Bars where Pete has had a Drink (5,729 bars; 1,754 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, March 30, 2013

#1986 - Hotel Murano Lobby Bar, Tacoma - 11/30/2012

A fairly average hotel bar in a nice hotel, full of art on every floor, and a sort of mid-century modernist theme.

1320 Broadway Tacoma, WA 98402 - (253) 238-8000
Web site:

#1985 - Maxwell's, Tacoma - 11/30/2012

A romantic setting in an old Tacoma building, Maxwell's now features jazz bands, fine dining, and some nice speakeasy era cocktails. We did not have dinner in our stop, but they have rotated through a number of head chefs in a fairly short time, and recently moved to a somewhat more casual and less pricey menu.

Read more here:

454 Saint Helens Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402 - (253) 683-4115
Est. April 2008 - Building constructed: 1927

Web site: - facebook
Reviews: tnt - tnt - tnt - tacomaweekly - weeklyvolcano - expeditionsbytricia - yelp

Monday, March 18, 2013

#1984 - Tacoma Cabana, Tacoma - 11/30/2012

The Tacoma Cabana
The Tacoma Cabana bills itself as "Tacoma's Premier Craft Tiki Bar." This is a bit like the Green Bay Packers calling themselves the premier NFL team of eastern Wisconsin. There are no dedicated tiki theme bars that make craft cocktails anywhere else in Tacoma -- or for that matter in Seattle or the Puget Sound region (although a few differently themed bars such as Rumba include some fine tiki cocktails, and Hula Hula offers an impressive tiki decor). Both the cocktails and the decor at the Tacoma Cabana are serious tiki (and no, that is not an oxymoron).

Owners Robyn Murphy and Jason Alexander used to run the Villa Caffe and Imbibery across town. They did a swell job converting a fine old space on Pacific Ave into a glowing, thatched hut setting where fresh juices and classic ingredients are used to make fine tiki concoctions, and served with "vacation fusion" appetizers and entrees. Tacoma keeps becoming a better and better bar town, and the Cabana is now a nice part of that.

The Tacoma Cabana

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The Tacoma Cabana

728 Pacific Ave Tacoma, Washington 98402 - (253) 222-4184
Est. Oct 17, 2012
Previous bars in this location: On The Rocks, Surreal Ultra Lounge

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Web site: - facebook  
Reviews: tnt - tiki central - amountainofcrushedice - weeklyvolcano - kevinfreitas - yelp - komonews

#1983 - Indochine, Tacoma - 11/30/2012

The "Indochine Asian Dining Lounge" is a flamboyantly decorated Thai restaurant in a rebuilding part of Tacoma, and featuring large drapes, a tatami room, a Thai house, a reflecting pond, and a bar in front where they serve cocktails very heavy on sweet juices.

1924 Pacific Ave Tacoma, WA 98402 - (253) 272-8200
Est. Aug 2005
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: tnt - chowhound - yelp

#1982 #S1087 - Ayutthaya Thai, Seattle - 11/27/2012

Ayutthaya has served fairly good Thai food here since 1985. In late 2011, early 2012, they remodeled a bit, adding a small bar in back. It's not the sort of bar many people will seek out for a bar -- rather that a pit stop while getting food, but bartender Cameron, who also works at 611 Supreme, was friendly, and accommodating when I requested an Old Pal.

727 East Pike Street Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 324-8833
Bar est. 2012 (restaurant since 1985) - Building constructed: 1910
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: seattletimes - gastrolust - yelp - thestranger

#1981 #S1086 - World Sports Grill, Seattle - 11/23/2012

Update: World Sports Grille closed and became Art Marble 21 in early 2015

The former Jillian's, remodeled a bit, with an expanded bar and dining area, and managed by the GameWorks company.

731 Westlake Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 - (206) 223-0300
Est. 2012 - Closed 2015 - Building constructed: 1921
Previous bars in this location: Jillians
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp - bellesofthesound

#1980 #S1085 - Treehouse Lounge, Seattle - 11/21/2012

Update: The Treehouse Lounge closed in October 2016

Drinking at the Treehouse Lounge feels like being invited to the home bar in the back shed of a particularly artsy friend.  It is a cabin-like bar in the small upstairs area of the Mind Unwind Gallery, in West Seattle, an "event-driven art studio and gallery" that features "low-key, unwinding classes become a playground for your creative imagination ... from meditation to music to art and everything imaginable." The funky little bar has a small but eclectic selection of bottled beers and wine.

