Bars where Pete has had a Drink (4,373 bars; 1,721 bars in Seattle) - Click titles below for Lists:

Bars where Pete has had a drink

Saturday, July 10, 2021

#4277 #S1708 - Sisters and Brothers, Seattle - 7/10/2021

Sisters and Brothers, Seattle, WA

Sisters and Brothers first opened in a small brick building across the street from Boeing Field, in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood, in March 2016. Jake Manny, who ran a joint called the "Crying Wolf" in East Nashville, moved out to Seattle to be near his family and live on a boat, and partnered with a number of people including a couple veterans from Tom Douglas restaurants and local bar owner Drew Church (Hazelwood, Hotel Albatross). From there the Manny crew dished out beers, cocktails, and delicious buttermilk-brined, Nashville Hot Chicken -- sometimes with lines around the block -- until February 2020, when they seemed to have been forced out by neighboring winemaker and reputed local lout Charles Smith.

Meanwhile in Interbay, owner Christina Moy, after years of running Chen's Village on its reputation for salt & pepper chicken wings as the building was quite literally falling apart, finally gave up the ghost and closed the Chinese restaurant and dive bar lounge in December 2018, with rumors swirling that the 1936 building would be demolished. (At a nearby Expedia office, we referred to the place as "Chen's Lodge," based on the observation that the V, I, and L had fallen off the exterior lettering that once read "CHEN'S VILLAGE.") 

The bar history of the building goes back well past the classic dive bar lounge that occupied a small part of the Chen's building. It was the "Tiki Hut," featuring the "Shell Room" bar, by at least 1962, and the bar retained the Shell Room moniker through later incarnations as "Hope's Hut," the "Blue Hawaii Restaurant," and "Lee Chee Garden." 

Wedge salad with chicken tenders
Sisters and Brothers, Seattle, WA

Fortunately Manny is said to have much appreciated Chen's and the earlier incarnations, and he has done a great cleaning and remodeling (significantly expanding the bar area) while maintaining the original bones and old lounge vibe of the place. Slick black and cobalt blue vinyl covers the booth seating, the tops of the walls are lined with vintage toys, an array of swanky mid-century lamps hang from the ceiling, and the walls are covered with mcm pop art, underground comix covers, and vintage local beer lights and paraphernalia.

We chatted with bartender Dave Young, a partner with Jake in the Nashville restaurant whom Jake convinced to come out to Seattle to set up the bar program here, and check out area tiki bars in on his off-time. Of course that was before both ambitions, along with the restaurant itself, were thrown for a loop by COVID. But they are up and running now, with some tasty cocktails and that delicious chicken. The "Seattle Hot" is plenty good for me, basted with a blend of chili purees to give it a nice snap. But if you're a heat lover, you can amp it up to "Nashville Hot" or even "Insane," which add Ghost Chili puree to inflict upon your mouth and innards. At any heat, one bite of their chicken sandwich and the debate about Chick-fil-A versus Popeyes, etc. will seem utterly moot.

I'd love to have this place in my neighborhood, but 7 miles away is nicer than the 12 miles to the old place, and the vibe of this, esp. with the ghosts of old Chinese and tiki bars therein, is even better than the original. I expect to be here often.

544 Elliott Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119 - (206) 283-2078
Est. June 25, 2021 (bar opened at this location), June 2, 2020 (opened for takeout-only in this location), 2016 opened in original Georgetown location - Building constructed: 1936
Previous bars in this location: Tiki Hut (The Shell Room), Hope's Hut, Blue Hawaii Restaurant, Lee Chee Garden, Chen's Village
Web site: - facebook 
Articles: seattletimesseattlemetroadfoodeater - artzone (video) - dinersdriveinsdives - theinfatuation - everout - yelp - tripadvisor 

Sunday, July 04, 2021

#4271 - Tim's Bar and Grill, Kelso, WA - 6/26/2021

Tim's Bar & Grill, AKA Tim's Tavern, Kelso, WA

Tim's Bar and Grill in Kelso, previously known as Tim's Tavern and Tim's Timber Tavern, is half dive bar, half Kelso historical museum. The museum part is in the form of over 200 historical photographs of the Kelso area -- all or most from the Cowlitz County Historical Society -- which line the upper walls of the place, including pre-prohibition Kelso saloons like the Old Corner Saloon, Secors Saloon, and Swager Saloon.

