The area was first known to the white people as Jenkins Prairie, and later took the name of the Northern Pacific Railroad's surveyor, Richard Covington, who laid out a route known as the Palmer Cutoff, or in the code of the railroad's telegrams, "Rodent Frugality." Once almost entirely a bedroom community, the current conquerors are the strip malls and corporate chains. Since about 2000 the highway has been increasingly surrounded by the tribes of the Walmarts, Costcos, Home Depots, Targets and Applebees.
Nikki's is an exception to that. There aren't many places to have a drink in Covington. There are no taverns left, and although Nikki's is relatively new and more known for its breakfasts, it does have a sizable lounge that hosts live bands. Previously there was a Godfather's Pizza here for many years before the location eventually hosted the "272 Bar and Grill." But the 272 was too pricey for Covington, I was informed -- an observation I found echoed in just about every Yelp entry from the time -- and it became Nikki's in Dec. 2011. And while the space itself still doesn't have much character, the few people there on this lazy Friday afternoon did.
Bartender Jamie was explaining how her husband couldn't figure out how he had a hangover after having only 6 beers, though he also had 2 Irish Coffees and couldn't remember the number of jello shots. Customer Joe isn't content to just have jello shots at Nikki's, so he makes himself a bowl at home ("a shot is a table spoon"). Joe had recently come from a doctor visit ("No, my doctor's in old Renton -- you have to go armed"). Apparently Joe's doctor keeps telling him he needs to quit drinking but Joe told him "I run into more old drunks than old doctors." I was disappointed to find no old taverns in Covington, but more pleased to find at least a few old tavern kind of people.
Est. Dec 12, 2011 - Building constructed: 1985
Previous bars in this location: 272 Bar and Grill
Web site: facebook
Reviews: yelp - urbanspoon - tripadvisor