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

Sunday, March 30, 2014

#2166 - Kapowsin Ale House and Grill, Kapowsin, WA - 5/17/2013

In the early part of the 20th century, with the Kapowsin Lumber Company operating on the north side of the lake, the population of Kapowsin was around 10,000.  It's now closer to 300, the mill long shut down, and just a few vestiges of a town remaining. Since 1959 the Kapowsin Tavern has been there, now the Kapowsin Ale House and Grill. It's a solid middle-of-nowhere bar, with years of oddball items collected on the walls, food that is good enough, hosting locals, fishermen and bikers. Apparently it is also the sort of place where if you get drunk and aim a gun at the bartender, you'll be taken out by someone chucking a pool ball at your head.

I was informed that this was a Christmas gift from a patron,
and that it is "a cartridge in a pear tree."  Kapowsin Ale House

14912 Kapowsin Hwy E, Kapowsin, WA - (360) 879-5333
Est. 1959 - Building constructed: 1959
Web site: facebook
Reviews: crankydaves - yelp - thenewstribune - tooie haugen

#2165 - Wagon Wheel Restaurant and Lounge, South Prairie, WA - 5/17/2013

It's 1:00pm on a Friday afternoon, and the back bar in the Wagon Wheel restaurant is rocking. It is near full, 15 to 20 people, which is enough to make it feel fairly packed in the tiny bar space behind the cafe in this town of less than 500 people. Some of the conversations are loud and rollicking. It's a working man's crowd, notwithstanding the number of people kicked back sipping beer in the middle of a weekday (blue collar white people a world away from the diverse, martini-glass toting hipsters in the stock image on their web site). One of the older patrons feels comfortable peppering his conversation with a kind of use of the n-word you're not likely to hear in a city bar.

It seems like a fairly typical small town dive, with a customers in baseball caps, plaid shirts and coveralls, mountain landscapes painted on a saw blade and a milk can, pulltabs and bingo nights, and an old west cowboy shootout painted on one the doors. Some posts on the Facebook page point out that back in the 70s the place was owned by Betty and Eldon Gadberry, and the performing "Gadberry Family" would play things like old Hank Williams tunes and Suzy Q. From the moment I passed the conestoga wagon wheels embedded in the flagstone out front, it all seemed to so perfectly fit the image of a quaint old timey cafe and dive bar that I was fairly surprised to see that current owner Donna regularly hosts punk shows by bands like Violent Occurrence, Americommies, and Judas Fucking Kryst. I'm reminded again that you can't really know a bar unless you visit it at least on one lazy afternoon and one busy weekend night.

I chat with Jean the bartender and customer Jeannie. One of them tells me that the place dates back to 1930, and indeed that's when the Pierce County tax records say the joint was constructed. Of course they would not have had a liquor license or openly operating bar at that time, but I'd guess the bar was added shortly after prohibition ended.

Maybe I'll come across more information on the bar portion some day. Or maybe I'll just come back for a night of Judas Fucking Kryst.

121 State Route 162 West, South Prairie, WA - (360) 897-9987             
Est. 1930s? - Building constructed: 1930
Web site: wagonwheelrestaurantandlounge.comfacebook
Reviews: bikerfriendlybar

#2164 - Topside Bar and Grill, Steilacoom, WA - 5/17/2013

Steilacoom is a small town on the southern Puget Sound that was the first town incorporated in what would become the state of Washington (1854). There's not much doing in Steilacoom these days, but there are some excellent views of the sound, and one of them is from the patio of the Topside. They serve good pub food, 17 rotating taps of good beer, and have some surprisingly good cocktails for a small-town bar. I talked to John O'Reilly, the owner and bartender who recommended Uncle Val's Gin. John worked as a bartender when this space was beer mecca Jake's Bar & Bistro, and the Puget Sound area owes him thanks for reviving one of the more pleasant settings in the state to enjoy some fish and chips and a beer.

215 Wilkes St, Steilacoom, WA 98388 - (253) 212-3690
Est. March 23, 2012
Previous bars in this location: Jake's Bar & Bistro
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: thenewstribune - southpugetsoundnews - yelp

#2163 #S1148 - The Lodge, Seattle - 5/12/2013

This version of Kirkland's "The Lodge Sports Grille" sits near the city's stadiums and can be a nice place to catch a game or, if you have tickets, a pre-game drink or meal. It really depends on the event and the crowd size, but the tons of pretty cedar and fir and the large stone fireplace can provide a nice little respite from city hub-bub (not to mention the thoroughly unpleasant "Tiki Bob's" which preceded them in this space). They serve a pretty broad, standard set of contemporary sports pub food (burgers, steaks, flatbreads, salads, etc.) and have a good selection of 70 beers on tap.

