At Dottie’s Double Wide and Lumber Yard Bar in White Center, drink specials are cheap.
White Center is so hot that any sign of a vacancy or a bulldozer brings speculation or news that another Ballard or Capitol Hill bar owner is expanding here.
The latest: Unicorn, one of the most popular bars on the Pike/Pine corridor, plans a second location by December 2019.
Unicorn owner Adam Heimstadt said Monday that White Center’s Unicorn will be bigger than his carnival-themed bar on Capitol Hill, 15,000-square feet including two stages for karaoke, drag shows and art exhibits. The bar will be in the former bowling alley next to Beer Star.
Beer Star was last summer’s big opening in White Center, from the investors behind some of Seattle’s biggest bars: Rhein Haus and Poquitos on Capitol Hill; Bastille and Stoneburner in Ballard.
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This summer, the most-anticipated opening is Future Primitive Brewing Co., from Ian Roberts, co-owner of the popular Pine Box on Capitol Hill and co-founder of Seattle Beer Week. The brewery is scheduled to open in late July (about the same time that a nautical-themed bar is also expected to debut in White Center).
You don’t need to wait that long to scope out the scene. Here’s a look at two bars that opened recently along White Center’s commercial strip.
Dottie’s Double Wide is easy to spot. Its facade is a cross section of a trailer that owner Nate Rezac used to pimp out his ’70s, trailer-chic themed dive.
In the back corner, a panel wall is covered with nude velvet paintings, and couches are covered in plastic wrap.
Entertainment comes from a record player that requires patrons all do their part to keep the jam flowing. “Dead air! Dead air, people!” the bartender yelled.
A customer replied, “I got it,” and went to flip the record over.
The happy-hour margaritas here are so absurdly cheap, it doesn’t make economic sense: two-for-one margaritas for $7, full pours and not watered down.
Dottie’s Double Wide is from the same investors behind the two Drunky’s Two Shoes BBQ locations, one down the street and the other branch in Frelard. The pork and beef brisket tacos are the way to go, alder-smoked meat from the barbecue pit at Drunky’s nearby.
The rest of the Tex-Mex grub is made in Dottie’s kitchen — salty, creamy, crunchy noshes that are nothing more than beer sponges. And a good excuse to use the salsa bar. If tacos are not your jam, there are Sonoran Dogs — dense, weighty franks with a snappy bite, wrapped in bacon and served in toasted, buttery buns usually reserved for lobster rolls. It’s dinner for eight bucks.
9609 ½ 16th Ave. S.W., Seattle; happy hour daily 3-6 p.m. with two-for-one margaritas for $7 and $6.50 for a can of beer and three mini tacos; 206-687-7135, dottiesdoublewide.com
Down the street, at Lumber Yard Bar, a karaoke rendition of “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” turned into a swaying, drunk singalong that could be heard out of the front door on an otherwise quiet drag.
On other nights, there are drag shows, or “RuPaul’s Drag Race” blaring from the flat screens.
White Center gets sleepy by 10 p.m. on weekdays, but the party seems to keep going at the Lumber Yard, the neighborhood’s first gay bar.
It debuted in January to big crowds. One bartender attributed that to opening-week curiosity. But six months into its run, Lumber Yard seems just as busy as the LGBTQ bars on Capitol Hill.
Portraits of lumbersexuals hang on the main bar. There’s also a subterranean lounge and a back patio to handle the crowd overflow come summer.
The bar food is better than any party-hardy hangout needs it to be — meatballs, smoked briskets and pork belly with mac and cheese, all made in-house, and all cheap ($6-$10) and served in copious amounts. Whisky pours are doubles (though some bartenders seem to be pouring triples), only $6.50 during happy hour. Did we mention: It’s cheap to drink in White Center.
9619 16th Ave. S.W., (White Center) Seattle; happy hour daily, Monday-Thursday 4-8 p.m., Friday-Saturday 2-8 p.m. and Sunday noon to midnight, with $2 Rainier, $4 wine and $6.50 well drinks and $1 off appetizers; 206-695-2007, thelumberyardbar.com