2206A California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 - (206) 849-7222
Est. Oct 28, 2012 - Building constructed: 2011 - Closed Oct 2016
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: westseattleblog - thrillist - yelp 

#1979 #S1084 - Copper Coin, Seattle - 11/21/2012

Update: Copper Coin closed in early 2022

Try the: Whisky Blaxton

There's an emphasis on craft beers at the Copper Coin, but the food and cocktails are by no means simply a mediocre afterthought. There are 20 interesting beers on tap, including a house brew created by Two Beers Brewery. But the owner, who owns Hill's Neighborhood Restaurant in Richmond Beach and is a nephew of the owners of local hamburger mecca Red Mill, has also provided much better than average mixed drinks and food options. I tried the Whisky Blaxton, Justland Sour, and Old Hat, and enjoyed them all. The Vietnamese beef skewers came with a tasty peanut slaw and lemongrass marinade, and the other dishes we saw looked really good.

2329 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116 - (206) 420-3608
Est. Oct 15, 2012 - Closed 2022 - Building constructed: 1941
Previous bars in this location: Blackbird Bistro, Porterhouse
Web site: - facebook
Best articles: seattletimes - westseattleblog - washingtonbeerblog - thrillist - thestranger - yelp 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

#1978 #S1083 - Rose Petals, Seattle - 11/19/2012

Update: This Rose Petals location closed in 2014

I did not think a bar like this still existed in Seattle. With Seattle's Central District and Rainier Beach neighborhoods becoming increasingly diverse, and the closure of places like Thompson's Point of View, I didn't think there were any bars left in the city where you could count on a lively, and typically 100% African-American crowd. I'm not talking about places that may cater to recent immigrant communities, like some of the area's many Ethiopian restaurants at certain times of the day. I'm talking about an old-school, American black community bar where people are shouting insults at each other, jumping off their chairs in laughter, telling loud stories and arguing about life -- and assuming you must be lost when someone like me walks in.

During the day the crowd is more mixed in the Rose Petals restaurant, which appears to serve some of the best soul food in the city, particularly on days when Cedric or Ms. Helen are working. (Try the oxtail, I have heard.) But I arrived after the dinner hour, when the kitchen was closed and the center of activity is the back bar, lit entirely by one remaining good light bulb. Being in a neighborhood that's had it's troubles over the years, owner Bettye "Mama" Gray has had to deal with a occasional challenges over the years related to gang activity, crime, and fighting: A bouncer was killed trying to protect another man in a fight; The building was burglarized 20 times in 23 years; Some locals refer to it as "Guns and Roses." Sometimes it seems like the well-worn building is being precariously held together with plywood and masking tape.

But the staff are some of the friendliest you'll find anywhere, and most nights everyone in the bar is just looking to socialize and have a good time. And even if you are conspicuously not part of the regular crowd, you won't be allowed not to take a position in the arguments at the bar. That's more than enough to make it fun bar stop for me.

6901 Martin Luther King Jr Way S, Seattle, WA 98118 - (206) 725-7746
Est. ? - Closed 2014 - Building constructed: 1957
Previous bars in this location: None known

Reviews: seattleweekly - urbanspoon - seattletruefoodies - plateofnations - seattlemet - seattleweekly - urbanspoon - king5 - seattletimes - yelp - activediner

Saturday, March 16, 2013

#1977 #S1082 - Oak, Seattle - 11/19/2012

Beacon hill has had a nice addition of restaurants and bars over the last year and Oak is a nice part of that. It has a woody, mid-century interior, including a darkened back bar, where they serve some nice beers, reasonable cocktails, and homey sorts of foods made from high quality and local ingredients. It is owned by the folks behind Capitol Hill's Redwood, and while it is definitely similar in several ways, it's a bit more intimate -- perhaps more like Ballard's Hazelwood. It draws a pleasant crowd of locals, young parents and hipsters, and I had a nice chat and friendly service from bartender Don, who says things like "Geez Louise."

3019 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144 - (206) 535-7070
Est. Oct 9, 2012 - Building constructed: 1910
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: link - thrillist - fledglingsgourmet - beaconhill - thestranger

#1976 #S1081 - Baja Bistro, Seattle - 11/19/2012

What used to be Java Love expresso expanded next door into the Baja Bistro restaurant, which expanded into a tiny, attached bar. Baja is "officially" gay on Wednesdays, but fairly gay always. The bar opens at 3:00 and the restaurant workers were regularly checking in on RuPaul's All Stars on the bar TV. They serve some fairly good margaritas, fish tacos, and mole. The small bar and workers create a fun, intimate but casual vibe.

