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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (2,662 bars; 1,289 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, February 26, 2012

#1659 #S982 - The Rock, Wood Fired Pizza & Spirits, Seattle - 12/31/2011

You will not be disappointed in Rock Wood if you know what it is. If you prefer good cocktails, you will definitely not find happiness in the sorority party style cocktail menu of the Rock bar, which one hopes reaches its nadir in "Jello Boosters" ("Rockstar Energy Drink, Booze, and Jello in a Syringe"). Yes, they do have "Spirits" right in the name, but you have a pretty good idea of just how seriously a bar takes their spirits when their drink ingredients include "booze."



 Similarly, if you are seeking a fine restaurant with distinctive pizza and food, you'd be well advised to turn around and head to Serious Pie or Delancey.

But that said, the Rock delivers reliably on exactly what it simply is -- a casual, family restaurant that leans toward young people, with a high number of vanilla menu options served in large portions, with modest prices, amidst a bit of Disney-esque decor. It is basically TGIFriday with a pizza and a "classic rock" theme -- as if Hard Rock Cafe had been ordered to merge with Applebees.

If this suits your tastes and mood, the food is reliable, with enough options that any reasonable person can find items to their tastes, and served by friendly people. The pizza is a bit doughy compared to most the city's wood fired options (which lean toward Neapolitan or New York style), and indeed, shows little evidence of the wood oven at all. But it is serviceable, and probably a good compromise between adults and children.


 This place is part of an ambitious chain that started in Tacoma, and is spreading through the Northwest, Colorado and Canada. I am a middle-aged male with no children, who eats out for most my meals, and prefers a little more adventure and expertise in my drinks and cuisine. Hence the I've-Had-Better rating. But for families -- particularly if you like TGIFridays and Applebees -- you will likely be quite pleased with Rock.






300 Roy Street #101, Seattle, WA 98109 - 206-254-4900
Est. 12/30/2011 - Building constructed: 2008
Previous bars in this location: None
therockwfp.com - gastrolust - yelp - eater

#1658 #S981 - The Burgundian, Seattle - 12/28/2011

Update: The Publican changed its name to The Burgundian in March 2012, in order to avoid a legal dispute with a Chicago bar with the same name.

It's remarkable what a difference can result from a bit of a reputation and the right product for the neighborhood.  I don't know how well they'll do over the long run, but on their first night open to the general public, the Publican was absolutely slammed.

The emphasis here is on beer, ala the owners' other locations, Bottleworks and Brouwer's Cafe.  But unlike the huge choice of Belgians at Brouwers, the Publican is focused on American micros (21 on tap) and includes a significant selection of tequilas and bourbons.  The food is primarily breakfast type meals, with a few burgers/sandwiches.  The service was friendly but clearly overwhelmed on this night, as people filled the tables, crowded the bar, stood and waited for spaces.  I'm eager to see how this place does in terms of a regular crowd and with a few of the opening kinks worked out.

Historical notes:  Most notably, this location hosted the Luau Polynesian Lounge from 1997 to 2010.  Between then and now, it was briefly the Pour House and then Bandolero.

2253 N 56th St, Seattle, WA 98103
Est. Dec 28, 2011 - Building constructed: 1928
Previous bars in this location: The Luau, Pour House, Bandolero
publicanseattle.com - facebook - seattlepi - seattlebeernews - nwbeerguidethestranger - yelp

#1657 #S980 - Claire's Pantry, Seattle - 12/26/2011

Pretty much exactly what you would expect for a lounge in a place named "Claire's Pantry" -- including a median age of about 68.

12360 Lake City Way Northeast Seattle, WA 98125-5447 - (206) 365-4542

Previous bars in this location: None known
Building constructed: 1972
facebook - seattleweekly - yelp  - urbanspoon

#1656 #S979 - Polpetta, Seattle - 12/24/2011

 Polpetta was briefly the last of three incarnations of this Italian restaurant from Sicilian "Mama Enza" Sorrentino, before exiting due to price raises by the landlord. The Polpetta version focused on a less formal cuisine, emphasis on meatballs, and like the others had a small bar stocked primarily with wine.



