Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,807 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Friday, April 30, 2010

#1085 - The Honeycomb Room, Montesano WA - 4/29/2010

There's nothing really remarkable about the Honeycomb Room other than it's name, which is in keeping with the Bee Hive Restaurant, which surrounds it. But it is a sort of classic lounge attached to a classic little diner, which stresses its pie and would be at home in Twin Peaks if it didn't press the theme a little too far. The lounge wsa built in 1971, but the building and the "Bee Hive" date back to 1940.

The Bee Hive comes with its own little, laminated newsletter, with ads for local businesses, jokes, and advice. "Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little stringy things out of it," the newsletter explains, then adds "That's how primates do it."

zevents - yelp
300 S Main St Montesano, WA 98563 - 360-249-4131

Thursday, April 29, 2010

#1084 #S641 - Chungees Eat 'N Drink, Seattle - 4/28/2010

Chungee's Drink N Eat is a small Chinese restaurant with a tiny bar a bit off the beaten commercial paths of Capitol Hill. If you don't have a project to hit every bar in Seattle, I'm not sure why you'd ever choose the Chungee's bar over the other neighborhood options, but there's room for about 9 or 10 people to do so.

1830 12th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 323-1673 - seattlemet - the stranger - yelp

#1083 #S640 - Mars Bar, Seattle - 4/28/2010

The Mars Bar (adjacent to and associated with Cafe Venus) is a nifty to bar with some cool and friendly bartenders and a likable and interesting set of customers, in what I think (?) was the location of the old rough and tumble punk bar "The Storeroom."  An off-duty bartender suggested I try a Corpse Reviver #2, and helped round up ingredients for the prohibition era cocktail (3/4 ounce gin, 3/4 ounce Cointreau, 3/4 ounce Lillet blanc, 3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice, and 2 dashes absinthe). 

It was a tasty thing indeed, and the food (which they serve until 10pm) was really, really good as well.  And note for the future:  Pints of Manny's are just 2 bucks on Wednesday nights.

609 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98109 - (206) 624-4516 - the stranger - yelp - seattle weekly

#1082 #S639 - Amber, Seattle - (OOO)

I somehow forgot to include this back when I first went there, and frankly, I'm just as happy to forget all about it.  The title of their web page is "Seattle's Premier Restaurant, Lounge, and Bar."  I don't know if this was meant as a joke, but it's chilling to just imagine a city where this might have been true.  On the other hand, if you're a fellow who likes to dress up in your untucked, blue-striped white dress shirt and go out on the town with a pack of friends who are all wearning untucked, blue-striped white dress shirts, hoping the product in your hair will clarify what an individual you are, then this may be a nice place for you.

2214 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 - yelp

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

#1081 #S638 - Pour House, Seattle - 4/23/2010

I shouldn't judge the Pour House by comparison to the Luau, but I can't help thinking that there was very little addition to the new place -- just a lot of subtraction.  The food is pretty good and my Pimms Cocktail did nothing to upset my rule that I've never had a bad cocktail with cucumber.  But while a friend reported the place pretty full at 8:30, it was virtually vacant by the time I arrived at 11:30 (on a Friday night).  So at least in the early stages this is more of a neighbors' bar than a neighborhood bar.  (Leny's, the amiable dive down the block, was packed.)  I wish them good luck, but the bar portion of the physical venue and of the bar portion of the evening will need to gain significantly more momentum and character for me to feel like swinging by this relatively remote portion of town.

2253 N 56th St., Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 633-5828 - mygreenlake - yelp - seattletimes - thestranger

Thursday, April 22, 2010

#1080 #S637 - Boom Boom Room, Seattle - 3/7/1987

Another bar from days of yore which I neglected in my starting list.  The Boom Boom Room, in the Century restaurant on the north end of University Ave. (where the Rat & Raven currently resides) briefly hosted alternative bands.  The one show I can recall attending for certain was Feast, Pure Joy and Bundle of Hiss in '87, but I know there were several others.

5260 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105

#1079 #S636 - Canlis, Seattle - 4/21/2010

While recently reading my copy of Bourbon Dandy, I realized that, while I'd eaten there a few times over the years, this list still lacked an entry for the bar at Canlis, and I'd never sampled their new cocktail menu.  With the stalwart aid of a couple thirsty friends, this was rectified last night.

