Our latest roll call of new bars underscored just how eclectic our drinking scene has become in recent years. We welcome not just another brewery and two craft cocktail bars but also a cider tasting room, a Champagne bar and a 24-tap wine cafe where patrons can pour for themselves.
Reckless Cocktail Lounge
2519 S. Jackson St. (Central District), Seattle; 206-329-5499; recklessnoodles.com
The trendy restaurant row near the corner of South Jackson Street and 25th Avenue South continues to expand. The latest is a 34-seat cocktail den, from the guys behind the popular Reckless Noodle restaurant next door, which has patrons lining up along the sidewalk waiting for tables on weekends. At least now there’s a waiting area at the Reckless lounge, where you can kill time playing shuffleboard, darts or catch a game on the flat-screens ’til your table is ready. The cocktail list skews toward tropical libations like the mai tai, the painkiller and slushies, with steaming housemade bao to fortify you between tiki drinks. Reckless aims to stay open ’til 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday like other busy barhopping drags in Ballard and Capitol Hill. All the drink and eat spots here usually have last call as early as 10 p.m. The 2 a.m. closing signals how this once quiet, dark drag has been redefined of late with more than 500 apartment units and town houses sprouting up within a five-block radius.
The Traveling Goat
621 ½ Queen Anne Ave. N. (Uptown), Seattle; 206-588-1501; travelinggoatseattle.com
The 56-seat bar sits near Climate Pledge Arena and draws the pre-funk and the post-game Kraken crowd. The bar is run and staffed by husband and wife Steve (bartender and host) and Tina Nicoles (chef), and they serve up some excellent Asian fusion tacos from a basil pork taco to a larb pork version.
Even if the Kraken don’t win another game, they’re already a winner in the eyes of the bar community around Uptown as many barkeepers reportedly are seeing an uptick in foot traffic on game nights. The Traveling Goat is just the latest to debut near the hockey arena. The sports bar Cairde Public House debuted before the first faceoff, followed by The Bad Bar, which is already in the middle of building a second bar upstairs called Good Times, a Spaghetti Western-themed space. Rochambeau is another Uptown bar expected to open next month.
Ladd & Lass Brewing
722 N.E. 45th St. (University District), Seattle; 206-257-0132; laddandlassbrewing.com
Seattle boasts a vibrant craft beer scene with 75 breweries and taprooms in the city limits, one of the highest per capita in the United States, according to the Washington Beer Commission. The latest taproom comes from the husband-and-wife duo of Nick Ladd and Jessie Quan, who opened along a busy U District intersection near Interstate 5. Lots of lagers and hoppy beers on their 14 taps, with some barrel-aged suds and barley wines coming soon for the beer geeks. The 50-seat taproom allows customers under 21 until 7 p.m. Owners can also bring their pets. Ladd & Lass Brewing takes over the space that once housed Floating Bridge Brewing and the Rainbow Tavern, the latter an iconic music venue where The Ramones and Soundgarden performed. Concert posters and other memorabilia of the Rainbow Tavern’s heyday adorn the walls of the brewery.
Chez Phinney Wine Bar
7400 Greenwood Ave. N. (Phinney Ridge), Seattle; 206-656-7400; chezphinney.com
This North Seattle bar boasts 24 different whites and reds that patrons can pour from the dispensers, from a 1-ounce sample to a full glass. Their rotating list of local wine and Old World bottles showcases many wines made by women and winemakers of color or whose wineries are owned by people of color. There are 32 seats, but owners Julie and Andrew Goldstein have filed for a permit to add a sidewalk-style cafe in the spring.
Brownrigg Hard Cider
945 Elliott Ave. W., #202 (Interbay), Seattle; 206-790-3847; brownrigghardcider.com
The cider house offers a dozen drinks sourced with apples from Yakima, including a hard cider aged in a rye barrel. The 45-seat tasting room is a dog- and kid-friendly venue. Brownrigg moved into digs near Champagne Diner and Skybound Spirits in Interbay, right by the Expedia office complex, where up to 4,500 office workers were expected before the pandemic. Many nearby tasting rooms and cafes are keeping their fingers crossed the office workers will return for the lunch rush and happy hour.
Pop Culture Champagne Bar
42 Lakeshore Plaza, Kirkland; 206-300-4495; sippopculture.com
With one of the largest bubblies-by-the-glass selection on the Eastside, this marina wine bar offers a dozen Champagnes and other sparkling wines on the menu, with cheese and charcuterie to pair. Pop Culture doubles as a retail shop with about 50 different bottles including a $275 Dom Pérignon for the ballers. The 25-seat bar is a stone’s throw away from the marina park. If you wanna brave the cold in exchange for the water view, order a $7 glass of Cava and grab a patio seat under the canopies.
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