With the wave of new restaurant openings, you knew bars wouldn’t be far behind. There’s a backlog of new breweries and pubs that have delayed their ribbon-cutting ceremonies due to the pandemic. With the loosening of restrictions, expect the floodgates to open before summer revs up. Those with beer gardens and al fresco spaces are usually the first businesses out of the gate.
Stoup Brewing Kenmore
6704 N.E. 181st St., Kenmore; 425-408-1646; facebook.com/stoupbrewingkenmore
The Ballard brewery will expand to Kenmore during the first week of May, in the former Seaplane Kitchen and Bar space. That’s good news for folks in the North End who haven’t had a chance to try one of Seattle’s favorite craft breweries. Stoup is teaming with the Weimann-Maclise restaurant group, which runs mega bar restaurants such as Rhein Haus and Poquitos. Stoup in Kenmore will showcase 20 brews on tap including its signature Citra IPA, while the culinary team at the Weimann-Maclise group will head the food program. Expect a more pub-focused menu with burgers, pizzas and nachos. The new Kenmore bar restaurant can seat 195 customers. Expect another 96 seats to be set up outside during spring and summer (and maybe well into October). Beer geeks will be happy to know Stoup’s anticipated sour beers will be released at both its Ballard and Kenmore locations in June.
Pie Wine Bar
19255 Woodinville Snohomish Road, #2, Woodinville; 425-245-0634; pieladyandspirits.com
Alyssa Bleifuss, who runs the Seattle Pie Bar franchise, has partnered with Wilridge Winery and Distillery to expand her brand to the Eastside. Expect wine and booze pairings to go with her sweet and savory pies. The pie bar showcases 35 different biodynamic wines, brandy and grappa from Wilridge estates, run by Paul Beveridge (yes, that’s his real name). Beveridge’s cherries, peaches, pears, apricots and apples from his Wildridge organic farm in Naches Heights will be used in the fruit pies sold at the Woodinville bar as part of the farm-to-table mantra.
2801 Alaskan Way, Suite 103, Seattle; 206 737-8891; pub70.com
Once all the COVID-19 seating restrictions are lifted, expect this former Irish bar to do booming business along the waterfront. Pub 70 can host 168 guests indoors. But its prime real estate are the two outdoor patios that can seat up to 80. Dogs are also allowed on the patios. There’s even a “doggy menu” where pet owners can order for Fido “the meatloaf” (unseasoned, cooked ground beef, brown rice and carrots) or the chicken and rice with raw carrots ($5.50 each). For its two-legged customers, new management wants to push its weekend brunch. But like all restaurants near the water, this pub also runs a beach-shack-inspired menu that should be a big hit with the tourists. Think fish tacos, fish and chips and clam chowder.
Trade Winds Tavern
2505 Second Ave., #105, Seattle
Here Today brewery is one of the year’s most anticipated openings in the waterfront area, but we have to wait until summer as management is still waiting for its building permits. In the meantime, two owners behind that brewery project, Chris Elford and Anu Apte-Elford, are focused on a May opening for their other new baby, the ’70s Midwestern-themed Trade Winds Tavern, which will replace their Belltown bar No Anchor. Expect plenty of craft cocktails and other Midwestern-inspired pub grub like fried cheese curds. The couple also runs one of Seattle’s best cocktail bars, Rob Roy, which will reopen on May 6.
George & Dragon Public House
206 N. 36th St., Seattle; 206-695-2768; theegeorge.com
Seattle’s most popular soccer bar is under new ownership, but sports fans can exhale. Management just gave the old bar a face-lift with new paint and furniture. Focus remains on soccer. Doors will still open at 6 a.m. or whatever ungodly hour the big matches are played in Europe. Check the website for hours of operation on game days. All six televisions will show English Premier League matches, including a telly on the patio. Come summer, management wants to turn the front parking lot into a beer garden with 15 more tables and set up a 150-inch projector. The soccer pub boasts 24 taps including many European ales and a new craft-cocktail menu. Chef Erin Dejarnette, formerly of Queen Anne Beerhall, has launched a new food menu as well; some generous portions, especially the sandwiches from steak to fish fillet, served with fries ($15-$16). Either sandwich can work as a light lunch for two.
Whiskey by John Howie
Located inside The Shops at The Bravern, 11111 N.E. Eighth St., Bellevue; 425-406-7938; johnhowiesteak.com
The bar next to John Howie Steak restaurant offers limited hours, but management plans to increase days of operation in the coming weeks (unless King County falls back into Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, with limited seating allowed). The well-curated list of 400 whiskeys from around the world includes some rare and private barrels for the expense-account set. The craft-cocktail list also focuses on bourbon, rye and Scotch drinks.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Concourse B; facebook.com/RelLishBurgerLounge
The new pop-up by Kathy Casey at the airport is exactly what it sounds like. You order and knock back 2 ounces of tequila, Jack Daniels or a Fireball whiskey, served in a red Solo cup. But you have not lived until you down a Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey. The shot counter is located in Rel’Lish Burger Lounge.
Some spring cleaning:
The Matador, home of the best nachos in Seattle, will move its flagship Ballard bar just 350 feet south to the old Ballard Annex Oyster House restaurant space. Reopening is scheduled for April 30. The new 5,000-square-foot digs are almost twice as big as its current corner space, and can seat 176 people inside and on the patio. The Matador will have no problem filling every one of those seats. It’s arguably the busiest bar around the Ballard commercial drag, with long lines outside on weekends already.
In Woodinville, Locust Cider & Brewing Co. will move its canning and production operations into a bigger pad in Gig Harbor as part of its expansion plan. That frees up space to add more seats and expand its Woodinville tasting room. Part of that Eastside space will be used to make small cider batches that will be barrel-aged and bottled for special releases.