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Bars where Pete has had a drink

Sunday, March 01, 2015

#2344 #S1189 - Altstadt Bierhalle and Brathaus, Seattle - 11/24/2013

Despite being of more German extraction than any other ethnicity, I'm not much of a fan of German beer or German cuisine, so I'm not to be trusted to tell you about a place like Altstadt ("old town") Bierhalle and Brathaus. But I do immediately have interest in any place whose logo is a jackalope (if that's what they are called when they have wings -- did not even know that variation existed). Aldstadt sits about 250 feet from the former location of the first licensed bar in Seattle, Plummer's Snoqualmie Hall, now the site of the Bread of Life Mission. This is in Seattle's "old town," Pioneer Square," known for the original "skid row" and for the past several decades noted largely for bums and nightclubs that cater to douchebaggery.

The gentrification of Seattle over recent years has included star chefs like Matt Dillon (Bar Sajor and London Plane), Mike Easton (Il Corvo, Pizzeria Gabbiano) and Josh Henderson (Quality Athletics), and a number of other intriguing bars reinvigorating great old spaces, such as Good Bar. Altstadt continued this trend with award-winning chef  Brendan McGill (Hitchcock) the most well-known of three owners, moving into a historic space that has hosted bars at least as far back as 1906 and for forty years contained Larry's Greenfront, which would become Seattle's pre-eminent blues club for a couple decades. McGill sold his interest in Altstadt to the other two partners a year later.

Aldstadt serves pretty much the menu and beer selection you would expect from a large, modern German bierhalle, but a bit upgraded. The space would be completely unrecognizable to anyone who remembers Larry's Greenfront -- or for that matter the Crimson C nightclub that spent a few desultory years here. It has been opened up exposing a large brick-surrounded space with rustic wood tables, including long picnic style communal tables and a chess set sitting on a plank set across to casks. It seems positioned to attract a wide range of potential customers and is in a good location to attract fans on their way to see the Sounders, Seahawks or Mariners. And unlike most of the new places listed above, it makes the area seem studier and considerably nicer, without such a jarring diremption between its grimier past and the fine dining young professionals both visiting and moving into the neighborhood in ever greater numbers.

209 1st Ave S, Seattle, Washington - (206) 602-6442
Est. Nov 14, 2013 - Building constructed: 1900 or earlier
Previous bars in this location: Larry's Greenfront, Crimson C
Web site: - facebook
Articles Ranked: seattlemagseattletimes - culinaryfool - eater - thestranger - yelp - zagat

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