2414 Beacon Avenue South Seattle, WA 98144 - (206) 323-0953
Est. 2004 - Building constructed: 1964
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: thestranger - seattletimes

#1975 - China City, Freeland, WA - 11/18/2012

China City is located in a large Victorian building constructed in a small town that was established as a socialist commune in 1900-1901. Believing communism to be unworkable at a small scale, the founders established a store in the "Rochdale" model, where anyone of any race or creed could buy into the central cooperative store and obtain five acres of land with a small down payment, pay the remainder with their share of dividends, and eventually profit with a portion going back to the store. Stock in the store could only be sold to other members and no one member could exceed 20 shares. "More correctly, Freeland was a gathering of like-minded radicals who sought to retain a socialist entity outside the confines of a regimented communal existence." ("Utopias on Puget Sound 1885-1915," Charles Pierce LeWarne)

Freeland lasted longer than most such communal experiments, but eventually improving economic opportunities enticed the most ambitious members away, and it slowly evolved away. Excepting the name, there are few evident signs of this past to the visitor today, and the grand Victorian building that houses China City and various offices upstairs stands in sharp contrast to the modest farms of the community's founding. But despite the ornate surroundings, the restaurant's offerings may live up to the old ideals of parity, serving very average American Chinese food and suburban bar cocktails.

1804 Scott Rd Freeland, WA 98249 - (360) 331-8899
Est. May 2002 - Building constructed: 1992
Previous bars in this location: Teddy's
Web site: - facebook  
Reviews: examiner - yelp - tripadvisor - urbanspoon

Sunday, March 10, 2013

#1974 - Freeland Cafe and Lounge, Freeland, WA - 11/18/2012

This little cafe evidently added the back bar sometime in the mid 2000s. It's very much a local place -- outsiders can tend to expect some funny looks in the bar.

1642 E Main St, Freeland, WA 98249 - (360) 331-9945
Web site:
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - urbanspoon 

Saturday, March 09, 2013

#1973 - Oak Harbor Tavern, Oak Harbor, WA - 11/18/2012

Oak Harbor Tavern, Oak Harbor, WA
Update: The Oak Harbor Tavern is now closed. Since the original post that follows, the owner sold the tavern to Kenneth Peplinski, who wasn't able to make the payments with the COVID-19 pandemic, and was eventually foreclosed upon. Mr. Peplinski took the contents of the interior, including the military memorabilia and the horse-shoe bar, and put them in storage with the intention of re-opening the bar at a new location. At this writing the original space remains vacant. (See Whidbey News Times)

The Oak Harbor Tavern is an unassuming little corner bar in the town of Oak Harbor on Washington state's Whidbey Island. It holds some interesting characters and habits -- e.g. when you come in the bartender hands you a pen and a piece of paper and asks you to track what you order. "Write 'em as you get 'em," said bartender Kelly, as she handed me a paper with "1 C" on it, marking the Corona I started out with. Kelly Beedle and her father have owned the Oak Harbor for about the last 20 years. The tavern has a lively and fairly hardcore live music schedule, and the bar here has been a hangout for navy personnel since the Whidbey Island Naval Air Base was constructed in 1942. The walls are peppered with memorabilia from various squadrons.

"Write 'em as you get 'em." -- Oak Harbor Tavern
But there is something much more remarkable about this little bar, at least for people with my sort of interests: In terms of a bar being a physical place that has hosted bars of changing names over the years, it is quite likely the oldest bar in the state of Washington -- and by some measure.  It is in a building that has held a bar, fairly continuously, since at least 1856.

Of course to answer the question of what is the oldest bar in the state requires you to make several fairly arbitrary decisions about what constitutes a single bar. I tend to lean toward a definition that the bar must have been run for all or virtually all of its history under an approximation of its current name and in its current building. This would make Merchants (est. 1890), in Seattle, and then The Brick (est. 1898), in Roslyn, the two oldest bars in the state. But another valid way to consider a "bar" is simply a place where a bar has operated fairly continuously (e.g. exceptions for prohibition) in one place, even through various name changes. Until a recent trip to Whidbey Island, I had been fairly confident in the assertions that by this definition the oldest bar in the state is Bickleton's Bluebird Inn, est. 1882.

