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Bars where Pete has had a drink

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

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