166 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104 - (206) 538-0000
Est. May 9, 2013 - Building constructed: 1907
Previous bars in this location: Tiki Bob's Cantina
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: yelp - taplister - thestranger

Thursday, March 20, 2014

#2162 #S1147 - Lost Lake Cafe and Lounge, Seattle - 5/11/2013

Like the "instant dives" that various places are trying to create today, Lost Lake is an attempt to create an instantly old diner, along the lines of the venerable 5 Point, which one of the Lost Lake owners purchased in 2009, with a twist of Twin Peaks style small town mid-century diner. They serve food for 24 hours and booze for almost 24 hours (the lounge closes at 2am and re-opens at 6am). It is owned by Dave Meinert (5 Point) and Jason Lajeunesse (Neumos, Big Mario's), and promises the stiffest drinks on Capitol Hill. As if to get a head start on a dissolute edginess, it was constructed in the former location of a gay bathhouse, and it collected a lot of hype when a self righteous Google Glass user was refused service unless he removed them, commencing an online war of overwrought words.

It is a pretty place -- a bit too pretty and too new to have the sort of soul of the places that served as its models -- but it also fills its chosen niche nicely. Seattle has only a handful of 24-hour restaurants, and it is a near perfect venue and comfort food menu for a stop after closing down some of the bars and clubs on the Capitol Hill. Everything points to financial success and a long, successful run serving local hipsters. But one gets the sense that it will never feel genuine unless it also draws in a small but faithful crowd of grizzled, elderly regulars, like every one of the great old places that it imitates.

1505 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122 - (206) 323-5678
Est. May 8, 2013 - Building constructed: 1910
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: seattletimes - capitolhillseattleseattlemet - thrillist - seattlemag - thestranger - eater - yelp

#2161 - Marianna Ristoraunte, Renton, WA - 5/7/2013

"Beware Sal" says a sign in the bar. "Sal" is Salvatore Lembo, a partner in Marianna, and the person who trained primary owner Santiago Potenciano. Lembo, from Sicily, owns a winery in Tuscany and for two decades ran Firenze Ristorante Italiano in Bellevue. Potenciano, from Mexico, learned the trade starting as a busboy, learning Italian wine and food from Lembo and then travels to Italy. Potenciano then opened his own place, Vino Ristorante Italiano, in Renton. Marianna is basically an expansion of that place.

The northern Italian menu looks very good, but I only had time for a cocktail after dinner elsewhere in town. The bar is not particularly remarkable, and the restaurant is the focus here.

I learned about Lembo and Potenciano only after my visit here, but my curiosity was piqued by the "Beware Sal" sign. "He's tri-polar," the bartender explained. "But what would Italian food be without that passion?" Then he answered his own question, disdainfully concluding "It would be French food."

310 Wells Ave S, Renton, WA 98057 - (425) 271-7042
Est. Jan 2013
Web site: vinorestorante.comfacebook
Reviews: rentonreporter - yelp - urbanspoon

#2160 - Uncle Mo's Snappy Inn, Renton, WA - 5/7/2013

The Snappy Tavern has been in this address since at least the 1940s, although the current building dates back to 1954. Maurice "Uncle Mo" Leclech has owned it for many years now, and remodeled and expanded the place into Uncle Mo's Snappy Inn. It is now a fairly typical suburban neighborhood bar, with pull tabs, karaoke, jello shots, and cheap drinks.

321 Williams Ave S, Renton, WA 98057 - (425) 917-3130
Web site: facebook
Reviews: thepicaroonyelp - seattletimes - patch

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

#2159 - Melrose Grill, Renton, WA - 5/7/2013

The Melrose is one of the very oldest bars in Washington state. It was constructed and opened in 1901 with a saloon in the same first floor location as today. Ben Atkinson was the owner then, building the saloon and cafe, and a 60 room hotel on the two floors above with his earnings from gold panning in the Yukon. When Washington state enacted state-wide prohibition in 1916, until federal prohibition was overturned, the lower Melrose served as a pool hall and card room. In 1928 a fire destroyed the top two floors, but the saloon and original back bar were saved and remain intact today. In 1972 the Melrose was sold to well-known local celebrity boxer  Boone Kirkman, who added a boxing ring to the bar.

