Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,727 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Thursday, December 31, 2009

#963 - Atlas Foods, Seattle - 12/31/2009

For my 216th new bar in 2009, I finally made it to Atlas Foods on their last day in business after a decade in U Village.  The Chow owners say they were not a fit for a mall (nor, apparently, as partners any longer), and it's hard to argue with the point after suffering the seventh circle of hell known as "U Village Parking."  The food seemed fine to me, though I've heard mixed reviews from people who have been there more than I, and strictly as a bar it didn't appear to have anything that will be particularly missed.

2675 NE Village Ln., Seattle, WA 98105 - (206) 522-6025
seattle times - yelp - seattle weekly - chow foods

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

#962 - China Dragon, Seattle - OOO

With the previous post, I realized that I'd forgotten to list one of the venerable dive bars in my own neck of the woods, the lounge at the China Dragon.  Consider for a moment all the things that are charming about dive bars, and all the things that are disgusting about them.  This place is pretty keenly focused on the latter.  It is one of those bars where you want to get drunk BEFORE you go in.

10119 Aurora Avenue N. Seattle, WA 98133 - (206) 524-5525
yelp - citysearch

#961 - Four Seas Restaurant (Dynasty Room), Seattle (I.D.) - 12/29/2009

Update: The Four Seas and Dynasty Room closed in late 2017.

The Four Seas Restaurant and Dynasty Room Lounge
Seattle, WA
It seems to me that the grand tradition of dive bars attached to Chinese restaurants breaks down into two major designs -- what I'll call the "slipshod" and the "classic."  In the slipshod design, the bars seem to have been improvised over a hasty weekend, with decorations from a local flea market.  Cheap Chinese cardboard mix with 50s Americana and various liquor company paraphernalia, in a hodgepodge that creates the unavoidable impression that the owners were looking for almost ANYTHING to fill wall space.  Typically, the hastily improvised lighting is far too bright for a bar and eliminates what little hope of romance might have existed.  In the Slipshod design, the only thing that seems to have been planned at all is the karaoke section.  Prime examples from the Slipshod School include Greenwood's Yen Wor Garden, Aurora's China Dragon, and Lake City's Seven Seas.

Four Seas Tiki Mug, Seattle, WA
The Dynasty Room, inside the Seven Seas restaurant, is from the Classic School.  The liquor choices are limited and the decor pedestrian, but the lighting is happily low, the decorations adhere to theme, and there are few, if any, of the cheap cardboard decorations.  It's not fancy, but you can still envision the rat pack rolling in for a few generous pours of scotch and soda or whiskey and Coke.

Slipshod Chinese Restaurant dive bars can be excellent fun due to the corresponding hodgepodge of human beings they bring in.  But Classic Chinese restaurant dive bars provide a more serene and abiding pleasure.

The Four Seas Restaurant has been running here since August 1962, constructed with the idea of taking advantage of the Seattle World's Fair, although construction delays led to it opening with just two months of the exposition to go. It is owned by the same Chan family who founded it and also Tai Tung, established in 1935 and the oldest Chinese Restaurant in Seattle. While Tai Tung serves traditional cross regional Chinese dishes, the Four Seas catered to tastes for Chop Suey, General Tso's Chicken and the classic Americanized versions of Chinese fare.

Just north of the current stadiums and a tad bit further from old Sicks Field, the lounge also hosted a number of local athletes over the years, and in Northwest Asian Weekly, co-owner Dean Lum recalled:
"I even worked the night the Seattle Supersonics (all of them) came in for dinner 30 minutes after they lost the deciding 1978 NBA Championship game to the Washington Bullets. General Manager Zollie Volchok called right after the game to say, “We’re all coming down! Get three bartenders!” and hung up. To say they were completely devastated would be a gross understatement."

714 S King St., Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 682-4900
Est. Aug 1962 - Closed 2017 - Building constructed 1962
Previous bars in this location: None known
Articles ranked: nwasianweeklyseattle weekly - seattlemag - yelp -

Sunday, December 27, 2009

#960 - Lil' Jon Lounge, Bellevue, WA - 12/27/2009

As a bar, Lil' Jon holds lil' interest.

