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Bars where Pete has had a Drink (3,326 bars; 1,511 bars in Seattle):

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#2119 - Unicorn Room, Tacoma, WA - 3/29/2013

At least in the case of this restaurant and lounge, when you hear "Pegasus" and "Unicorn," you should picture sparkly art you might see in your aunt's double-wide. The Unicorn Room in Pegasus Restaurant along what used to be the old highway 99 is a classic behind-the-cafe, formica and cheap paneling dive.

1320 Puyallup Ave, Tacoma,WA 98409-4319 - (253) 572-5300
Reviews:  yelp - waymarking - northwestmilitary

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#2118 - Cockatoo's Chicken Restaurant, Federal Way, WA - 3/29/2013

One of the few Korean Fried Chicken joints in the Seattle area, Cockatoo's Chicken Restaurant is also the only bar I've been in that serves everyone complementary popcorn and a fried egg, cooked on a hot plate at your seat. It's a divey, karaoke bar, set in a strip mall, dark with Christmas lights up year round, Korean music videos playing on the TVs, an odd hodgepodge of decorations, and serving cheap, strong drinks.

"Unlike the Colonel’s KFC, Korean fried chicken does not rely on a heavy batter. Just a light dredging of corn starch or rice flour will do. Typically, Korean fried chicken is coated in a thick, sweet, spicy sauce." (Crosscut)

For food beyond the free egg and popcorn, the more adventurous might go with the Seasoning Pupa, but I stuck to the chicken wings. I liked the wings better than most, and thought they indeed had a very nice balance of sweetness and spiciness. For drinks, I stuck with a safe dive bar order (Jack and Coke). If you go, it's nice to have it on your GPS, as despite the distinctive name, it's not easy to pick out from the highway. For me, the wings were not distinctive enough themselves to frequently justify a drive to Federal Way, but the atmosphere -- and the egg, which for some reason tastes much better than a normal fried egg -- make it worth at least checking out.

"Typically found in Korean bars, not restaurants, the succulent dish is sold throughout South Korea but relegated mostly to suburban strip-mall hangouts in the Seattle area." (Ibid)






33130 Pacific Hwy S, Federal Way, WA 98003 - (253) 661-2960
Est. ? - Building constructed: 1974
Previous bars in this location: None known
Reviews: gastrolust - chowhound - crosscut - yelp

#2117 #S1123 - Bar Sajor, Seattle - 3/28/2013

Update: Bar Sajor closed July 9, 2016

In early 2013, at the corner of the Occidental Avenue pedestrian mall in Pioneer Square, Bar Sajor ("sigh-YOR") was opened by Herbfarm alumnus and James Beard winner Matt Dillon, who has a considerable reputation from his Corson Building, Sitka and Spruce, and Bar Ferd'nand. Dillon positions the new place as "a bar in the Spanish sense," with all food prepared on wood-fired oven and grill. He described the food as "casual and simple," and perhaps it will seem that way if you are the sort of person who, before heading out for a movie, might whip up a quick warm halloumi with charred Virginia ramps and cardoons and wash it down with whey soda with lime.

In brief, you will have some nice wines or cocktails here (I quite liked my concoction of rye, Byrrh, Dry Curucao and bitters) and some very good food prepared as you have not had anywhere else. If you arrive hungry, you should be prepared to invest in the experience, as the tiny plates will not make for an inexpensive dinner. The space is bright and airy, and may make long-time residents double check that they are actually in Pioneer Square. I guess it remains to be seen whether this and the growing number of other upscale places in the neighborhood (including Dillon's London Plane) will lead future generations to associate the neighborhood more with charcuterie and pate than MD 20/20. But in any case it is very pleasing to see the old neighborhood revitalized with must-visit places.