The bar itself has been a substantial part of Kelso history. Tim Bonner appears to have purchased the Timber Tavern here in 1982 and run it for over three decades before he passed away in 2017. His daughter Teresa Bonner appears to have run it since. It was called Tim's Timber Tavern or just Tim's Tavern for most of that time. The Timber Tavern had previously been there since the 60s, and before that Howard's Tavern in the 40s and 50s, and perhaps earlier. The structure was built during prohibition (1923).

Tim's Bar & Grill, AKA Tim's Tavern, Kelso, WA
Beyond the large collection of framed photos, the bar is a fairly typical neighborhood dive, with pool tables, shuffleboard, a good selection of beers, and a menu of classic diner/bar food that emphasizes breakfast. It is located in an odd part of "Old Town" Kelso where Allen Street splits into a major road that bridges over the Cowlitz River and a smaller road of the same name that houses three blocks of small businesses before running into the river's edge.

213 Allen St, Kelso, WA 98626 - (360) 636-2627
Est. 1982 - Building constructed: 1923
Previous bars in this location: Howard's Tavern, Timber Tavern
Web site: facebook  
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - untappd - restaurantguru 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

#4098 #S1674 - Citizen Campfire, Seattle - 8/4/2020

Citizen Campfire, Seattle, WA
The lot adjacent to Citizen Cafe hosted a BBQ truck briefly until a back injury to the pitmaster ended that venture in 2017. But the space was upgraded and put to excellent use during the COVID pandemic, with a sort mid-century patio setting that would become an adults only outdoor bar at 4:00pm. It know offers drinks from the cafe including alcoholic slushie drinks, with cafe snacks or food ordered from nearby Lazy Susan. You can snack and sip from lawn chairs or bean bag chairs, at the fire pit or in the greenhouse. I've added it to my list of best options for sunny days.

706 Taylor Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 - (206) 284-1015
Est. April 13, 2018 
Previous bars in this location: None known
Web site: - facebook 
Reviews: eatinseattle - dailyhive - untappd 

#3457 - The Camp Bar, Tacoma, WA - 2/16/2018

Camp Bar, Tacoma, Washington

When Patrick Haight, veteran bartender from Seattle's Tini Bigs martini lounge, opened his own place, it was a swanky craft cocktail emporium in Belltown or Capitol Hill. Instead he acquired the old "Acme Tavern" (AKA "Acme Grub Cage") just below the Hilltop area and converted into an elaborately themed camp site for adults, with tents and camping gear and various odd bric-a-brac. So when the COVID pandemic hit, adding actual tents -- both inside and out -- was a natural. In addition there's now an outdoor patio with fake grass, picnic tables and tree stump seats.

As much as I love any place that would call itself a "grub cage," the Camp Bar is better in many different ways. Their web site says they are located "in a historic building that housed Tacoma's second oldest bar (Est. 1932)." This claim is a little wonky given that A) The building was only constructed in 1956; and B) 1932 was still in  prohibition. But the Acme Tavern starts to appear in city guides in 1941, listed at the building next door, on the corner of 13th, and then appears to have moved into the new (current) building right after it was constructed.

The current incarnation is pretty darn swell. The decor is somewhere between a dive bar and a theme park -- "In Tacoma bar terms, I’ll break it down for you: It’s going to be more like The Mule Tavern than En Rama." (News Tribune) The cocktails include a popular "One-eyed squirrel" concoction, with 10 rotating good beers on tap. The food emphasizes burgers and comfort food with some unique twists, including make-your-own s'mores with a little hibachi stove.

The staff are cool, and they host various events including a very popular karaoke night and "Not Safe For Work Bingo."

If I live anywhere close to this I would probably go a lot.

