football games they will open the downstairs portion.

The "Flatiron" building was completed in 1910 at the corner of Railroad Way and 1st Avenue S. (formerly "Commercial St.") and housed the Triangle Hotel and Bar until statewide prohibition took effect in 1916. It was built for Seattle realtor and financier Victor Hugo Smith, who played an important role in the city's real estate boom in the years following the Great Seattle Fire in 1889. "... the building stands out because of its shape and eclectic detailing, which includes
rusticated brickwork with a Flemish bond pattern and pointed arches, inspired perhaps by late Medieval architecture
(or possibly by Venetian or Moorish architecture)." (National Register Nomination)

At least the basement space became a Western Union branch office, sending its messages to the Cherry Street headquarters via brass pneumatic tubes, which can still be seen today. The hotel above, which was a brothel from the 20s until the end of WWII, originally had 8 small rooms, but now holds 2 apartments. It is said to have once been featured in Ripley's Believe It or Not as the smallest hotel west of the Rockies.

After prohibition, the main floor resumed as a bar under various names. It was Jack's Bar by 1934, run by John Baldacci and Santo Santini.Santini shortened his name to Santi, and Jack's remained in the Santi family,for over two decades, later run by Ernest and later Louis Santi through 1954.

Seattle's Triangle Bar when it was known as
Lou's Tavern, c. 1956
It was probably Louis Santi who renamed it the Louis Tavern and then Lou's Tavern in the mid-50s, which it remained, through changing owners, until at least 1975. Then at some point in 1975 to 1977, it re-emerges as the Triangle Hotel and Bar, owned by Les Tonkin and Walter Greissinger. It would later by owned by John Justice, and then Brian Honda and Martha Stewart Honday purhased it in 1999. On June 2, 2020, the Stewarts announced its permanent closure, citing challenges due to construction, the coronavirus pandemic, electrical and plumbing issues, and other issues.

For additional historical/dating notes, see Seattle's Oldest Bars.

Est. 1910 - Building Constructed 1910 - Closed June 2, 2020
553 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 628-0474
( - map - flickr - yelp)