Interesting addition to Belltown, roughly along the same rabbit/Alice theme as Fremont's new "White Rabbit," but very different in vibe, from the owner of Bathtub Gin, Marcus Johnson. Rabbit Hole takes an intentionally more unrefined, more homey approach -- including skeeball and food choices like hush puppies, fried green tomatoes, and bacon-wrapped, cheese-stuff jalapenos. The cocktails are still quite good and a little more affordable, esp. during the 4-7 happy hour.
I missed creating and entry for Ipanema until just after it closed, in August 2011. Ipanema was a fabulous palace of meat, serving Brazilian churrascaria rodizio style, with servers bringing various cuts and styles on long stakes, and slicing you off the types that you choose. But while meat was king, Ipanema had a large and good enough salad bar to be a great lunch option even if you were foolish or ethical enough to forgo meat.
And while this may have been the least noticed of all, Ipanema had a nice little bar with some of the best summer drinks in the downtown area. It not only had caipirinhas, it had eight different kinds of caipirinhas, with red grapes or passion fruit or guava. A big screen in the back seemed played loops of Carnivale. The only thing that seemed to be missing were hammocks hanging between the faux palm trees, where you could sleep off your satiated food coma.
At least owner Marco Casas Beaux has left a new sister operation, the Amazon Grill, in downtown Bellevue. (Marco also owns Sur in SoDo and at least used to own the Buernos Aires Grill.) But it was a sad day for meat-lovers who live or work in downtown Seattle.
Whether to count this as a "bar" may be somewhat dubious -- it's probably more akin to a theater which sells drinks during performances. But while I wouldn't count places like Benaroya Hall or ACT, I do count places that strike me as more a party venue -- locations where liquor and drinking fit more naturally into the events, like the Can Can, (which is also owned by Chris Snell).
In any case, what is not in doubt is that it's a very interesting building that hosts a range of very intriguing events (and generally with liquor, featuring bars on two floors). The building was originally the studio of photographer Fred Milkie, and its mid-century flourishes have now been accentuated by the addition of wild paint jobs, deer figurines, and miniature golf.
As the web site describes it,"FRED Wildlife Refuge is a privately-run, collaborative art center that includes a photo studio, art gallery, rehearsal studio (for physical arts) and scene shop. A refuge for Seattle's most inventive and innovative artists FRED challenges creatives to break away from their normal routine and venture into unlikely collaborations with artists of disciplines other than their own. FRED will provide space for collaboration among (but not limited to) music, dance, physical performance, digital media, literary artists and visual artists to enter into cross-genre partnerships with the intent of adding new repertoire to Seattle's already vibrant art scene."
This entry in the local chain of Neapolitan style pizza joints was created by deconstructing a 100-year-old pizzeria in Naples, shipping it to Seattle, and reassembling it in a 100-year-old building in the heart of Georgetown. It's a very pleasant space and serves fine pizzas and some pretty decent cocktails.
The Schooner Exact was the ship that carried the Denny party -- the first European settlers in the area -- to Seattle in 1851. The brewery also has a history line of beers, including "3 Grid IPA" honoring the conflicting grid systems of the city, and "Regrade Pale." Marcus Connery and Matt & Heather McClung started the brewery in 2006, and opened the Tap Room after moving to their current SoDo location in 2010.
The tap room is particularly pleasant in the summer, with the garage doors open and the small patio in use. Schooner Exact also brews the Brave Horse Tavern beers for Tom Douglas.
"Cornuto" means the "the horns," I was informed, but if you look it up, it also means "cuckold," and is "perhaps the worst insult you can give an Italian man." I'm not sure what it is doing on a Neapolitan-style pizza place from the Via Tribunali folks (it was to be called "Pizzeria Napolitano" at one time). But it's a nice place with good pizza, a tiny patio, big open window on warm days, and an oven made from volcanic rock from Mt. Versuvius.
I believe I was actually the first customer for this place. I was in the neighborhood on this day, and stuck my head in when I noticed the door open. They told me they opened at 4:00, and when I came back at 4:12 I was the only customer there. (I only had drinks, not any pizza, on this particular trip.)
A bit more on "cornuto": "It was an ancient custom to cut the spurs off castrated cocks and graft them to the birds' heads, where they grew as horns. Since the horned capon was a strutting definition of sexual inadequacy, its horns became a symbol of cuckoldry. The sign of the horns, he said, should not be confused with the somewhat similar gesture of defense against the evil eye (index and little finger pointing parallel)" (Time)
The web site for this new lounge, in the former space of the Del Rey and the old Catholic Seamen's Club, states "We are an upscale European Club serving homemade Bosnian Cuisine and American Classics. Come out, dress classy, and party the European way." So do people dress classy? You be the judge. The cocktails are not very interesting, but it does feature what is apparently very authentic Bosnian food, and plays music from the former Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece.
Foggy's is on the Hoquiam side of Myrtle Street, across from Aberdeen, in a impermanent looking building. Foggy serves excellent hamburgers, but during the day he is generally both cook and bartender and you don't want to go when there's a rush. When I dropped in there were three guys at one table and a single guy at another, and after serving them Foggy explained, "It was quiet all day and then it all hits at once."
