Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,777 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, October 30, 2011

#1565 #S925 - Emerald City Beer Co, Seattle - 10/1/2011

The Emerald City Beer Lab is a medium-sized tasting room for the microbrew that has moved into the historic old Rainier Brewery between Airport Way and I5. The new brewery is also lager focused, but create a variety of craft brews.  The "lab" is somewhat spare, consistent with the industrial setting, with a good sized bar, two taps, and a big screen television.  The owner and staff are casual and friendly.

The tasting room is most notable to long-time residents for its historic location.  Beer has been brewed here since 1883, and the large R from the Rainier days was a Seattle icon.  The current building was constructed by Kopp & Hemrich brewery in 1887 and has been the site of major brewing from then until 1999 (around the prohibition years) under the names Bayview Brewery, Sick's Seattle Brewing & Rainier. 

The Mountain Room  ran within the brewery from the 30's until 1999, hosting at times Jim Whitaker (the first American to climb Mt. Everest), Mickey Rooney, and the Seattle Rainiers  baseball team. The brewery and Mountain Room were closed in 1999 and "Rainier"  subsequently sold to Pabst and brewed by Miller.  In recent years, developers have converted portions of it into artists studios and rehearsal spaces.

3100 Airport Way S, Ste 8100, Seattle, WA 98134 - (206) 351-8250
Est. Aug 21, 2010 - Building constructed: 1887 (Historic Bay View / Rainier Brewery)
Other bars at this address:  La Cantina, The Mountain Room (1930s - 1999) - washingtonbeerblog - seattlepiking5 - seattlest - yelp

#1564 #S924 - Epic Ales, Seattle - 10/1/2011

Epic Ales is a microbrewery run by Cody Morris with a tiny bar & tasting room in the KR Trigger Building in SoDo.  You'll need to ring the doorbell to be shown in.  On Saturdays he teams with a chef and presents upscale meals in the "gastropod," an upstairs room with lovely old wood and signs.  The room contains a lovely old bar made to look like a ship, which the landlord obtained from an old tavern in Spokane, and which now juts its bow through the wall into the next room.

The beers are adventurous and use some offbeat ingredients, and the food and beer pairings of the gastropod show the same creative considerations.  I had a lambic made with fresh hops called Zero Minute IPA.  Belgian-styles are not my personal favorites, but it was nice to have an intriguing set of tastes so different from the typical offerings.

3201 First Ave South, Suite 104, Seattle, WA 98134 - 206-351-3637
Est. January 22, 2010 (Brewery est. Dec 2008) - Building constructed: 1923 - facebook - yelp - hessbrewing - beerblotter -

#1563 #S923 - Mars Bistro, Seattle - 9/30/2011

Mars Bistro (previously Blue Dog Kitchen) is a funky little spot on the north end of The Ave that focuses on organic breakfasts and lunch, along with teas and coffee.  But about a month ago they opened up a bar, and now in the evenings they offer an intimate, unfussy, little break between the frenetic Galway Arms and the sophisticated Lucid.
5247 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 - (206) 632-5132
Est. 2011 - Building constructed: 1950
Other bars at this location: None known - facebook - thestranger - yelp

Monday, October 24, 2011

#1562 - Goldfish Tavern, Ruston, WA - 9/24/2011

The Defiant Goldfish, Ruston, WA

Later Update: The Defiant Goldfish closed again September 3, 2017.

Update: After apparently being in business since shortly after prohibition, the Goldfish closed in the Fall of 2012, after the then owner, struggling with declining health, a drop in business and a lack of experience (she inherited the bar in a divorce settlement) fell into arears on the lease. While that certainly raised fears for the fans of this great little place right across the street from Point Defiance Park, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise as a couple new owners with varied bar experience stepped in, added even more character than the bar had before (a rarity for remodels of old dives), as well as shuffleboard, an improved patio, some very tasty pizza and other food items, and a nice selection of beers and wines. Various financial challenges such as dealing with the ancient underground gas tanks of the one-time gas station were managed with the help of Kickstarter campaign and the city of Tacoma’s Community and Economic Development Department. So congrats to the owners, the locals, and the city government for all helping preserve this historical little gem. The Defiant Goldfish re-opened July 20, 2016.

The Defiant Goldfish, Ruston, WA

Luau Pizza, The Defiant Goldfish, Ruston, WA

A nifty little dive bar across from Point Defiance Park, with a pretty decent beer selection (no liquor).  The sign says it's been around since right after prohibition, and a lot of the folks who have been there since have carved their names into the wooden bar and tables.