Frankly, I'd love Canlis regardless of the food and drinks, as long as it preserved that great Pacifica-style cantilevered structure, the fine stone and cedar decor, and the excellent view.  But of course Canlis joints are renowned for their fine (and fairly pricey) food, and if that were not good enough, they've recently decided to put a renewed focus on upgrading their cocktail menu, under James Mac Williams.  Even the ice has been thoroughly upgraded, filtered multiple times, frozen with a Cryovac process to minimize gases, thawed, and refrozen, and arriving in your Old Fashioned in a magnificent tiny ice berg lodged to the bottom of your chilled glass.  I myself had an Our lady of Thermidor (strawberry infused vodka en sous vide, bitter lemon elixer, Champagne & a dash of Campari) which was good, and the l'Abbatoir d'Amour, which was excellent.  My friends were just as much impressed with their Manhattan and Old Fashioned.

If you're ready to drop some significant cash for dinner, you can count on Canlis to get it right, and you'll appreciate the famous extra touches -- the servers ironing the table cloths, the valets having your car waiting when you leave without ever taking your name or number, and the other small things that have made them the James Beard runner up for best service in the country a couple times. And I was pleased to see the Canlis family still not only operating, but taking a very active role -- a few questions to my server about some of the more tiki elements of the old days prompted a nice visit from Mark Canlis.

But even if you're on a tight budget you can still enjoy the decor -- you can do as we did this visit and just drop into the lounge for a couple cocktails.  They are a bit pricey ($12 to $18 for our choices), and you'll want to be a at least moderately dressy, even in the lounge.  But if you're in the mood for an upscale experience, Canlis delivers.

2576 Aurora Ave N., Seattle, WA 98109 - (206) 283-3313         - tiki central - seattle times - seattle pi - yelp -
(Props to Russell at Bourbon Dandy, and Mimi and her extensive collection of tiki menus and history.  Second image is a scan from "Chub" at, from the 1966 publication "Great Restaurants of the United States and their Recipes.")

#1078 #S635 - Flying Fish, Seattle - 4/21/2010

Update: In 2010 Flying Fish moved to a new location in South Lake Union. This space was subsequently occupied by Local 360.

As with most upscale restaurants, the bar at Flying Fish serves mostly the basics.  But they do feature a small list of more original cocktails, and I had a very fine "First And Bell" (Ransom Old Tom Gin, Vya Sweet Vermouth, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur).

Historical notes:  This location has housed bars since the 19th century, and the current building, constructed in 1930, housed the Liberty Tavern from the 40s into the 80s.

2234 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 728-8595
Est. 1995 - Moved out: 2010 - Building constructed: 1930 - facebook - seattle times - seattle piyelp

The Ditto (AKA Writer Boy's Ditto Tavern), Seattle - 9/6/1986

This is an entry on bar already counted in the starting list for this project.

For a good period and particularly in 1986 and several years following, Richard Pauletti's hole in the wall under the monorail, the Writer Boy's Ditto tavern, was the most dependable venue in Seattle for interesting, alternative live music.  Such venues were rare in Seattle in the 80s.  Most bars featured cover bands playing Beatles medleys, while more original, cutting edge music had two mainstays in the Central Tavern and The Vogue (on weekdays), were temporarily joined by a churn of less consistent and/or shorter lived venues like Scoundrel's Lair, Squid Row, Gorilla Gardens, Club Fiasco, The Boom Boom Room, etc. etc.)  In the mid 80s, the prevailing punk and art band ethic at the Ditto and alternative bands like Pure Joy and Chemistry Set started to make way for what we would later call "grunge."  (I distinctly remember the first time I saw a band with hippy-like long hair at the Ditto -- though I can't remember which one it was -- and wondering how in the hell they even got in.)

I started seeing bands like Green River, Skinyard, Sound Garden and later Nirvana, playing the Ditto along with a huge assortment of alternative groups like Vexed, Melting Fish, Handful of Dust, Bundle of Hiss, and Weather Theater.  While I confess to seeing little of this myself, the Ditto also catered to a poetry crowd.  In additions to readings and slams there were a few typewriters in the place, including one bolted to the ceiling.  For a small, divey place, the Ditto had a wide selection of beers on tap, well before the craft beer heyday.  If the bands were playing, it was easy to find, but visually it had little hint of it's existence beyond the neon " sign in the window.  The Ditto lasted from 1986 to 1998.