2128 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 - (206) 694-0055
Est. 2011 - Closed Dec 31, 2011
Previous bars in this location: Sorrentino Trattoria, Enza Cucina Siciliana
polpettaseattle.com - facebook - thestranger - queenannereview - eater - yelp

#1655 #S978 - MacLeod's Scottish Pub, Seattle - 12/23/2011


This seems like exactly the bar this space has been waiting for, and it already feels like this bar must have been here for 50 years.  The eccentric, triangular, brick structure -- a bit too elegant for the instant dive bar attempted by Harlow's -- is matched by a cozy, informally elegant interior.  They feature 50 types of whiskey with an emphasis on rare single-malt Scotch, and serve some generally high quality cocktails (I had a fine Red Hook -- rye, Punt e Mes, Luxardo Maraschino).

The bar is owned and run by Scotsman Allen Macleod, with "silent partners" Deming Maclise and James Weimann (owners of Bastille).
Historical notes:  A plaque outside the bar created by the Ballard Historical Society notes that Stephano Raggio originally built his as a three-story building featuring a crenellated turret, but the 3rd level was destroyed by fire and removed.  It was the Junction Building and originally housed the Junction Saloon on the ground floor.  The upper floors, originally business offices, were later converted to apartments.  I have found no other bars located in the building until Harlow's opened in Dec. 2010.





5200 Ballard Ave, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 687-7115
Est. 2011 - Building constructed: 1904
Previous bars in this location: The Junction Saloon, Harlow's Saloon
seattlemet - eater - myballard - yelp - seattleballard  - thestranger

Saturday, February 25, 2012

#1654 #S977 - Volume, Seattle - 12/23/2011

Volume is a new ultra lounge style nightclub, which means the standard sort of techno and hiphop music, VIP sections, and women with heels as long as their skirts.  It is a very young and primarily Asian crowd, and owned by the former owner of Aura.  The drinks are exactly what you would predict based on this.  But while the current club may be fairly unremarkable, it is located in what is probably the most storied bar space in Seattle, previous home of the Catwalk, the Casino, and the People's Theater.

The basement space is a remaining portion of the People's Theater, constructed in 1890, and the most notorious of Seattle's 19th century "box houses."  In these saloons with card rooms and theaters, women performers would serve drinks in between their stage acts, and if a patron was feeling particularly generous, the women would accompany them to curtained off boxes for more personalized services.  The People's Theater was eventually run by John Considine (AKA "Boss Sport"), who would battle it out for Seattle's theater and gambling audiences with such rivals as Alexander Pantages and Wyatt Earp (yes, THAT Wyatt Earp, who owned the Union Club on the next block).  He also battled Seattle Chief of Police William L. Meredith, a feud that culminated in a shootout in a drug store on 2nd and Yesler that left Meredith dead.

Considine would go on to establish theaters across the west and midwest, create the first popularly-priced vaudeville chain in the world*, co-found the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, and eventually move to Los Angeles and produce movies.  His lasting legacy to the Seattle bar and nightclub world was his leading role in establishing Seattle's "Tolerance Policy," a well-established system for paying off the police, which lasted through the 1960s.  It was this very tolerance policy that in the 1930s would allow the old People's Theater space to become the most famous open place for gay people on the west coast.

In 1930, Joseph Bellotti purchased the space, with John and Margaret Delevitti operating it, and it soon became a nationally known club for gays, unofficially known as "Madame Peabody's Dancing Academy for Young Ladies." With Delevitti paying off the police, men could dance openly with other men at The Casino (an impossibility in most other cities) and drag queens could remain largely unharrassed.  The Casino and the Double Header upstairs, which remains to this day, would attract gay visitors and various celebrities from around the country, including the likes of Rudolph Nureyev, Johnny Ray, Margot Fonteyn, and Tallulah Bankhead. The unrestrained Ms. Bankhead is cited by historical sources as entering the upper bar with her retinue, ringing a cow bell, and shouting to the assembled queens, "Avon calling all you beautiful motherf***ers!" To this day the cow bell remains hanging on the wall of the Double Header (which has a fairly compelling argument for being the oldest continually running gay bar in the United States).

Before it became the rather formulaic 21st century dance clubs Heaven and then Volume, the space also hosted The Catwalk from 1994 to 2005.  The Catwalk brought a modernized edge to the place's bawdy history, hosting various S&M and gothic events, as well as fetish fashion shows.

