Mesob has been around about ten years selling some of the better Ethiopian food in town. The treat is the bar in the back room, which has an island/tiki feel to it, due not just to the raffia roofs over the bamboo booths, but also the ramshackle, low-budget extension to the building that houses them. The cocktails are nothing to write back to the mainland about, but you can sip them in a pleasantly casual vibe, with the smell of spices and incense wafting through the air.
This is the kind of place where the bartender doesn't want to take your credit card when you start a tab, because she's concerned she might lose it. The Beachcomber is nowhere near a beach, and Cheryl the bartender has no idea why it is named that.
Cheryl used to have an accounting business next door, and she started working there with the place was owned by "The Greek" (Mike Semandaris, the Mike of Mike's Chili in Ballard. Cheryl has been working at the Beachcomber for ten or eleven years, still helping out though her plan was to be retired.
Around the corner from the cheap paneling walls and popcorn ceiling, Bert Harvey the owner makes massive burgers back in the kitchen. An elderly, school marmish lady nurses a drink at one end of the bar, three elderly aged white men drink at the other end, and three middle-aged black men sit near the fireplace in the back section. It's not clear whether the Beachcomber has benefited from the closing of Champs, just up the street, but Cheryl tells me that it attracted a bad crowd and the closure was a blessing for the neighborhood. The Beachcomber, on the other hand, has been slinging beers since 1947 (although not in the current location for quite that long).
12623 Renton Ave S, Seattle, WA 98178 - (206) 772-5183
Est. 1947; Building constructed: 1952 seattle weekly - yelp
Maneki has been in the current building since the owners returned from internment, but the business is 107 years old. It recieved the James Beard award as one "America's Classics." It is, of course, Seattle's oldest sushi bar, and while there is always a line, the sake choices in the Hannya Room lounge will fortify you for the wait.
Local 360 is a new place in the old Flying Fish space from Marcus Charles, currently the main owner of JuJu and the Crocodile Cafe, and previous owner of Marcus's Martini Heaven, Bad JuJu, Spitfire, Neumos, and Jack's Roadhouse. Local 360 is very different from all of those; it is so progressive it uses a ".org" domain name and has a manifesto.
The theme is sustainability, and hence the name, which signifies their goal of getting 90% of their ingredients from within a 360 mile radius of the restaurant. The actual bar is tiny (3 or 4 seats, as I recall), and at the times we have visited (this particular visit was the first night they had dinner available), there was not yet a cocktail menu or any particularly interesting featured drinks. That may well change with their focus on craft, local products, and in the meantime, the food is more than good enough to bring you in.
Historical notes: This location has hosted Seattle bars for over 120 years. The current building was constructed in 1930, but the "C.R. Hammond Saloon" was located at this address by 1890, and the current building hosted the Liberty Tavern from at least the late 1940s into the 1980s. (Before moving here, the Liberty operated in space that was recently "Kelly's" and is now the "Acquabar.") In 1995 Christine Keff turned the space into the Flying Fish, which it remained for 15 years before the Fish relocated to South Lake Union.
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, and Flying Fish from 1995 through 2010.
This is the cafe in a famous old department store that preserves old school recipes for what people now call "comfort food." As far as the bar goes, it is strictly mundane, but the food, quite surprisingly, became some of my favorite in downtown Bellevue -- a place with no shortage of good options for very good food despite the mall-ish surroundings.
You start with a tiny, complementary cup of the chicken broth. But the chicken broth is really good. I had a quite good triple grilled cheese sandwich with an excellent soup du jour, and then looked lustily at the slow braised pot roast.
It's not a place you'll go for a cocktail or the atmosphere, but the food merits a wider audience than the Bravern Neiman's shoppers.
The bar at Tango Restaurant and Lounge has some pleasant cocktail choices, and we had a nice chat with Brian the bartender, who scraped up some food for us after the kitchen closed. I've not yet tasted the Iberian entrees, but it's definitely worth stopping in for a cocktail or two.
This bar owned by ex-Sonic star Sean Kemp opened in 2010 in the previous location of the Ascada Bistro (Perche No, before that), just up from Peso's. I haven't noticed anything all that remarkable in the food or drinks, but at least they are efficient, with the bar run by Kyriakos Kyrkos ("KK"). Kemp often roams the room and chats with guests.
Julia's is over the top gay Broadway, with drag shows, portraits of Barbara Steisand and Lady Gaga, and cocktails named "Totally Gay" and "Getting Married AKA Stupid." This location has hosted a bar since at least 1939, when it was the Checkerboard Tavern. In 1945 it was purchased by the great Husky runningback and longtime NFL player and re-named "Ernie Steele's," maintaining the name of the "Checkboard Room" for the bar. From 1991 through 2001 it was Ileen's.