Est. 2017 - Building constructed: 1956
Previous bars in this location: Acme Tavern / Grub Cage
Web site: - facebook 
Articles ranked: southsoundtalk - southsoundtalk (tents) - newstribune - - king5 - yelp - tripadvisor - komonews 

#3946 #S1664 - Velvet Elk, Seattle - 1/19/2020

The Velvet Elk, Seattle, WA
I've added this cozy craft cocktail lounge to my list of favorite Seattle intimate spaces. Established as "The Saloon" and renamed about 6 months later when Kim Beecroft took ownership, the small but two-level bar is sometimes referred to as a "speakeasy." While they do some some speakeasy era classics, the only thing really hidden about the bar is that it is in a location you wouldn't expect, around the corner from Mioposto in a tiny retail section across from Mt. Baker Park.

I quite like the funky decor, the mellow vibe, and the high quality cocktails. Thankfully it seems to have made it through the worst of the COVID era, with a little bit of help from a successful gofundme and its grateful patrons, and I'm eager to go again soon.

3605 S McClellan St, Seattle, WA 98144 - (206) 717-2902
Est. June 1, 2019 - Building constructed: 1930
Previous bars in this location: The Saloon
Web site: - facebook
Articles ranked: theinfatuation - king5 - yelp - intentionalist 

Sunday, May 09, 2021

#3852 - Doreen's Saloon, Cottonwood, ID - 8/30/2019

Doreen's Saloon, Cottonwood, Idaho
There's not much internet presence for Doreen's Saloon in Cottonwood, Idaho, but the snippets I can find tell me that it is currently closed and for sale. so I presume that's true. From a snippet in the Cottonwood Chronicle ("Voice of the Camas Prairie") I gathered that Doreen's was established in 2012 (at the time of this writing the Wikipedia page on Cottonwood still features Lowell's Saloon, which preceded Doreen's in the space). Indeed from a Facebook group I learned about a whole series of bars in this location, including Jenny's Tavern, T-Bar, Hap's Bar, the Country Still and Busdastubleup. Maybe it'll be something else by the time I come through again.

According to Wikipedia, the central Idaho city of Cottonwood began in 1862 as a series of way station shelters for prospectors and mining suppliers on their way south to Florence and Warrens. Its population seems to have risen steadily in the first half of the 20th century, then hovered just below about 1,000 people ever since. Doreens was established by Doreen Ash, which would have seemed appropriate, had I known it when I walked in to encounter a thick wall of cigarette smoke.

On at least the day I walked in, Doreen's was populated with NRA snapback caps, Trump stickers, and old coots. A couple of the latter were expounding at great length on the ways of the world: "There's global warming, but it's a natural cycle ..." "Everything dies if it ain't adapted"

I was there for exactly one drink on exactly one day, so I couldn't tell you that much about the place. Was business picking up on this Friday afternoon? Was the evening crowd much different? Does it sometimes get rowdy? Who's been 86'd? What the hell is a Bustastubleup?

I guess I'll probably never know, but I'm glad I stopped in.

U.S. 95 Business, 416 Main St, Cottonwood, ID 83522 - (208) 962-7331
Est. 2012? - Building constructed: year
Previous bars in this location: Jenny's Tavern, T-Bar, Hap's Bar, Country Still, Busdastubleup, Lowell's Saloon 

#4161 - Somewhere Bar, Boise, ID - 3/27/2021

Somewhere Bar, Garden City, Idaho

Transported to its current location in 1949 and opened in 1950, during the ears of 2017 to 2020, the venerable Ranch Club, with its iconic bronco rearing up over Garden City, Idaho, went through various ownership changes and closed and reopened at least three times. But when it reopened March 20, 2021, it was no longer as the Ranch Club. 

