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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (2,633 bars; 1,284 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

#809 - Casablanca, Seattle (downtown) - 4/29/2009

This is a fairly big place but it was a small and intimate crowd when I visited, and though the bar itself is fairly unremarkable, the merguez was good and the company and conversation were first rate. I hope to see Ben, Salah, Belan, and the rest again soon.

113 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 448-3590
casablancaseattle.com - yelp

Monday, April 20, 2009

#807 - O'Asian, Seattle (downtown) - 4/20/2009

This is a lot bigger and considerably swankier than I'd expected. (I would have taken several pictures if my camera didn't go on the fritz today.)

800 5th Ave #1, Seattle, WA 98104-3176 - (206) 264-1789

#806 - The Traveler, Seattle (Ballard) - 4/19/2009


AKA "The Leary Traveler. Nice place.

4356 Leary Way NW 
Previous bars at this location: Carl's Tavern (1930s), Harvey's Tavern (40s-90s)
consupo - yelp - the stranger - urbanspoon

#805 - Golden City, Seattle (Ballard) - 4/19/2009



Now this is a fine dive bar! This has more of what I was hoping to find in the Ballard Smoke Shop. It's dark, it's intimate, it has backlit "Chinese" art, a huge, old, and terribly executed painting of an antebellum riverside scene, and it has a slightly creepy history to match. (I was informed by a regular that in the old days this place was named "The Plantation.")

And indeed The Plantation was located here from at least the 1940s into the 1980s.




5518 20th Ave NW 
Est. 1988
Previous bars at this location: The Plantation    
seattlest - yelp

#804 - Ballard Smoke Shop, Seattle - 4/19/2009


This is a decent, old, dive bar, but it's too light, too open, and too big to have the sort of intimacy you want in a great dive. I recommend walking a few blocks to Golden City.

5439 Ballard Ave NW    
the stranger - ballardgossipgirl - yelp

#803 - Volterra, Seattle - 2008 (OOO)

5411 Ballard Ave NW
Est. 2005 - Building constructed: 1945
Previous bars in this location: The Suds (1934, not current building), Disalvo's Tavern, Freddy's Tavern, Burk's Cafe

volterrarestaurant.com - the stranger - yelp - fodors - seattletimes

#802 - Jade, Seattle - 4/16/2009


The latest residents cycling through this large space next to a biker AA hangout are a very friendly Chinese family. As far as the lounge goes, well, there was one older lady there when I dropped by and she told me the bartender made very good cocktails -- then a few minutes later had to explain to her what serving a drink "neat" is.

Historical Notes:  This structure was built in 1933 and by 1943 it was the "White Stone Tavern," which it appears to have remained at least into the 70s.  The stones have since gone though various color changes, including orange and now yellow.  When I first moved to the neighborhood many years ago this was Travelers III, a popular native American bar where you could count on seeing cop cars pretty much every Friday and Saturday night. You could always count on the most drunk people on the #6 bus (and that's a fairly high standard) getting off at that stop and staggering in. 

In 1980 it is listed as the "Brooklyn Bridge Tavern." After Travelers, it had a nice little run as a second Steel Pig BBQ, but I don't know if it's ever been half full since those early days. I'd like to see the current residents make a go of it, but there's a Chinese place with a far less imposing exterior almost right across the street, and you may want to give the bartender a year or two to pick up her trade.

8904 Aurora Ave N.
jaderestaurant.net - yelp - parcel info

Saturday, April 18, 2009

#801 - The Funhouse, Seattle - 4/15/2009


Update: The Funhouse closed Oct. 31, 2012

I somehow missed getting this on my starting list, so I'll count my last visit Wednesday night, though of course I've been here many times before.

While this is now a regular venue for punk bands, I remember when it was Tex's Tavern and they first started trying out having live music. The back stage area didn't exist then, and the bands played by the front window, and when they started up they immediately emptied the place of 3/4 of the patrons -- the old folks who at that time were the primary clientele. For an illustration of just what kind of place it was for the bands in those days, I remember a time the bartender interrupted the set of my brother Spud's band, because a patron wanted cigarettes and they had to unplug the amps to plug in the cigarette machine. That same night LeRoux gave a dressing down to a guy for sneaking drinks from her beer, and then refused to buy him a pitcher in exchange for his engagement ring.

At any rate, the Funhouse is now a fine, dark alternative to the Disney-esque EMP and Seattle Center across the street, and the flickr search provides a pretty good sense of the place (and hence is not entirely work safe).

206 5th Ave N. (map)
Other bars at this location: Lex's Tavern, Tex's Tavern, Zak's 5th Avenue 
funhouseseattle.com - myspace - yelp - flickr

Friday, April 17, 2009

#800 - Frank's Oyster House and Champagne Parlor, Seattle - 4/16/2009


The unremarkable entry to Frank's opens into a funky and very pleasing wood interior, and the experience only gets better with the cocktails. My drinking partner and I sampled a pretty fair share of the cocktail menu and there wasn't a bad one in the bunch. Every one was balanced with the multiple tastes left varied and not dominated by any one ingredient, and ably mixed this night by Trevor, who's work I enjoyed here even more than past run-ins with it at the Saint and Triple Door.