The current owners took possession and reopened the Melrose Tavern as the Melrose Grill on Jan 13, 2002. It is now a nice steakhouse, slightly upscale but very reasonably priced, with the original back bar still intact and various old photos of the place.

819 Houser Way S, Renton, WA 98057 - (425) 254-0759
Est. 1901 - Building constructed: 1901
Previous bars in this location: None
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: examiner - rentonreporter - theblackberrychronicles - yelp

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

#2158 #S1146 - Gastropod, Seattle - 5/7/2013

Update: Gastropod closed on Sep 11, 2015

After Cody Morris opened a tiny brewery in December, 2008, expanding to a tiny tasting room in December 2010, he joined with chef Travis Kukull (Elemental, Tilikum Place) to expand from tiny to small, and regularly pair Kukull's imaginative food sections with Cody's adventurous brews. Here in the 1920s KR Trigger Building Sodo warehouse, I had the tasty Petit Tender Steak, which was prepared sous-vide and presented with a rhubarb steak sauce and Comte cheese scalloped potatoes, and while I forgot to note the beer, Cody's concoctions are always enjoyable and different from beers I've ever had before.

The menu changes weekly, and to give you an idea of the range, here are just a few of the recent choices:

  • Sake kasu skate wing Kim Chee butter cauliflower
  • Hawaiian pizza okonomiyaki
  • Baby artichoke, wood sorrel, nicoise olive, Meyer lemon yogurt salad
  • Nettle pasta, nettle pesto, morels, fiddle heads, salmon berry blossoms
  • Rabbit-liver mousse profiteroles served with lemony French sorrel and sweet maple syrup
  • Watermelon gazpacho served with roasted corn salsa
  • Japanese sweet potato and green garlic soup with fried rice noodles and a wasabi and vinegar foam

3201 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98134 - (206) 403-1228
Est. March 24, 2013 - Building constructed: 1923
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: thestranger - gastrolustseattletimes - foodspotting - ratebeerwhatsthesoup - seattlemag - seattlemet - vinewoman - thrillist - thestranger - yelp

#2157 - Bad Monkey Bar and Grill, Kent, WA - 5/5/2013

Yes, it was a double monkey bar kind of night. Unfortunately, once you get past the sign, any apparent uniqueness of this place ends, and it is indistinguishable from a thousand other suburban bars across the country.

623 Central Ave S, Kent, WA 98032 - (253) 859-4800
Building constructed: 1948
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp

#2156 - Spunky Monkey, Auburn - 5/5/2013

Thankfully, I made it to this place shortly before all the funky divey-ness was eliminated in a redesign as part of an episode of Restaurant: Impossible. After many years as a popular local joint, it was dusty and failing by the time I got here, so it appears that it had to change, and I hope the modified approach works out for them. But as one who tends to prefer the peculiar and decidedly unsophisticated personality of a small-time barkeep to the slick orderliness of a professional designer, I feel fortunate to see have seen the Monkey when it was genuinely spunky.

124 2nd St SE, Auburn, WA 98002 - (253) 804-9567
Est. 1998 - Building constructed: 1936
Web site: - facebook
Reviews: restaurant:impossible ($1.99) - yelp - youtube - urbanspoon

Saturday, March 08, 2014

#2155 - Red Lotus / Pagoda Room, Auburn - 5/5/2013

From Mexi-fries to fortune cookies, I love experimenting with the authentic cuisines of foreign cultures. And it's even better if it's in a restaurant with a dark lounge attached, where the mixologist serves up exotic temptations like "Jack and Coke." And thus, at the urging of some friends, we traveled all the way to Auburn, Washington -- the Gateway to Algona -- to check out the Red Lotus Restaurant and Pagoda Room Lounge.

I don't know exactly how old the Red Lotus is, but at some point someone wrote on their web site that they've been around for "50 years," and the building was constructed in 1956, so perhaps both the restaurant and lounge were here since then? It is a large, multi-roomed establishment, happily windowless, with plenty of bamboo, glowing lights, and mid-century exotic decor to keep our party of tiki fans and vintage hunters happy. The food is somewhat better than average, classic American Chinese, and the drinks are dive-bar strong with a few not-so-bad, tiki-like alternatives. The only real deviation I noticed from the archetypal half century old Chinese place is that they are closed on Christmas.

Thanks to Woofmutt and Elicia or introducing me to the place, and the other friends who came along on this visit.

714 Auburn Way N, Auburn, WA 98002 - (253) 833-6233                
Est. 1956? - Building constructed: 1956
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site:
Reviews: woofmutt - yelp - tripadvisor