Gone are the wagon wheels out front; gone are the saddle bar seats inside; gone are the skulls and taxidermy, and coyote perched on a cactus. But remaining, oh thank God, is the bronco. I wish it could have retained its full-on western theme forever. But given that it could not, I am happy to see that someone is keeping it open, and although the vibe and clientele are very different, perhaps an even more vibrant and lively place than ever. Owners Rob Covert and Eli Russell have converted it to a gay bar, stressing one for the whole LGBTQIA+ community and welcoming all, but primarily for gay males. The horse skulls and harness have been replaced with photos of leathermen and bears, the taxidermy coyote replaced with a large photo of Cher. Opened during COVID, the stage waits for opportunities to host drag shows and live music, and the front area now opens up to a fairly large patio in the shade of the bronco.

I'll miss the old place, but the new one seems like it may be a really great location for the Boise area's gay and lesbian crowd, and a fun place to visit generally. And they promise to keep the horse!

3544 W Chinden Blvd, Garden City, ID 83714
Est. 2021 - Building constructed: 1908 (1949 moved and reassembled in this location)
Previous bars in this location: The Ranch Club
Web site: facebook 
Reviews: boisedevinstinctmagazine - idahostatesman - idahostatesman

Saturday, May 08, 2021

#3552 - Silver Dollar Saloon, Virginia City, NV - 6/29/2018

John, bartender
Silver Dollar Saloon, Virginia City

If you like old western bars like we do then there's probably not a better town in the world for these than Virginia City, Nevada. And while there are several much more famous joints along C Street, our favorite was down the narrow stairway to the relatively humble Silver Dollar Saloon. 

Often referred to as the "most authentic," which I believe means least touristy, the Silver Dollar doesn't have a deep history posted on the outside or detailed on internet sites. I don't know how long it's been there, or what the history of the building entails, although it is cited as the first location of the "Territorial Enterprise" newspaper until it moved in 1862, just before Sam Clements joined the staff and started writing under the name Mark Twain. But even that I'm not sure of, because the Silver Dollar is so often confused with the "Silver Queen" Saloon (which has a famous painting with a woman's dress made of 3,261 silver dollar coins).

Entering the Silver Dollar the first thing you notice is the bras -- hanging several layers deep on a line hung overhead, hanging from the lamps, pinned to the walls. The next thing you notice is the backgroud -- dollar bills tacked up on virtually every inch of wall and ceiling space by past visitors. And finally you notice the bartender, a long-bearded, cigarette smoking character known as "Hippy John." Later on at another saloon we were told stories by a couple ladies that said they came in, found John sleeping, fixed themselves drinks, then later woke him to pay. (John did not appreciate this story when we relayed it to him.)

The bras and dollars hint at much fuller rooms and wilder times than the bar we entered. On our first visited we chatted with patrons Bryan and Brenda. One the second visit we sat around the corner of the bar from a drunk guy in a cowboy hat, who looked more like a salesman than a rancher, and a much drunker military guy. Cowboy Hat Guy was working diligently trying to repair a pair of sunglasses. He first explained his resoluteness by noting "I'm a Capricorn." Later he continued, "I'm a Ranger. Rangers never quit." As he worked, Military Guy kept getting angrier. Cowboy Hat Guy say not to worry, "I'll fix him after I fix this." Cowboy Hat Guy told stories, telling us about bull riding and Harleys, and that he had a million dollars in the bank and was renting all of the Virginia Inn for a week. When he finally left after a lot of high fiving people who selected country music he liked on the juke box, bartender John told us how much he was not looking forward to having Cowboy Hat Guy in town all week.

Trista with patrons Bryan and Brenda
Silver Dollar Saloon, Virginia City, NV
Anyway, while it wasn't crowded we seemed to get a good cross section of the Silver Dollar patrons -- sometimes mellow like Bryan and Brenda, and sometimes not, like a cluster of drunk ladies who hunted the best place to pin their dollars, or like Military Guy and Cowboy Hat Guy. It's part of the fun, even if they test poor John's patience. As for drinks, you don't want to order anything too fancy -- it's a pure dive bar that way. But for all the deeper histories, memorable artifacts, live bands, and better food and drinks in a town full of great bars, this one remained our favorite.

Painting of Virginia City locals, 
bartender John in the middle

11 North C, Virginia City, NV 89440 - (775) 847-0458
Reviews: yelp - tripadvisor - dirt cheap (video) - restaurantguru - untappd