Richard Pauletti

Monday, April 19, 2010

#1077 #S634 - Flow Lounge, Seattle - 4/19/2010

For a place I read was reconfigured by the owner for more of a lounge focus, this has a pretty brief cocktail menu, and a bartender who doesn't have a lot to say when you ask for recommendations.  However the sazerac I had was very nice and so were the affordable small plates (I had the caprese salad, a salmon slider, and mini pot stickers, which were all three quite tasty).  The decor and the general vibe don't seem all that much different from the Opal days, but I like it a bit more.

2 Boston Street Seattle, WA 98109 - 282-0142
thrillist - queenanneview - yelp

Sunday, April 18, 2010

#1076 #S633 - Mistral Kitchen, Seattle - 4/15/2010

The cocktail menu at the new Mistral Kitchen, in the able hands of Andrew Bohrer (formerly of Chantanee), is quite enjoyable.  On my first visit I had an excellent "Oak Aged Martinez" followed by a good, if a tad too sweet, "Trader Vic's style" mai tai.  And the cocktail menu is helpfully listed "in order of similarity to dreamy fluffy clouds transitioning to bitter angry poets."  Given that, I suppose I'll have to work my way through it starting from the bottom.

But the thing that will limit my visits is the unfortunate decor.  I guess a lot of people like very bright lighting and stark industrial modernism with their foie gras, but it is antithetical to the warm dark glow I prefer in a bar.

2020 Westlake Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 623-1922 - facebook - the stranger - seattle weekly - yelp - seattlepi

Saturday, April 17, 2010

#1075 #S632 - Mecca Cafe, Seattle - (OOO)

While making a list of my favorite dive bars, I was rather stunned to discover that I somehow never added The Mecca to this blog. The Mecca Cafe is, of course, lower Queen Anne's version of the Five Point: Dive bar to the left, greasy spoon cafe to the right, strong cheap drinks, strong jukebox, good dive bar mix of people.

Near the height of the dotcom boom, I saw an ad in the Mecca mens room offering rewards for recommending computer techs. If ever there should have been a sign that things were getting out of hand ...

526 Queen Anne Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-4520 - (206) 285-9728
citysearch - yelp - the strangerseattle weekly

#1074 #S631 - The Diller Room, Seattle - 4/12/2010

The Diller Room opened in the back area of the Stella Cafe on April 1, and is hosting a grand opening party on Thursday April 22.  The web site say's "it’s time for The Diller Room’s return to its rightful place as the most opulent lounge in the City."  Well, it's not quite that.  But it is a nice room and bar with more character than most downtown Seattle bars, and pretty decent cocktails to boot.  And it's great to see the old sign and a worthy revival of what a part of Seattle's first luxury hotel (est. 1898) and later a (genuine) speakeasy.

1224 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 619-3632 - seattle weekly - thrillist - yelp - the stranger -

#1073 #S630 - The New Orleans, Seattle - 4/12/2010

114 1st Avenue S., Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 622-2216 - yelp - citysearch

Monday, April 12, 2010

#1072 #S629 - Grizzled Wizard, Seattle - 4/9/2010

For a few years this was Tony's Liquid House and I was utterly unaware of its existence.  The space is almost covert (less noticeable than most of the new speakeasies), with a single door nestled between a UPS store and the Erotic Bakery.  Tony's is no more, but new owner (and first-time bar owner) Joe Couden has taken over and created a classic little neighborhood bar.  You'll never notice it from driving down the street, but now at least it has a (fairly subtle) name on the door. Joe said sales in the first couple weeks have been about 50% ahead of the business plan, and I'm glad to hear it, as it's just the sort of nifty little straightforward neighborhood place where I'd like to hang out now and then.

2317 N 45th St., Seattle, WA 98103 - (206) 849-0062 - thrillist - yelp - seattlemet

#1071 #S628 - Betty, Seattle - 4/9/2010

A nice cafe from the people behind Crow.  The emphasis is on the cafe, so the bar crowd tends to dwindle late as the restaurant closes.  But still the bar is more than just an afterthought and features some interesting cocktails.