5310 North Pearl Street, Ruston, WA 98407 - (253) 759-7474
Est. 1933 - Constructed 1929
Website: - facebook
southsoundtalkweeklyvolcano - yelp - thenewstribune

#1561 - Tanglewood Grill, Gig Harbor, WA - 9/24/2011

3222 56th Street Northwest, Gig Harbor, WA 98335-1359 - (253) 858-5555 - yelp - tripadvisor - urbanspoon -

Sunday, October 23, 2011

#1560 - Halftime Sports Saloon, Gig Harbor, WA - 9/24/2011

 So this appears to be the happening hangout on a Saturday night in Gig Harbor, with a sizable crowd and lively karaoke tucked in the corner of a strip mall. It's a fairly typical neighborhood dive, with the expected sort of pub food, pull tabs, and a mixed crowd. The one unique aspect apparent is that many of the ceiling tiles have been personalized over the years by patrons.

(Spell checking is apparently optional as well.)

5114 Pt. Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 - (253) 853-1456
Backwards baseball cap count: 7
Previous bars in this location: Charlie O Ale House
myspace - yelp

#1559 - Hy-Iu-Hee-Hee, Gig Harbor, WA - 9/24/2011

I've been unable to find out what the (Chinook?) phrase Hy-Iu-Hee-Hee means, but judging from appearances it is "big divey sports bar."  An earlier location, a couple miles north of the current venue, apparently burned down sometime during the 70s. 

4309 Burnham Dr, Gig Harbor, WA 98332 - (253) 851-7885
Est. 1984 - Constructed: 1984
facebook - - weeklyvolcanoyelp - tripadvisor

#1558 - 7 Seas Brewing Taproom, Gig Harbor, WA - 9/24/2011

This microbrew has a nice little taproom and a nicer beer garden area hewn from the surrounding woods.  The beers are nice and the vibe is pleasant.  7 Seas is the first microbrewery in Washington state to can their own beer.  They were founded in 2008, moved after a fire, and the tap room has been open since at least 2009.  To find them, it's better to find the Inn At Gig Harbor, and just drive to the back of the parking lot.

3207 57th Street Court Northwest, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 - (253) 686-3703 - facebook - seattlepi - kbbj - washingtonbeerblog - bainbridgeislandreview - yelp

#1557 - Tides Tavern, Gig Harbor, WA - 9/24/2011

The Tides has been a tavern of various names since prohibition, and was remodeled and renamed into the current incarnation in 1973.  From the tavern's web site:

'The building that now houses the Tides Tavern was built by Axel Uddenburg in 1910 and served the area as a general store. Located next to the "People's Dock", the town's only public ferry landing, it was called the West Side Mercantile. The ferry dock provided a steady stream of customers through the first half-century. With the end of prohibition in the 1930s, a tavern was added, and a tradition of good times began. Beer was sold for 10 cents a glass, and 20 cents a bottle. The tavern never made much money, but no one cared.

Through the years, the building has seen a number of colorful owners, not the least of which was "Three Fingered Jack," a Jerry Garcia look-alike whose tenor voice resonated across the dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights in the late 60s and early 70s.

In 1973, current owner Peter Stanley bought the run-down, but well-known tavern, and began a two-month re-construction project which culminated in the memorable opening of The Tides on the weekend of "Harbor Holidays."'
One of the things I liked about The Tides was that the staff were all running around working hard to serve a full house, but there was much smiling and laughter. It felt like the heart of this small town, for both locals and visitors, and both customers and workers seemed like they were glad to be there.

2925 Harborview Dr, Gig Harbor, WA 98335 - (253) 858-3982
Est. 1973 - Building constructed: 1910
Previous bars in this location: Ferry Tavern, Three-Fingered Jack's (history) - acoupleoffoodiesintacomayelp

#1556 #S922 - Benihana, Seattle - 9/22/2011

1200 Fifth Ave, Seattle, WA 98101 - 206-682-4686Update: Benihana closed in April 2016

#1555 #S921 - Origin, Seattle -9/22/2011

I don't understand why they have a bar at all. Origin is a mediocre Vietnamese restaurant hidden from street view in the middle of a small shopping mall.  Does anybody really go to this bar?  You couldn't tell it from the bartender they hunted down for me, who served me a limp gin and soda when I ordered a gin and tonic.  Unless you have your own project to have a drink at every bar in Seattle, I don't know why you'd bother with the bar here.

1333 5th Ave, Ste 510, Seattle, WA 98101 - (206) 317-2979
Est. Sept. 4, 2011 - Building constructed: 1976
Other bars at this location: Navya Lounge
facebook - yelp

#1554 #S920 - Orcas Landing, Seattle -9/20/2011

Update: Orcas Landing closed in July 2012

This is a new Hillman City bar from Laurie Lusko, the displaced owner of the Beacon Hill Pub (now Bar del Corso).  This night was a slow one and I ate bruschetta and chatted about bars of Seattle past with Mary Lou, who has owned area restaurants and on this night was working for tips for her friend the owner.  There's nothing particularly remarkable about this place, the drinks, or the food, but it seems like a reasonably nice neighborhood joint.