172 S Washington, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 467-1828
Est. Oct. 29, 2010 - Building constructed: 1890
Previous bars in this location: People's Theater, The Casino, The Catwalk, Heaven
volumeseattle.com - facebook - yelp
*Murray Morgan, "Skid Road", 1995 p149

#1653 #S976 - Underground Asian Fusion Bistro, Seattle - 12/23/2011

About 6 months ago the friendly Korean owner of the pan-Asian restaurant upstairs moved his business into the former space of Marcus's Martini Heaven, in a basement space of the old Yesler Building, constructed right after the Great Seattle Fire.  The current owner can advise on sake and has various ideas for getting building up the bar, but at this point he could very much use the help of someone like Marcus Charles on how to attract a night-time crowd.

88 Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 326-4800
Est. 2011 - Building constructed: 1890-1893
Previous bars in this location: Marcus's Martini Heaven
yelp

#1652 #S975 - Lalibela, Seattle - 12/23/2011

This Ethiopian restaurant has a tiny little lounge with a tiny selection of drinks.

2800 E Cherry St #A, Seattle, WA 98122-5007 - (206) 322-8565
Building constructed: 1954
Previous bars in this location: None known
urbanspoon - yelp - seattletimes - voiceplaces  

#1651 #S974 - Ras Dashen, Seattle - 12/23/2011

Ras Dashen is one of 5 Ethiopian restaurants within 1 block of Cherry and Martin Luther King Blvd.  From the web site, "There are several Ethiopian choices at the intersection of East Cherry Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, but Ras-Dashen distinguishes itself with friendly service and an atmosphere spruced up courtesy of colorful woven baskets and massive jugs."

It is a large restaurant with a small bar, in a long building that feels like a manufactured home and used to be a church.  The restaurant has been open for about 5 years, and has a slightly formal but also comfortable neighborhood feel.  The food is quite good, and I much enjoyed the Meat Combo (Beef Tips, Gored Gored, Kitfo, Quanta Fir Fir, and Qey Wot).  The bar, well, not so much.  The woman working the bar while I was there convincingly debunked the theory that you can't really mess up a Gin & Tonic.  But they do appear to feature a very strong pour for a low price, and on weekends they turn into a nightclub (perhaps with slightly more experienced bartenders).



2801 East Cherry St, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 709-7626
Est. 2006 - Building constructed: 1960
Previous bars in this location: None known
rasdashenseattle.com - seattleweekly - centraldistrictnews - seattletimes - yelp - urbanspoon

Thursday, February 16, 2012

#1650 #S973 - The Royal Room, Seattle - 12/19/2011


The Royal Room is a bar built around music, and features local artists in a 99 seat room with no cover charge Thursdays through Mondays. Tuesdays and Wednesdays feature touring national performers. They have some decent bar food and some fairly good cocktails (try "The King," a rye Manhattan).  It is owned by Seattle jazz musician Wayne Horvitz, along with Tia Matthies and Steve Freeborn of the OK Hotel, the Rendezvous, and others.


The bar space is carved out the Royal Esquire Club, the premier black social club in the Pacific Northwest.  The Royal Esquire Club was established in 1948 and moved to 5016 Rainier Ave S in 1986.  They continue to host various community based civic and social events.



5000 Rainier Ave South, Seattle, WA 98118 - (206) 906-9920
Est. Dec 16, 2011 - Building constructed: 1910
Previous bars in this location: Los Pancho's Cantina, Rainier Inn/Tavern, La Esquina
theroyalroomseattle.com - facebook - seattleweekly - seattletimes - yelp

Saturday, February 11, 2012

#1649 #S972 - The Sexton, Seattle - 12/17/2011

 Good southern style small plates and excellent cocktails by Marley Tomic-Beard (Spur, Bathtub Gin, Golden Beetle).


5327 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 829-8645
Est. Dec 11, 2011 - Building constructed: 1906
Previous bars at this location: Madame K's Pizza Bistro
sextonseattle.com - facebook - thrillist - seattlemet - seattleweekly - eater - seattletimes - DList - thestranger - urbanspoon - yelp

#1648 #S971 - iMusic, Seattle - 12/17/2011

This two-floored space across from the street from the Space Needle and EMP has hosted a rotating number of dance clubs (Tropix, Polly Esther, Element, Level 5). For an idea of vibe and decor of the current iMusic incarnation, you could pretty much check out any other cookie cutter, VIP section, pink and purple lighting, bouncer pat-down, velvet rope line, oontz oontz dance club anywhere. And for an understanding of the crowd you can check out this Ted Talk. The nuanced differences in these clubs -- the ethnic balance, random differences in poorly made drinks, which nights there are and are not shootings outside -- are less related to the actual club than the arbitrary set of attendees on any given night.