320 Myrtle St, Hoquiam, WA 98550-3038 - (360) 612-3623
So when I asked a bartender and small group of patrons what other Hoquiam bar I should go to, the first response was, "Does it have to be in Hoquiam?" When I asked again, saying, yes, Hoquiam, and I'm look for a bar with personality, they all said together, "Trio's!"
Trio's was a good choice, with a funky, mixed crowd -- a tattooed gal bartender, people in cowboy hats and flipflops, and elderly men with white shirts and checkered sports jackets. Thanks for the suggestion.
716 Simpson Avenue, Hoquiam, WA 98550-3610 - (360) 533-9966 Previous bars in this location: Swede's Place (1939) myspace - yelp
This is a large, friendly, divey bar in Aberdeen. Nothing I could write about it is as interesting as this bizarre review that has been picked up by multiplesites and which reads like an automated translation from Chinese of a description of an utterly different bar:
"NW Passage bar is position at 617 W Curtis St,Aberdeen, WA. There are many things to do to enjoy the nightlife of Aberdeen, staying within the city of Washington. Therefore, the best thing to do in Aberdeen is to visit the many bars that offer great entertainment for tourists at night. So spend a night and enjoy the night in Aberdeen."
"For people who want to experience the sophisticated nightlife of Aberdeen, then visiting the Northwest Passage is wise. NW Passage is a bar that frequented by locals and tourists who want to experience a sophisticated night out with friends. For tourists who want to enter the bar, they should dress appropriately. People are denied entry into bar if they are using running shoes, sweatshirts and casual clothing and the dress code is smart casual or a suit. The price of drinks at the bar is also expensive and usually costs about $ 15 to $ 30. The bar is open 21:00 to 2:00."
"Lots of choices and options in the menu. They offer the wonderful environment to entertain. visitor could find that the team is friendly and the owner is the perfect host. The environment is really just fine. NW Passage has a great name of luxury , glamour and night life."
617 W Curtis St, Aberdeen, WA 98520 - (360) 532-0161 citysearch - yelp
A classic old American Chinese restaurant lounge, which relocated to Kenmore in 1983 after operating in Seattle's International District since 1977. To quote the web site, "TAI HO RESTAURANT MANDARIN CUISINE SPECIALIZE IN HAND-PULL NOODLES COCKTAIL LOUNGE / ORDER." In addition to the hand-pulled noodles, you might ask them to take a look at the other menu, which is Korean-Chinese. As for the cocktails in the lounge, one is best advised sticking to the very basics.
This is an unassuming new place in the former location of Reading Gaol, just up the road from the Tin Hat, and from the owner of The Summit Public House on Capitol Hill. It now serves a good selection of 12 beers on tap, some refreshing cocktail choices, and Mexican food (I enjoy their generous servings of pico de gallo). At least for now the decor is very sparse -- it is very clean, brown, and plain (we "gave it a haircut" co-owner Sam told me), with a small number of English, Irish, and American decorations. They seem like very nice people running the place and I'll be interested to see what sort of customer base evolves.
Historical notes: This location has hosted several bars since at least the 40s. The building was constructed in 1925 and by 1945 it was Johnny's 65th St. Tavern. By the late 40s it was Ben's Tavern, then Dan's Tavern in the 50s and 60s, Paul's Tavern, and Hagar's Tavern in the 70s through 90s. From 2000 to 2011 it was the Reading Gaol.
A new place in an odd little space along Greenwood, near 85th, from the owners of The Dray. "Yard" is "Dray" backwards, and the location has a patio space out front that is surprising in this commercial stretch. The Yard serves a pretty decent beer selection, okay cocktails, and better than average Mexican food. They also have 100 lockers for members of the Founders Club:
'For $250, members get a personal 20-ounce beer mug that they can lock inside, a T-shirt, and invitations to special events and the occasional “special surprise” inside their locker (the café’s owners will have a master key to all lockers). Co-owner Travis Eaton says the mug is a dimpled old-style pub mug with The Yard Cafe emblem.' (phinneywood)
"... these lockers come with a 20-ounce mug which can be filled with beer at the same price that normal patrons pay for a 16-ounce pour. Doing the math, one would have to drink about 892 beers to make that a good deal. The lockers are sold out." (seattle weekly)
"Watering Holes of the Northwest" claims that a saloon was established in this location in 1873, which would make it possibly the oldest bar location, currently hosting a bar, that I have found in Washington state (depending upon when the Oak Harbor Tavern was moved to its current location). However, that building burned in 1889 fire, and the current building was constructed a few years later.
I found bars at this address listed under W. E. Neuman in 1911, and Kingery & Lee in 1913. By 1937 it was known as the "High Line Pool Hall," and by 1949 as simply "The Hi-Line."
111 West 4th Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926-3127 - (509) 925-9229
This location hosted "The Tavern" since at least 1937, shortening the name to "The Tav" in 1967. I have not found the age of the building but was informed it was much older, hosting a restaurant before the tavern. It is located near the Central Washington U campus, and is a popular place with students and locals, known for its burgers, including the Super Mother Burger which has its own fan club (you can get a fan club membership card when you order one). It is also known for the many names of patrons that have been engraved into the brick walls over the years.