323 Occidental Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 682-1117 &nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp
Est. Feb 21, 2013 - Closed July 9, 2016 - Building constructed: 1920
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: barsajor.com
Best articles: thestrangerseattlemag - remodelistaseattlemetseattletimes - nytimes - designsponge - yelp - bizjournalseater

Saturday, December 21, 2013

#2116 #S1122 - Ballard Annex Oyster House, Seattle - 3/24/2013

Zak Melang and Nathan Opper are the owners of a number of quite successful Tex-Mex restaurants called "The Matador." I don't know if I'm able to keep track of them all, but they have been established in Ballard, West Seattle, Redmond, Tacoma, Boise, Denver, and two in Portland. Recently they have branched out to create a couple barbecue restaurants, and with the Ballard Annex, to fresh seafood. Some of their common themes are taking historic old buildings, putting a ton of money and work into remodeling, and using local artisans and materials to create a woody, themed decor. Melang himself, while not playing base for the Super Sonic Soul Pimps, creates most of the iron work and woodwork himself. Opper takes the lead on finding chefs and developing the menu.

The Ballard Annex (named for the 1907 annexation of the fishing community by the city of Seattle), has a nautical theme, and a cocktail menu heavy on rum drinks. I had a Willy's Negroni, which I thought was pretty good, and an Anniversary, which I felt was a little overwhelmed by the champagne (but then I think this about many cocktails featuring champagne). The food is fresh seafood and it is presented in a way that resembles a seafood market counter, with big steel pots of chowders and bisques in front of bins of oysters. I do not eat oysters, so I can't really comment there, but I do consider Dungeness crab with cocktail sauce to be pretty much the acme of human foodstuffs. My crab cocktail was leggy and fairly good (although it does not pose any challenge to my favorite crab cocktail in town, from The Met) and they offer a nice range of sauces mango habanero, spicy cocktail, classic cocktail, and shallot mignonette. (The others were pleasant to sample, but it's classic cocktail for me.)

The restaurant is housed in a 1908 building near the junction of Ballard Avenue and Market, the two major restaurant and retail thoroughfares in a neighborhood booming with great places to eat and drink. The building has housed a department store, car dealership, the Ballard News Tribune printing press, and a few restaurants, most recently Thaiku (now in Greenwood). Subsequent to this visit, the area that hosted Fu Kun Wu, the apothecary-themed bar of Thaiku, was opened as "Grog."






5410 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 783-5410
Est. March 21, 2013 - Building constructed: 1908
Previous bars in this location: None known (Thaiku Restaurant featured Fu Kun Wu in Grog space)
Web site: ballardannex.com - facebook
Articles: thestrangerseattlemag - bizjournals - eatinseattle - king5 (video) - seattlemet  -thrillist - ballardnewstribune - yelp - tripadvisor

#2115 - Lakepointe Bar and Grill, Kenmore, WA - 3/23/2013

A big, lazy, suburban bar. I like the bartenders, and I like the crowd. I would like to see what the vibe is like later on a Friday or Saturday night.

18018 61st Ave NE, Kenmore, WA 98028 - (425) 486-8021
Previous bars in this location: Lake Forest Inn
Reviews: yelp

Saturday, December 14, 2013

#2114 - Yuppie Tavern, Kirkland, WA - 3/23/2013

Amidst the malls and the chain stores that generally comprise the communities on the east side of Lake Washington, the Yuppie Tavern leaps out for the singularity of its character. A few years ago the owners of  Yuppie Pawn took about a third of their large shop and converted it into a bar, with a sort of Disneyesque, old west theme (I'm guessing this is mostly left from the Cowboy Steakhouse and Saloon that previously occupied the space?). Inside the building, you walk through the false front of a western saloon and look up past sundry knickknacks hanging from the ceiling and walls to a row of emulated old buildings and mannequins hanging above a stage where live bands play each Friday and Saturday night.