This is my favorite Seattle cocktail menu outside of Capitol Hill (where The Hideout, 22 Doors, Liberty, and perhaps the Grey Gallery may still enjoy a slight edge due to more fresh juices and a tad more experimentation). It's great to see a boom in fine cocktails around the city and it's excellent to have a place like Frank's in this neighborhood.

2616 NE 55th (north of U-Village) - map
franksoysterhouse.com - seattletimes - thestranger - culinaryfool flickr - urbanspoon - yelp

Thursday, April 16, 2009

#799 - Cantinetta, Seattle - 4/15/2009

If this blog were about food and restaurant service, I'd give Cantinetta very high marks. The entrees are very tasty and the service is friendly and makes you feel well looked after even if they are slammed and you're hovering around the bar hoping for a seat. But as a bar, this is not a destination. There's no cocktail menu and there are only ten seats, which are typically filled by people who would have preferred a table. So I am unlikely to return for a nightcap, but will keep the place on my shortlist for dinner.


3650 Wallingford Ave.
web site - seattle times - yelp - urbanspoon

Monday, April 13, 2009

#798 - The Cabin, Richmond Beach - (OOO)



A hidden gem. The Cabin is in a currently suburban neighborhood where you'd never stumble upon it if you weren't seeking it explicitly or lived next door. But it was a working port with a few summer homes when the structure was built in 1927, and when, in 1933 it received one of the first five or six post-prohibition liquor licenses in the state of Washington, and became what is now the oldest continually running business in Shoreline.

The Cabin has better than average tavern food, a good selection of beers and standard drinks, and a very nice patio area where you can see the sound. But what gives the place it's essential character is the undulating floor and bar as the place has unevenly settled over the years after being moved on (and apparently left on) logs.

Pictures don't capture the odd tilts of the place, but the second one here gives a hint if you look at the far end of the bar. (In the foreground is the lovely Heather, whose weekend was such that her initial stories didn't get around to the part where she saved someone's life.)


yelp - seattle weekly - beer advocate

Sunday, April 12, 2009

#797 - Chez Gaudy, Seattle (Capitol Hill) - 4/11/2009


A roomier but even more hidden version of Bleu Bistro. The food and cocktails are both very good and the decor is a romantic labyrinth. Walking around the barely identifiable exterior, down the alley, through the forlorn looking screen door, and through the winding interior rooms gave me the sense of being in the restaurant of a remote, Tuscan agriturismo. Their MySpace page has music by Dresden Dolls and Emilie Autumn, which are very good indicators of the vibe of the place.

1802 Bellevue Ave (at E Belmont Ave) (map)
Est. 2005 - Closed 2010
myspace - the stranger - yelp - citysearch

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

#795 - IMO Asian Bistro, Seattle - 4/8/2009


No more naked sushi?

704 First Ave
Est. 2006 (formerly Bonzai Asian Bistro)
Other bars at this location:  Clipper Tavern (40s through 70s), Oasis Tavern (80s)
yelp - sushimonsters.com - the stranger

#794 - Mitchelli's, Seattle - 4/8/2009


 Mitchelli's (AKA Trattoria Mitchelli) closed on 12/31/2009

84 Yesler Way, Seattle
mitchellis.com

Saturday, April 04, 2009

#793 - Slim's Last Chance, Seattle - 4/4/2009

Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack and Watering Hole



5606 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108 - (206) 762-7900
Est. 2008 - Building constructed: 1969
Previous bars at this location: None known
web site: slimslastchance.com - facebook - myspace
Articles: seattleweekly - thestranger - seattletimesseattlemet - thestranger -  yelp

#792 - Habesha, Seattle - 4/3/2009


Update: Habesha closed in October 2012.

There's not much to the bar part of this (Ethiopian) restaurant, and I can't say much about the bar conversations because I was basically the only one there speaking English. But the entire space is perfectly lit and lovely, particularly at night, which makes it a nice little stop for a nightcap.

1809 Minor Ave (between Howell St & Stewart St) - (map)
habeshaseattle.com - seattle weekly - seattle times - yelp

#791 - The Ruins, Seattle - 3/2/2009


I paused before including this in K-Bar, as it is a private dining club, but decided it belonged because it's a type of place I very much want to go to to have a drink. I love hidden places like this and after waiting for a long time for an invitation to attend (perhaps I need a better class of friends?), it did not disappoint. Rather than try to describe it to anyone not already familiar with it, I'd refer you to the photos on the web site.

570 Roy St. (map)
theruins.net - seattle times - yelp - citysearch