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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

#1308 #S788 - Marjorie, Seattle, WA - 12/4/2010

After five years in Belltown (in a portion of the space that now comprises Buckley's), Marjorie re-opened in an intimate space Capitol Hill in 2010.  But the place feels like it should be in some shady, remote corner, rather than embedded in a new condo building -- better to be preserved for appreciative regulars.

We had a couple pleasant cocktails, a nice chat with Donna the owner, and also customer Ellie.

1412 East Union St, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 441-9842 - seattle weekly - seattle times - yelp

#1307 #S787 - Grim's, Seattle, WA - 12/4/2010

This was the soft opened of Grim's, a new place with a slightly steampunk decor in the former space of Grey Gallery, and we didn't get much of a chance to sample what will be their "intoxicant" menu.

Downstairs is a large space with communal tables and attached seats that swing in circular motions around them.  Upstairs is the more intimate Butterfly Lounge, walls glowing with jar after jar of butterflies.

Grim's is the latest Capitol Hill restaurant from Laura Olson, and a very different vibe than Po Dog and Auto Battery.  It's nice to look at, but I'll have to return to judge the cocktails and menu.

1512 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 324-7467 - facebook - capitolhillseattle - yelp

#1306 - Parlor Ultralounge, Bellevue, WA - 12/2/2010

700 Bellevue Way NE 3rd Floor, Bellevue, WA 98004 - (425) 289-7000

#1322 #S792 - Barge Bar, Madison Park Conservatory, Seattle - 12/21/2010

Update: Madison Park Conservatory closed Feb 15, 2014

Yet another upscale restaurant for the east end of Madison, this one just off the beach.  In the Barge Bar upstairs, I took bartender Keara's suggestion and had the braised Wagyu crossrib, and holy smokes, it's good.

Also had two quite tasty cocktails, starting with the El Conservadero (Cazadores Reposado, jalapeno tequila blanco, lime, agave, and beer topper) and following with a Brooklyn 46 (Makers 46, Dolin Dry vermouth, Averna, maraschino liqueur, and orange bitters).  Nice location, nice drinks,and very nice food.

1927 43rd Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112 - (206) 324 9701
Est. Nov 27, 2010 - Closed Feb 15, 2014 - Building constructed 1927
Previous bars in this location: None known - seattle weekly - madisonparkblogger - seattle times - patmybutter- sassycitygirl - yelp

#1321 - McCormick and Schmick's, Bellevue, WA - 12/21/2010

700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 115, Bellevue, WA 98004-5046 - (425) 454-2606

#1305 #S786 - Bar Myx, Seattle, WA - 11/30/2010

Update: Bar Myx closed in 2011

Lest there be any doubt about what kind of crowd this new "video bar" in the Revyue location caters to, it was created by the promoters of "Fruits in Suits" and the night we dropped in they were in the middle of a "Glee" marathon.  The bartender didn't know what a Sazerac was, but was prompt and nice.

2810 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98102 - (206) 588-1834
Est. 2010 - Closed 2011 - Building constructed 2001 - facebookyelp

#1304 #S785 - Seatown Seabar, Seattle, WA - 11/30/2010

The Seatown Snack Bar (or Seabar and Rotisserie) is a less formal sister to Etta's next door.  It has some pretty good cocktails -- I had a Hootenanny (Barbancourt rum, Market Spice Tea syrup, and citrus) and Gotham (Bulliet, Punt e mes, and Fee's brothers bitters).     The only slightly unsettling features are the paintings on the bathroom walls, which may lead you to think you have accidentally stumbled into preschool daycare facility.

The ambiance is not one of a warm bar, but rather like an extension of the Pike Place Market, and it will benefit greatly from the return of summer weather (warm evenings, that is, when the throngs of tourists have died down).  Along with the drinks, I also had the single best sandwich I have ever tasted in my life.  But when you consider that it had crab and bacon and Tom Douglas, well obviously that's just not fair to all the other sandwiches. - seattle weekly - seattle times -

#1303 #S784 - Amaani Lounge, Seattle, WA - 11/27/2010

Joe Mabel photo, via Wikimedia
Update:  This venue and the King Cat Theater closed in August 2012, and the building was later razed.

This is the lounge added by Arif Amaani in 2008 to the King Cat Theater, which opened as a movie theater in 1974 and currently hosts various events from Bollywood movies to musical shows, including the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Skrillex, Wilco, Foo Fighters, Mudhoney, Melvins, Ray Davies, Todd Rundgren, Taj Mahal, Gregg Allman, Insane Clown Posse, and GWAR).

2130 Sixth Ave., Seattle - 206-448-2829 - seattletimes

#1302 #S783 - Sweet Lou's, Seattle, WA - 11/26/2010

Sweet Lou's is the old Sundown Saloon, purchased and remodeled by Lou Brauer (opened in June 2010).  The features include a wall of photos of famous Lous and a couple classic little old lady bartenders.

It now has a more comfortable neighborhood bar sort of feel -- no black visqueen on the windows like the old days.  (And as sometimes happens in neighborhood bars, sometimes a patron gets a little liquored up and belligerent, as illustrated in the comments section of this phinneywood post.)