3080 148th Avenue Southeast, Bellevue, WA 98007-6420 - (425) 746-4653                
yelpurban spoon

Sunday, December 20, 2009

#959 - WingMasters, Seattle (Ballard) - 12/20//2009

Wingmasters, Ballard, Seattle
Update: Wingmasters was acquired by new ownership and reconfigured into "Fitzgerald's" in October 2015.

If you like fried food and guys dropping various shots into pints of watery beer, then go for it.  I've already described my opinion of boring, formulaic sports bars here.

Wingmasters, Ballard, Seattle
Historical notes:  There has been a bar at in this 1908 building since at least shortly after prohibition, with "Davented's Tavern" appearing in city guides in 1935. By the mid 40s it was "Club Two Hundred," which it remained into the 80s. By 1985 it was listed as the "Oar House Tavern," by 1990 as "Tor's Tavern," by 1995 the "Galaxy Tavern," and it was "Epp's Place" until 2005.

5811 24th Ave NW., Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 706-9999
Est. 2005 - Closed 2015 - Building constructed 1908
Previous bars at this location:  Davented's Tavern, Club 200, Epp's Place, Tor's Tavern, Galaxy Tavern, Oar House Tavern
yelp - the stranger - gastrognome - chowhound


#958 - Wild Mountain Cafe, Seattle - 12/20/2009

Of course most people come here for the food (which is very good and also earth friendly, BTW).  But there is also a fairly minimal but cozy bar here, at least until the 9:30pm closing time, where 8 or so people can squeeze in.  And it seems particularly welcoming when it is damp and cold outside.

1408 NW 85th St.,  Seattle, WA 98117 - (206) 297-9453 - facebook - seattletimes - yelp - notfortourists - the stranger -

Friday, December 18, 2009

#957 - The Lobby, Seattle (Capitol Hill) - 12/15/2009

The Lobby is the ambitiously remodeled and now fairly swanky bar in the space of the former King Cobra -- formerly Sugar, formerly The Easy, formerly Spintron, formerly Velocity, formerly Nine 16, formerly Ego, formerly X-Factor.  Good luck with this one, guys.  The owners reportedly want to capture the design -- but not the attitude -- of New York boutique hotel lobbies. 

The bar caters to a predominantly male and gay crowd.  The cocktails I saw seemed fairly ordinary and the bartender seemed relatively inexperienced, but the service was prompt and friendly, and made me want to root for their success.

916 E. Pike Street, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 328-6703 - facebook - seattle pi

Thursday, December 17, 2009

#956 - The Seven Seas Lounge, Seattle (Lake City) - 12/15/2009

Update:  The Seven Seas lounge closed 5/28/2011

The lounge at the Seven Seas is a classic Chinese restaurant dive, which appears hastily assembled with various nostalgic Americana (in this case dominated by Marilyn Monroe) and drawing and odd variety of patrons. In fact, person-for-person, the light crowd in the lounge when I went may have been the most diverse set of drinkers I've ever seen; there were not more than ten people there the weeknight I dropped by, but the range included African American, Asian, Caucasian, Native American and wheelchair-bound. Debbie, the Native American representative -- a full-blooded Blackfoot, she informed me -- draws pictures as a way of getting to know people. She was chatting with me within three seconds of my entering, and had just finished a drawing of an albino giraffe on roller sakes. She asked me to name any animal. For some reason a squirrel came to mind (perhaps the recent Squirrels show at the Tractor?), and in about 30 seconds one appeared.

8914 Lake City Way NE., Seattle, WA 98115 - (206) 522-3863
myspace - - seattle weekly - yelp

#955 - Boxcar Alehouse, Seattle (Magnolia) - 12/12/2009

(Formerly, the Roadhouse)  The Boxcar, a basic neighborhood bar, was hopping on the Saturday night I went, and had a fairly ordinary mix of people, though it included this guy, who apparently had just given some marriage advice to the guy on the right and his sister.

3407 Gilman Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98199 - (206) 286-6000
myspace - - the stranger - seattle weekly

#954 - The Ebb Tide Room, Seattle - 12/11/2009

"You're going to Harbor Island on a Friday night without a knife?" asked my friend Marlowe. That comment, and the great name, had my hopes up for an interesting bar. But the Ebb Tide Room, aside the Chelan Cafe, was one of the most boring bars and crowds I've seen. It was at what one would assume is one of the busiest nights and times for a bar, but perhaps the tide schedule is different here? It does open at 6:00am.