1507 Queen Anne Ave N., Seattle, WA 98109 - (206) 352-3773  - the stranger - seattle times - seattlepi - yelp

Sunday, April 11, 2010

#1070 #S627 - Treehouse Bar & Grill, Seattle - 4/8/2010

4332 Leary Way NW, Seattle, WA 98127 - (206) 297-8888

#1069 #S626 - Crown Hill Pub, Seattle - 4/7/2010

Update: The Crown Hill Pub closed after the death of long term owner Hope Greebaum in 2015.

A neighborhood dive where the bartender knew everyone by name (except me). Martina, the bartender, alternates between serving up Olympia and chatting on the phone ("Hi. I'm doing fine. Who am I speaking? I am making my dollar.") Another partner talks about his last time at the pub, when someone wanted to trade his '96 Ford F150 pickup for his cadillac (in all my visits to bars, no one's ever made me a serious offer to trade cars).

There has been a bar in this location since at least 1940, when the Polk guide lists a bar owned by Theo. Woelfert. Shortly thereafter it was briefly Johnny Olson's Tavern. From 1955 to 1959 it is listed as Sportsmen's Tavern, then the Terminal Tavern or Glaser's Terminal Tavern from 1961 to 1980. It is listed as Sidewinder in the early 80s, then the Water Hole from the late 80s to the mid 90s. I'm not sure when it became Crown Hill Pub but it was sometime between 1995 and 2000.

8511 15th Ave NW, Seattle, Washington 98117
Building constructed: 1927
Previous bars at this location: Johnny Olson's Tavern, Sportsmen's Tavern, Terminal Tavern, Sidewinder, The Water Hole
seattlest -

#1068 #S625 - Saltoro, Seattle - 4/7/2010

This virtually hidden place, with a nondescript facade on a fairly boring stretch of Broadview road, has a nice surprise when you walk inside. There's a warm, woody decor with a large fireplace, and a fine menu of cocktails and food. Managed by the same people who run Bick's, this shares the good food while providing a more romantic setting.

14053 Greenwood Ave N., Seattle, WA 98133 - (206) 365-6025
seattetimes - seattlepi - thestranger  - yelp

#1067 #S624 - Bisato, Seattle - 3/17/2010

Update: Bisato will close October 14, 2012

Good cichetti style small plates and pretty good drinks (although the eponymous Bisato Cocktail was overly sweet).  A very Belltown-ish addition to Belltown, in the old Lampreia space, by the same owner/award-winning-chef, Scott Carsberg.

2400 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 443-3301 - facebook - yelp - seattletimes

#1066 - Cantina Due (Hyatt Regency), Scottsdale, AZ - 3/29/2010

The web site claims that here you can experience "the quintessential cocktail...the best of the best."  That was not my experience, but the real reason you go here is for the water garden and luxurious views of this grand hotel.

7500 E. Doubletree Ranch Road Scottsdale, AZ. 85258 - 480-444-1234 -

#1065 - Cafe ZuZu (Valley Ho), Scottsdale, AZ - 3/28/2010

Cafe ZuZu maintains the midcentury-modern theme of the Valley Ho, and while the bar vibe seemed fairly restrained, it makes a nice neighbor to Trader Vic's.

6850 E Main St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 421-7997 - azcentral - chowhound - yelp

#1064 - Grazie, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/28/2010

A pleasant little wine bar and pizzeria.

6952 E Main St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 663-9797 - azcentral - yelp

#1063 - The Grapevine, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/28/2010

This place has three distinct sections/personalities -- each of which has a crowd that helps put the "old" in Old Town Scottsdale. On entering there is a family Greek/Mediterranean restaurant, with the standard fountain and paintings of grape vines. Upstairs there is nice patio bar, which seems to draw mostly tourists. And in the back room of the lower portion there is a divey karaoke bar, which seems to be all long-time regulars.

4013 N Brown Ave., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 994-1792
yelp - metromix

#1062 - Acua, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/27/2010

7144 E Stetson Dr., Ste 250, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 949-9000 - newtimes - yelp

#1061 - Estate House, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/27/2010

A cool, tri-level space with a breezy patio on the upper floor.

7134 E Stetson Dr., Ste 200, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 970-4099 - chowhound - yelp

#1060 - Devil's Martini, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/27/2010

4175 N Goldwater Blvd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 947-4873 - yelp

#1059 - Mabel's on Main, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/27/2010

Mabel's on Main (formerly Mabel Murphy's) is a nice speakeasy themed lounge with very good cocktails and gourmet small plates (by chef and owner Aaron May). Nicki (sp?) the bartender (pictured) really knows her stuff, and was a great help with the cocktail suggestions.

