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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