It may be titled "Yuppie," but the crowd is mostly 50-ish, and this usually includes the people in the bands. Typical patrons were a what looked like a 60-year-old, retired biker couple, sporting a bluetooth ear piece and a bedazzled top. This is not to say that the place is not fairly lively. People seem happy and friendly and ready to have a good time, and I like the place. The bar offers 13 beer choices on tap and another 50 in bottles. The menu includes some "signature cocktails" of the sugary, beach party variety, and various burgers and sandwiches.

While it was difficult to identify anything particularly "young" in the place, the "Yuppie" moniker comes with the pawn shop, which has been around for over 20 years and goes to great lengths to communicate that the shop and its clientele are cut from the cloth of east side material success. "This means Medina, Issaquah, Bellevue, Kirkland, etc. 80% of our customers come from these neighborhoods. Inside the store For those of you reading this throughout the country who are unfamiliar with our region, this means that our borrowers come from areas where the average income exceeds $50,000 per year and extends up into the higher six figure incomes." So "Whether you need money for diapers, cigarettes, a Harley, a Rolex or for stocks--we can lend it to you." After all, "Whether you make $10,000 or $1,000,000 per year, you will experience a cash flow problem at sometime during your life."

The bar portion seems like a place where pretty much anyone would have a pleasant time. And if, like me, you would like to see a bit more individuality from the shops and bars of the east side, it seems like we must give credit to a pawn shop which caters to people fond of ostentatious wealth and contains a cowboy themed bar inside.


12031 Totem Lake Way, Kirkland, WA 98034 - (425) 814-5200
Est. 2011? - Building constructed: 1979
Previous bars in this location: Cowboy Steakhouse & Saloon
Web site: yuppietavern.com
Reviews: kirklandreporter - yelp

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

#2113 - McCorry's on the Slough, Woodinville, WA - 3/23/2013

Update: McCorry's closed Feb 5, 2017


To people in Seattle and beyond, the small city of Woodinville is known for its 50-some wineries and tasting rooms, Chateau San Michelle, and chic restaurants like the Herbfarm and Barking Frog. This is why it was amusing to overhear this snippet of conversation in a Woodinville bar:  "I love Pizza Hut. We don't have one in Woodinville. Burger King is awesome, I want one of their sandwiches. I wish there was one here. We don't have anything cool in Woodinville."

Of course I wasn't sitting at the Herbfarm but rather McCorry's on the Slough, which is something like a cross between a Denny's and a suburban sports bar, just up from the Sammamish River and before one of main turns into touristy areas.  Inside and down the bar is a fellow exhaustively explaining to a woman just what a funny guy he is. In between explanations of this, he includes demonstrations with zingers like "I don't even wanna go there!"

McCorry's appears to have been run here by the same family for over 30 years. Both drinks and food are approximately what you would expect from a dive bar. Clearly some people like it, but I would generally recommend continuing up the road a piece to the Horseshoe Saloon.

12801 NE 175th St, Woodinville, WA 98072 - (425) 488-0140
Web site: mccorrys.com - facebook
Reviews: yelp

Sunday, December 08, 2013

#2112 - Lucky 7, Kirkland, WA - 3/23/2013

Yet another strip mall sports bar.

12715 NE 124th St, Kirkland, WA 98034 - (425) 821-7717
Est. Jan 13, 1989
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor

#2111 - Viking Sports Bar and Grill, Shoreline, WA - 3/22/2013

The building here is a jangle of discordant styles, with what gives the appearance of a strip mall slamming into a two-story residential house, cut by an angular roof now fronted with wood lattice, and for some reason Tuscan columns affixed to the front side. It emphasizes sports and the Seahawks, it is named "The Viking," and actually seems to draw people mostly with karaoke seven nights a week. It is a dive bar, with a mixed ethnicity, dive bar crowd, and serves fairly typical bar drinks and food from behind a physical bar that looks like it came from a 70s fern bar. And every single one of the middle aged crowd appears to take a turn outside smoking.

This visit came just three weeks into the venue and ownership (this was previously the Zaika Indian restaurant, which in the evenings was dominated by "Mr Z.'s Lounge" and karaoke). The permanent signage and current paint job were not there yet, but there was a fairly lively crowd of locals inside.