332 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Est. Dec 31, 2010 - Building constructed: 1929
Previous bars at this location: Tropix Cafe, Polly Esther, Level 5, Element
imusicseattle.com - facebook - yelp

Monday, February 06, 2012

#1647 #S970 - Two Beers Tasting Room, Seattle - 12/17/2011

You have to know what you're doing to find the Two Beers Tasting Room -- it's off the beaten track and not open every day (currently 3-8pm Wed-Fri and 12-4pm Sat).  But it's worthwhile and people do find it -- it was larger and more full then I expected around the Saturday lunch hour.  The service and atmosphere are friendly, the beer is quite good -- I'm adding Evolutionary IPA ("Evo") to my personal list of favorites -- including a fresh hop option, and the seats are at a beautiful wood bar and tables.






4700 Ohio Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98134 - (206) 762-0490
Est. Nov 12, 2011 (Tasting room, brewery established 2007) - Building constructed: 1942
twobeersbrewery.com - hoppytrailsbeernews - heedthehedonist - seattlest - beernews - havegrowler - seattlemet - yelp

#1646 #S969n - Kiss Cafe, Seattle - 12/16/2011

 Kiss Cafe is a funky little place in Ballard that caters to beer lovers.  The "KISS" is said to stand for "Keep It Simple, Suckas,"and they maintain this in a comfortable, small space.  It has pretty good sandwiches and soups, and they're usually served with a jar of dill pickles.  It also has choice of over 100 beers in bottles, and a wall full of custom beer bugs owned by the Ballard Drinking Team, a group of regulars who are working through 100 different beers.




2817 NW Market St, Seattle, WA 98107-4215 - (206) 789-5477
Est. 2007 - Building constructed: 1946 
ballardkisscafe.com - seattledining - seattletimes - seattleweekly - thestranger - yelp

Saturday, February 04, 2012

#1645 #S969m - Montana, Seattle - 12/14/2011

 Most of the log cabin decor has happily been retained from The Buck, and new owners Rachel Marshall (of Rachel's Ginger Beer) and Kate Opatz (of Pat My Butter) have a nice selection of wines, beers, some nice classic cocktail choices, and some unusual force-carbonated cocktails.


1498 Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 329-2493           
Est. Dec 11, 2011 - Building constructed: year
Previous bars at this location: The Buck
montanainseattle.com - seattlemet - capitolhillseattle - eater - thestranger - yelp

#1644 #S969l - Azteca (Eastlake), Seattle - 12/14/2011

See Azteca Northgate.

1823 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102 - (206) 324-4941
Building constructed: 1933
Previous bars at this location: Pierce's Ace Tavern (1930s), Casa Lupita (1970s)
aztecamex.com - yelp

#1643 #S969k - Marriott Waterfront Lobby Bar, Seattle - 12/13/2011

A fairly typical hotel lobby bar.

2100 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121 - (800) 455-8254
Building constructed: 2003
marritott.com

#1642 #S969j - Hook and Plow, Seattle - 12/13/2011

Marriott calls this a gastropub, and while it's location in a fairly newly built hotel doesn't lend in the casual warmth I like to associate with pubs, the gastro part is very good. The emphasis is on local ingredients with a number of affordable and tasty small plates.

The H&P follows Todd English's "Fish Club" and the "2100 Bistro" in this space across Alaskan Way from Elliot Bay.





2100 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98121 - (206) 256-1040
Est. 2011 - Building constructed: 2003
Other bars at this location: 2100 Bistro - Fish Club
hookandplow.com - facebook - menu - prweb - yelp

#1641 #S969i - Azteca (Northgate), Seattle - 12/11/2011


Azteca is a local, family-run chain, that sells pretty much the definition of standard American Mexican food.  They were established in the greater Seattle area in 1974 and currently have 27 restaurants in Washington state, 2 in Oregon, and 5 in Florida.  This one is located on the north end of Northgate Mall and opened in late 2001.


Adventuresome or remarkable Aztecas are not, and foodies should pass. But for people who like -- or are just in the mood for -- this type of food, they have a wide array of affordable selections, which arrive in large portions. They are good for families, but usually have a cantina area, which again serve relatively bland standards.



401 NE Northgate Way, Seattle, WA 98125 - (206) 362-0066
Est. 2001 - Building constructed: 1950
Previous bars in this location: None known
aztecamex.com - yelp - urbanspoon