3527 Chelan Ave SW., Seattle, WA 98106 - (206) 932-7383
facebook - Seattle Weekly - Voracious

Sunday, December 06, 2009

#953 - Cicchetti, Seattle (Eastlake) - 12/2/2009

Wow, add Cicchetti immediately to your list of great cocktail bars in the city. I'm not quite ready to put Cicchetti (chi-KET-tee, a Venetian term for a small plate of food) in my very top rated bars -- the modernist space (a previous office designed by George Suyama) leaves me a little bit cold and I'll have to get more of a feel for the clientele and conversation around the bar itself. But I may have to change my mind after working my way further through the very interesting cocktail menu (by Chris Bollenbacher), or perhaps in the summer when the open feel and garden courtyard between the bar and parent restaurant Serafina becomes even more welcoming.

We had the "Silk" (Moldovian brandy, St. Germain, Liquor 43, lemon and egg white) and the "Blushing Goddess," and both were quite fine (you can see more of the selections here). I definitely foresee coming back many times.

121 East Boston, Seattle, WA 98102 (around the corner of through the courtyard from Serafina)
web site - facebook - seattle magazine - seattle times - yelp - seattlest - the stranger

Saturday, December 05, 2009

#952 - Thompson's Point of View, Seattle - 2/3/2009

Update: Thompson's Point of View closed in late September 2011

Apparently I just missed Mrs. Thompson, and none of the patrons could tell me where the "Point Of View" part of the name comes from, including Patrice, who was celebrating her 59th birthday and has been coming there for decades (apparently it used to be "Helen's"). But I did fine this in PI:
    The tip of Mount Rainier can be glimpsed through the streetside windows, but the "point of view" refers to an expression of opinion by co-owner Carl Thompson during a discussion over potential names.

Hmmm, okay.

I'm not a big fan of soul food and this blog is about bars, but apparently if you like southern food you should definitely check out Thompson's (see the links below). The bar had a nice mix of ages and personalities, at least if you're not uncomfortable being the only white person there. The neighborhood is still a little shaky and some online reviewers report seeing drug use and gang activities, but the night I went it was an enjoyable crowd, and Patrice and I were able to easily find such points of agreement as that sagittarians are the finest people in the world.

2308 East Union St., Seattle, WA 98122 - 206 329 2512
Est. 1986 - Closed Sep 2011
seattle weekly - seattle pi - hugeasscity - voracious - yelp - seattle weekly

#951 - LTD Bar & Grill, Seattle - 11/30/2009

While other new and remodeled bars in the area seem to desire to help preserve Fremont's unique character (Sinners and Saints, 9 Million), the LTD is having none of that. Buy a standard selection of liquors, put a few beers on tap, slap TVs all over the place and tune them to sports and bingo! You've got another bar entirely devoid of character which would be at home in any godforsaken strip mall in the country.

The food, though from a pretty typical bar food menu, was ample and better than average. This was particularly gratifying because I had so much time for my hunger to mount while waiting for service. The web site offers the features "Long Shuffleboard Table, Pool, GoldenTee 2010, and an insane Jukebox." Maybe I've been spoiled by so many great new bars in town, but when one of your top four attractions is a golf video game, I'm not likely to be back often.

309 N. 36th Street, Seattle - (206) 632-7876 - facebook - yelp

#950 - Sip, Seattle (downtown) - 11/23/2009

Update: Sip closed March 31, 2012

Sip is a swanky new (opened 11/20/09) wine bar and restaurant in the shadow of the downtown public library, following locations in Issaquah and Gig Harbor. This Sip has a very nice looking patio with a sizable stretch of grass that looks like it will be fairly irresistible when Summer arrives, and several comfortable couches and soft lighting to support its "casual but elegant" style.

It features some fairly interesting cocktails, though they were not quite as well mixed as the best cocktail bars in town, a large wine selection of course, and good food (executive chef Cody Reaves). I like the bathroom sinks -- one set for both genders just outside the bathrooms themselves. The tony decor of the interior is consistent to every last touch with the exception of a curious selection of paintings that look like they would be more at home in a SeƱor Frog's. Perhaps the owner's nephew is a struggling artist, whose work in anthropomorphized olives at bars has yet to be fully appreciated.

909 5th Ave., Seattle, WA 98164 - eric rivera - psbj - the stranger - yelp