Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,585 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

#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 -

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