Barrington store, 1850s (Photo courtesy Peggy Darst Townsdin)

The building that still houses the Oak Harbor Tavern appears to have been build circa 1852 (at the latest by 1856) by sea captain Edward Barrington, as a general store and saloon.  "Barrington and Charlie Phillips opened a trading post at Oak Harbor in the early 1850s because he did not want to paddle a canoe two days to Olympia for supplies."(HistoryLink)  At some point, according to Barrington's sons and daughter, their father's building was dragged across the street to its current location. Thus this is the state's oldest running bar space by at least 26 years. It took the name "Oak Harbor Tavern" in 1939 (previously Forner's Tavern).

Naval memorabilia at Oak Harbor Tavern
A primary source of information on the tavern and community is historical author Peggy Darst Townsdin, who is the great, great grand-daughter of Capt. Barrington. Ms. Townsdin provided information, newspaper clips, and photos of the old saloon. She notes that when the current false front of the tavern was temporarily removed for remodeling, it looked exactly like her photographs of the old Barrington store structure.

A back closet at the OHT offers a glimpse of original wood

A 1939 newspaper article documents a change from Forner's Tavern to the "Oak Harbor Tavern," as of Dec 16 of that year. New owner H.J. "Bert" Nunan invited the locals to explore the new annex in the remodeled bar, including a card room and a room with booths "for the convenience of ladies and gentlemen who do not wish to mingle at the bar."

The annex is not apparent now, perhaps simply the side that now contains a pool table, and no one seemed to be particularly reluctant to mingle at the bar. We chatted with Kelly, who generously showed us around, and a number of the patrons, including Brett, who grew up as a rare white kid in Rainier Valley, and went on to play jazz at Seattle area bars like Gabe's. Kelly knew a lot of the history of the old place, but didn't know exactly where it fit into the oldest bars in the state -- I'm guessing no one did. Until now.

Memorabilia at Oak Harbor Tavern

940 SE Pioneer Way, Oak Harbor, WA 98277 - (360) 675-9919
Est. Dec 16, 1939 - First bar in current location 1856 - Building constructed: c.1852 - Closed March 2020
Previous bars in this location: Forner's Tavern, Barrington's
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp

#1972 - Jo Jo's Harbor Light Tavern, Oak Harbor, WA - 11/18/2012

Patrons: 7 middle-aged to old guys, 7 baseball caps. We were only 50% middle aged male and had no baseball caps, so we immediately stood out. But we had a nice chat with customer Yogi, who is one of the regulars who has his own mug at Jo Jo's, some of them a little worse for the wear.

650 SE Pioneer Way Oak Harbor, WA 98277 - (360) 679-1388
Est. 1994 - Building constructed: 1926
Reviews: urbanspoon 

#1971 - Toby's Tavern, Coupville, WA - 11/17/2012

Toby's Tavern is a nice little joint for a beer and some pub food, in a historic space in Coupeville, the second oldest town in the state of Washington, founded in 1852 by Captain Thomas Coupe. It's a fine place to sample the Penn Cove mussels, or just grab some halibut fish and chips or a bowl of clam chowder. A decent selection of beers includes their own  Toby’s Parrot Red Ale. It gets a fair amount of tourists but still feels like a primarily local place, with the servers calling people by name and giving them grief. The walls are pleasantly cluttered with artifacts and old photos.

The place has been "Toby's" since sometime between the mid 70s and late 80s (1988?), but it has been a bar since 1938. The construction date of the building is unknown, but at least a portion of it goes back to at least 1890, with various estimates ranging from 1869 to 1875. It is one of a handful of buildings built by John Alexander S. Robertson in the 19th century which are still in use today. The back bar dates back to the 19th century, and was moved to its current location in 1943, when Vique Sealey purchased the place and moved the bar there from his Central Hotel location across the street, which had been seriously damaged by fire. The back bar had been used in the Ft. Casey Officers Club in the early 20th century, and stored at Ft. Worden during prohibition. The business was Sealey's Tavern until at least in the early 70s.

8 Front Street Northwest Coupeville, WA 98239 (360) 678-4222
Est. 1988? - Building constructed: c. 1875 - Bar since 1938
Previous bars in this location: Sealey's Tavern
Web site:
Reviews: jeepspubstaverns - examiner - shalinigujavarty - beeradvocate - yelp