820 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA - 782-9690 - seattle weekly - phinneywood - beerblotter - the stranger

Sunday, January 23, 2011

#1301 #S782 - Mel's Tavern, Seattle, WA - 11/25/2010

Update: Mel's closed in late 2012

After a sumptuous Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house overlooking the I90 bridge across Lake Washington, we rolled the car southward on a slushy Rainier Avenue, hoping to find an open bar that was not already on my list.  Mel's Tavern did not look particularly promising. The OPEN sign was lit, but it looked completely dark inside.  When we walked in, the only person there was Mel himself, sitting under the few lights on behind the bar, with paperwork and his medications strewn out across the bar. But Mel's was open, and for a lover of old dive bars and old bar stories, it turned out to be an exceedingly agreeable nightcap.

Mel opened Mel's 41 years ago. He's owned some other places in town: He owned the Alaskan Bar on 1st Ave for a couple of years (but didn't own the land, which he describes as an important early lesson); and he owned the building that now houses Lottie's Lounge. That building was constructed in 1892 and was once the Hotel Dakota and then the Columbia Hotel, which hosted the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody and other big names. But Mel wasn't aware of that -- it was the Bright Spot tavern when he bought it.

Mel remembers when there were five other bars in the area around his current place -- The Black Sheep, Friendly's, the Holiday Inn, Guy's.  Mel's Tavern itself is the sort of hodgepodge of miscellaneous parts, assembled over many years, that characterize any dive bar of real personality.  The rubber flooring under the bar stools is from Boeing Surplus and an old 747.  There are two old furnaces from estate sales that sound like someone kicking in the door when they kick on.  The big screen TV is from the auction of Ballard's Sunset Lanes.  A cubist sort of painting is there because his wife didn't like seeing it in their house.  The numerous large clocks on the walls were bought cheap in various places ("I got that one for five bucks at the Midway flea circus"); he gives them to Goodwill if he can't fix them.

Milton "Mel" Roe is 71 years old now, and he just re-opened the bar four weeks ago after a seven-month stay in a convalescent home after injuries from a fall from a ladder.  He moves achingly to retreive another beer from behind the bar, but notes "I'm getting around pretty good now."  He's had some other tough luck recently.  His two brothers died, and his wife is now in a nursing home.  He is on the edge of choking up each of the six or seven times he mentions his wife's state in our conversation.  "I think her days are numbered," he says, "I hope not."

But despite encroaching mortality and the darkness that enveloped us as we sat at the bar ("This place has a pretty big lighting bill," Mel explains), Mel's has always done pretty well for him.  And with his English teacher wife's brains and Mel's frugality and sturdy industriousness, they've done pretty well for their family, with multiple properties and three children with advanced degrees.  There's a house in Mexico where his sister now lives, one two blocks from Lake Washington with a large swimming pool, and an apartment above the bar that Mel himself built and where he now stays since it's harder for him to get around these days.

And the bars have helped Mel and his family go some places.  He sold a lot next door years ago to help put his son through medical school (his son is now the team doctor for the Cleveland Cavaliers).  After selling the Bright Spot, he rode a tug boat around the world -- to Australia, around the Cape of Good Hope, on to Europe.  He hopes to soon visit a Samoan friend he met in the Air Force.  And he hopes his daughter, who now works for Microsoft in Belgium, will be able to make it back for Christmas like she thought she would.

He even holds out hope that he'll see his wife out of the nursery home sometime.  "I think she's in there for good," he says, clenching his face just a little.  "I hope not."

Before we leave, Mel quizzes us on the odd, cubist painting he rescued from his wife's disdain.  "Can you tell what it is?" he asks us.  We walk closer to examine the jumble of triangular, painted shapes, trying in vain to discern the distorted subject matter.  But with the darkness of the room, and fatigue setting in after a lavish dinner, we both give up and have to ask him for the answer.

"It's anything you want to be," says Mel.

5717 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118
Seattle Weekly

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#1300 - Plan B, Portland OR - 11/21/2010

1305 SE 8th Ave, Portland, OR 97214
myspace - barfly - mercury - yelp

#1299 - Cellar Bar, Ringler's Annex, Portland OR - 11/21/2010

Ringler's Annex, Al's Den, Portland, OR
A nifty little bar, AKA "Al's Den," in the basement of Ringler's Annex and the Crystal Hotel, a location where Portland gambling king Al Winter managed his operation.

1223 S.W. Stark, Portland, OR 97205 - (503) 525-0520
web site - portlandground - chooselocal - yelp

Sunday, January 16, 2011

#1297 - Huber's, Portland OR - 11/21/2010

Considered Portland's oldest restaurant and saloon, Hubert's dates its birth to 1879 when it started as the Bureau Saloon in a location at SW 1st and Morrison. Frank Huber was hired there as a bartender in 1884, and became the owner by 1888. The business changed its name to Huber's and moved to moved to 281 SW Washington in 1895, then moved to its current location in 1911.

In addition to the beautiful interior in the Oregon Pioneer Building (nee Builder's Exchange Building), Huber's is known for its turkey dinners and Spanish Coffees.

411 Southwest 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204 - (503) 228-5686
Est. 1911, 1895 in a previous location