But the star of the place is the hidden room (partially shown in pic).  Pull on a certain book and a section of the bookcase swings out to reveal a plush room complete with a one-way mirror to watch people in the bar.

7018 E Main St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 946-0363 - newtimes - newtimes - yelp - chowhound

#1058 - The Rusty Spur, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/27/2010

The Rusty Spur is a fairly genuine honky tonk in the middle of Old Town Scottsdale.   It's in a structure built in 1921 and became a saloon back in1958 (claiming to be the oldest Saloon in Scottsdale).  It serves as "the destination of choice for the Hashknife Pony Express riders after completing the 200 mile relay ride over the grueling, mountainous trail from Holbrook to Scottsdale."

The house band -- the Psychobilly Rodeo Band -- told the audience "It's kinda crowded tonight, so if you're not gonna tip, we'd appreciate it if you got your cheap asses outta here."

7245 E Main St., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 425-7787 - yelp - newtimes

#1057 - Old Town Tavern, Scottsdale, AZ - 3/27/2010

7320 E Scottsdale Mall, Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 945-2882 - facebook - myspace - yelp

#1056 - Red Bar (Mondrian), Scottsdale, AZ - 3/27/2010

A fairly swanky bar, with multiple levels and outdoor features, in a quite swanky motel, but not a lot of personality as far as I can tell.

Mondrian Hotel Scottsdale, 7353 E Indian School Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 - (480) 444-0549
metromix - azcentral - yelp

Saturday, April 10, 2010

#1055 - Buffalo Chip Saloon, Cave Creek, AZ - 3/26/2010

Wow.  The Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse is another huge, western-themed place with a big patio with picnic tables and fire pits.  I have to give it the edge over Harold's, Greasewood Flat, and the Horny Toad -- how many bars do you know that feature real bull riding?

On Friday's the Buffalo Chip also features an all-you-can-eat fish fry (walleye,  lake perch, cod and catfish) and a huge barbacue option with brisket, sausages and such in big vats. 

Of course it attracts the standard Cave Creek crowd of cowboys, bikers, retiree, and tourists, but I also liked the people and conversations here best. In the picture with me is Jerry and his wife from Illinois, and Jimmy, who served in WWII before the services were integrated, retired from the auto industry and moved out here, and at 80 still rides his horse virtually every day.

Paul the bartender was very cool, and around the corner was an older woman with a huge wedding ring, beat-up cowboy hat, and heavy mascara saying into her phone, "Zoe, it's grandma.  I'm at a bar."

Good food, decent drinks, good crowd, live music and dancing 7 nights a week -- I plan to make this a staple of my Arizona trips.

6811 E Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331 - (480) 488-9118 - newtimes - yelp - azcentral

#1054 - Harold's Corral, Cave Creek, AZ - 3/26/2010

Harold's Corral is another big, western themed place in Cave Creek, and dates itself back to 1935, when Johnny Walker opened the Corral Bar to serve workers building the Bartlett Dam. In 1950 it was purchased by local character Harold Gavagan, which led to keeping lions and tigers in back and visits by various celebrities. Currently it is owned by some displaced Steelers fans, and serves as a gathering point for Steeler rooters who moved away from the midwest cold, just as the Buffalo Chip caters to Packers fans.

Did I say big? Harold's seats 800 (600 inside and 200 on the outside patio). It has great happy hour prices -- my gin and tonic was $2. Nowadays it is full of the standard Cave Creek cross section of cowboys, bikers, retirees, and tourists.

6895 E Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331 - (480) 488-1906 - azcentral - yelp

#1053 - The Horny Toad, Cave Creek, AZ - 3/26/2010

Note to self: Next Spring Training trip, reserve a room for a night or two in Cave Creek. It's a really fun little town.

6738 E Cave Creek Rd., Cave Creek, AZ 85331 - (480) 488-9542 - yelp - newtimes - metromix - azcentral

#1052 - Hoot & Howl, Goodyear, AZ - 3/25/2010

55 N Litchfield Rd., Goodyear, AZ 85338 - (623) 932-3580