One of the surprise hits on the bar scene, this Sunset Hill neighborhood spot just opened up a 24-seat back patio, which should alleviate the sardine-packed crowd on Friday and Saturday evenings. Owner Brian Smith turned this slab of concrete into a cozy green nook with olive trees and a dozen plants from deer fern to flowering jasmine. Those sage, mint and other herbs aren’t just for décor; they will be incorporated into the new cocktail menu that launches in late August. The kitchen is also open later (til 11 p.m.) to accommodate the crowd.

6408 32nd Ave. N.W. (Ballard), Seattle;

Marina Cantina at Agua Verde Café

Marina Cantina by Portage Bay is the new 65-seat patio next to Agua Verde Cafe. (Courtesy of Chris Genau)

This is a gravel space that restaurateur Travis Rosenthal remade into a 65-seat oasis by Portage Bay. The patio is part of the Agua Verde Café that Rosenthal, who owns Rumba on Capitol Hill, purchased earlier this year. You get the marina vibe with the speed boats nuzzling the dock and passersby in swimming trunks and flip-flops. It’s a simple, Mexican-inspired bar menu from margaritas to tropical rum drinks and for food, tacos and tortas.

1303 N.E. Boat St. (Portage Bay), Seattle; 206-545-8570,


Pacific Room Alki

The beach bistro seats about 100 inside, but its primo real estate are the 30 chairs by the sidewalk with sweeping vistas of the Sound. There’s happy hour (weekdays 3-6 p.m.) with $2 off on beer, wine, cocktails and appetizers, though look for an expanded discounted food-and-drink bar menu to launch by mid-August. Expect live jazz, folk music and Frank Sinatra covers Thursdays-Sundays.

2808 Alki Ave. S.W., 206-829-9695

Dock & Anchor

The Hyatt Regency Lake Washington has added a beer garden, Dock & Anchor, a few feet from the water to take advantage of the crowd of sunbathers and dog walkers who already hang out in the backyard of this scenic hotel. This temporary 40-seat patio opens only from 4-8 p.m. on Fridays and from 1-8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day. The bar also does tacos, sliders and other simple $3-$4 bar noshes. Sunday is “Yappy Hour,” where dog owners can bring their pets.

1053 Lake Washington Blvd. N. (Renton) 425-203-1234 (search for “Renton”).