5609 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 - (206) 402-4034
Est. 2011 - Closed: July 2012 - Building constructed: 1915
Other bars at this address:  None known
facebook - seattlemag - seattleweekly - newpubbistro - yelp

#1553 #S919 - Velvet, Seattle -9/14/2011

Velvet is an event space in a 100-year-old wooden warehouse just south of the ballparks.  It is decorated in the style of a 19th century bordello and has a nice big bar and some basic cocktails.  This was the first night of the "Velvet stage," which I think means it was the first night for the Velvet bar (this night featuring the dark neo-cabaret of the Blackmoor Travelling Picture Show).

1701 1st Ave S., Seattle, WA - 206 380-9576           
Est. Sep. 14, 2011 - Building constructed: 1910 - facebook

Friday, October 21, 2011

#1552 - Hollywood Tavern, Woodinville, WA - 9/17/2011

Update: Alas, the atavistic and almost bewildering joy of turning the bend from the lavish lawns of contemporary Woodinville wineries and stumbling upon this ramshackle dive with the beat up "Tavern" sign turned out to be just too incongruent to last. The sign remains, but the cabin-like space where Mabel Niemen served up Olys to a blue collar crowd is remodeled almost beyond recognition, into an upscale home of modern cuisine served up by Josh Henderson, who first made a name for himself with his Skillet food truck. Beside it stretches a large, new warehouse hosting the Woodinville Whiskey distillery.

To be sure, the drinks and food are light years better, and the space, said to be modeled on Napa Valley's "Taylor’s Refresher" has some nice, quirky touches, including horseshoe throwing in front, and a fire pit patio in back. In addition to the old Tavern sign, there are some references here and there to the old place -- paint-by-number paintings, and a framed tavern token collection. I quite enjoyed my Oil Change (Woodinville Whiskey Rye, Meletti amaro, root beer bitters), and I'm sure there are more nice options among the drinks designed by Maggie Savarino (Madison Park Conservatory). And looking at the dishes of various updated comfort foods being served to folks around us, I looked forward to coming back when I have not just had dinner, and having some Ancho Chile Tots, with their braised pork bits, cilantro, ancho lime crema and toasted pepitas.

If it had to go, I'm glad they preserved as much of it as they did, and that they replaced it with a joint that I want to go to repeatedly. But I will miss the pure impertinence of the old dive around the corner from Chateau St. Michelle.

14508 Woodinville Redmond Rd, Woodinville, WA 98072-9092 - 425 610-7730
Est. Late 1947 - Upscale version est. Nov 12, 2013 - Building constructed: Late 1923
Web site: - facebook
Articles: seattletimes - seattlemag - 425magazine - eatinseattle - thestranger - prnewswire - yelp - seattlemet - seattlemet - woodinvillewhiskeyco - woodinvillepatch

Just around the corner from the courtly wine country of Woodinville, WA is a tiny old bar with a small neon sign reading simply "Tavern."  The place is inexplicably named the Hollywood Tavern, although until the early 90s it was "Mabel's Tavern" and the latter name is still commonly used to clarify the location.  The building opened as The Homestead Grocery (and gas station) in the early 1920s, and in the 40s was sold to Mabel Newman, who converted into a tavern.
 There's a parking lot where Mabel's house used to be, and the bar itself contains many pieces of paraphernalia from Olympia Beer, the current owner's favorite.  It is a true tavern (no liquor, just beer and wine) and has a pleasant set of old regulars on the stools

14508 Woodinville Redmond Rd, Woodinville, WA 98072-9092 - (425) 488-0630
Articles on old version: woodinville.patch - woodinville.patch - kcls (woodinville history) - yelp

#1551 #S918 - Coterie, Seattle -9/14/2011

Update: On the evening of Sep 29, 2013, Coterie closed as a public bar and was used only for special events for a few years until Cursed Oak opened in its space in November 2016

There was not a lot of tension over whether I'd like to food or cocktails in this new restaurant in the old location of Restaurant Zoe.  It's another place by Brian McCracken and Dana Tough, after Spur and Tavern Law, my favorite stop for cocktails or fine food in Seattle.  The emphasis is on the bar in those other two, but it's a smaller part of this one.  We had some tasty cod fritters and mac & cheese to go with a Seelback, a sazerac, and a third drink of no name with aquavit and celery bitters (the third came as a challenge to bartender Jerry to make a nice drink with an aquavit base).

It was all very tasty, as I expected.  However if you are looking primarily for a bar, this space is less intimate and darkly comfortable than Spur and Tavern Law, despite an intriguing wall of live ferns.  But it's great to have more options from these two guys.

2137 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 956-8000
Est. Sep 13, 2011 - Building constructed: 1927
Other bars at this location: Restaurant Zoe - facebook - tossedsaladsandscrambledeggs - seattletimes - seattletimes - - thestranger - yelp