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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#2280 #S1171 - Olaf's, Seattle - 9/12/2013

Long-time locals can't help but have mixed feelings about Olaf's, a neighborhood bar inspired by the March 2013 closure of The Viking after 63 years, and taking the place of the endearingly vulgar Copper Gate, which closed exactly two months later after 67 years just up the street. It's nice to see a local gin mill with personality in one of these old spaces, but one has to lament the departure of the viking ship bar, its vintage porn sail, and the lewd dioramas. Dismantling the ship bar seems like a crime, but if one can put the past behind and look at Olaf's as if it was starting tabula rasa, it's a nice little joint.

The sign out front manages a multiple part tribute to old Seattle, with letters shaped like Olympia Beer logo spelling out the name of the cartoon version of a viking. It's too brightly lit, too vibrant and healthy to really be an homage to old dives like The Viking, but it shares their suburban neighborhood vibe. It has a very simple menu -- a couple sandwiches, a couple burgers, and corn dogs -- but unusually well, as one might expect when the owners' resumes included Stumbling Goat, Ma'ono, and Le Gourmand.  What remains is the Pussy Room, named for its vaginal entry hall (and now apparently referred to as "the red room" or "the womb room"), gussied up a bit. And they have added a room of pinball machines, surrounded by murals by Narboo, a break from the hordes of Henry works that crowd north Seattle.  There are ten rotating taps of good beers and some decent cocktails as well. Maybe in ten years I won't keep looking for the ship bar every time I step in.



6301 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 - (206) 297-6122
Est. Aug 31, 2013 - Building constructed: 1928
Previous bars in this location: The Copper Gate
Web site: facebook
Reviews: ballardnewstribunethestranger - norway.comeater - myballard - yelp - kelseykristinalarson

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