Like a million other suburban instant sports bars across the region and the country -- with their flatscreen TVs, pulltabs, Budweiser paraphernalia, burgers and steaks and Taco Tuesdays, cheap well drinks and Jager shots -- there's not much unusual character nor anything particularly remarkable about the Viking. But people go to places like this because it's *your* suburban sports bar -- delivering the basics in your neighborhood among people you enjoy. Judging from the crowd, this one may be around for a while.

14622 15th Ave NE, Shoreline, WA 98155 - (206) 922-3764
Est. March 8, 2013 - Building constructed: 1954
Previous bars in this location: Zaika (Mr. Z's Lounge) 
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp

Saturday, December 07, 2013

#2110 #S1121 - Relish, Seattle - 3/20/2013

The Benjamin Franklin Hotel, which was here before the expansion to a first and then second cylindrical tower of rooms as it became the Washington Plaza and then the Westin, once hosted the second Trader Vic's in the country. The Trader Vic's was called "The Outrigger" when it was first established in this building in 1948, then renamed in 1960 to "Trader Vic's" like the original in Oakland, and finally closed in 1991. The hotels in this location have hosted multiple restaurants and bars on both the main floor and also on the lower level that opens to Stewart Street and Westlake Avenue, with this newest entry focused on giant hamburgers. This is apparently a growing brand within the Starwood Hotels chain, but it strikes me as an odd choice for a very large, downtown hotel that bills itself as an international location (even if it had never been the location of the elegant Palm Court).

This blog is primarily about bars, and despite a menu of pretty average quality cocktail concoctions, you wouldn't really expect a hamburger focused hotel bar to be particularly inviting for drinking -- and this one is not. The upscale burgers are better than average -- and certainly taller -- but neither they nor the various creative spins on side dishes struck me with any can't miss deliciousness that I would recommend to upscale burger loving friends (as I might, say, for the burgers at Spur, or Von's).

As a lover of hotel bars, I can't help but hope that the Westin eventually replaces this with something much more traditional and romantic.

1900 Fifth Avenue, Seattle, WA - 206-256-7600                          
Est. March 1, 2013 - Building constructed: 1929
Previous bars in this location:  The Outrigger, Trader Vic's, Fitzgerald's on Fifth, Roy's in the Westin, Coldwater Bar and Grill
Web site: relishbistroseattle.com - facebook
Reviews: cornichon - gastrolust - meplusfood - yelp

#2109 #S1120 - Populuxe Brewing - 3/16/2013

Populuxe Brewing sits behind the doors of a bright blue facade and atomic logo, which make it look a bit like a UFO cult headquarters in the middle of a Ballard warehouse district. Inside is a cinder block tasting room, with Narboo paintings, bowls of peanuts, and three to six choices of mostly hoppy, northwest style microbrews. A hallway leads out the back to a modest patio, with picnic tables and wooden barrels for bar tables. The whole place has a vibe of family barbecue, with babies in strollers, cornhole games, and dogs loping about. It should be a particularly comfortable place to catch a beer on sunny Sunday afternoons.

826B NW 49th St, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 706-3400
Est. March 8, 2013 - Building constructed: 1960
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: populuxebrewing.com - facebook  
Reviews: seattlemet - myballard - beeradvocate - yelp - thestranger - thrillist

#2108 #S1119 - Hummingbird Saloon - 3/14/2013

This is a new neighborhood joint carved into a Rainier Avenue strip mall, run by Ken Anderson, the owner of Full Tilt Ice Cream. There are paintings of hummingbirds, chess boards and shuffleboard, some fairly good cocktails and home-baked Welsh pasties.


5041 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118 - (206) 349-1731              
Est. Feb 15, 2013 - Building constructed: 1940
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: facebook
Reviews: tofuhunter - eater - thrillist - yelp - thestranger