The origins of Tim's Tavern on 105th are shrouded in mystery. Built during prohibition, the building may or may not have been a speakeasy before transforming into a straightforward bar in 1935. Though it has changed hands and sizes since then, the spot has maintained its reputation as a fun local hangout with a wide selection of whiskeys and cocktails. It hosts different events every night of the week, from trivia to bingo to open mic comedy and live music. While guests enjoy whatever the night's entertainment may be, then can also dig into comfort food favorites such as daily pulled pork sandwiches, kielbasa brats on the weekends, smoked ribs on Thursdays, and tacos on Tuesdays. These pair well with the bar's stable of ten draft beers, which always includes a cider, Bud Light, Rainier, and seven craft brews. There is also one nitro tap hiding amongst the others, so that bartenders can pour out brews that are as smooth and carbonation-free as that 20-year-old bottle of Pepsi you're aging in the cellar for a special occasion.
The Diller Room is a friendly booze hall located in an 1890 Gold Rush hotel, with inventive cocktails, house pizzas and a diverse clientele. The Diller Room’s original brick walls and stained glass give it a “way back when” feel, and the drinks include old standbys like gimlets and sidecars. There are modern touches, of course, including the much-loved Dillerlicious, made with house-infused blueberry vodka. Pizzas also fall along traditional lines, like the Margherita and the sausage models, although a few seasonal pies like the Autumn Apple Pizza may include such contemporary favorites as bleu cheese, caramelized onions and apple slices. Sports fans love that The Diller Room is a straight shot down First Avenue to Safeco Field for Mariners baseball games, and to CenturyLink Field for Sounders soccer games and Seahawks football, with plenty of bus and light rail transportation close by.
At 95 Slide, flat-screen televisions dot the walls between illustrated portraits of athletes, keeping fans up to date on the latest games with a wealth of sports packages. The bar encourages customers to reserve a booth for game days and get even closer to the action by watching on a dedicated screen. To help patrons celebrate or commiserate over that night’s match, chefs splash five choices of sauce over chicken wings made from Draper Valley poultry or grill sliders with housemade veggie patties. Barkeeps supply beers from the tap or create eight specialty cocktails, which guests can sip while listening to the weekend evenings' DJ or taking in fresh air on the outdoor deck. Arcade games such as Baby Pac-Man and Street Fighter II entertain competitors striving to expunge rivals' names from the high-score tables as well as their parents' wills.
It’s hard to believe that the space known today as Pony was once a 1930s gas-station building. Now, thumping beats reverberate from the walls as featured DJs spin new wave, punk rock, and indie tunes. Guests flock for the dance music, as well as for the happy-hour beverages served all week long: “People [were] having so much fun, it was kind of scary,” said Bethany Jean Clement in a 2011 review for The Stranger. This carefree vibe has been cultivated at the Pony since the 1970s when it first opened—it’s also what the bar’s proprietors sought to restore when they reopened it in 2009. The newer Pony boasts an outdoor space that its predecessor never had: a patio with a retractable roof and gas fire pit where guests have full reception if they want to tell their friends to join via smoke signal.
The EMP Museum stands as a common ground between the realms of rock music and science fiction. When viewed from above, it appears to be the creation of a mad scientist bent on fusing a human heart with a broken guitar. The Seattle monorail passes through its left ventricle like a giant metal mozzarella stick, and the stone oven of Pop Kitchen + Bar burns at its very core. A Wolfgang Puck–affiliated restaurant, Pop Kitchen + Bar enlists award-winning chefs to shape entrees with locally sourced ingredients. Seasonally inspired menu items include smoked-gouda mac 'n' cheese and salads garnished with candied pecans. Private tables and a granite-topped bar run the length of the contemporary dining area, providing guests an excellent viewing opportunity to watch bartenders as they mix cocktails with artful precision and the grace of swans with thumbs.
The 25th anniversary celebration at Madison Pub reflected the bar's general attitude: not a lot of frills or fuss, just good drink specials in a comfortable neighborhood joint. The Capitol Hill gay bar prides itself on its regulars, including its staff—the current owner started as a bartender there in 1992. Perhaps Seattle Gay News described it best: "Madison Pub is the kind of place where you'll always see a familiar face." Madison Pub sticks to tried-and-true bar staples: a jukebox, pool and darts tourneys, and Mariners, Seahawks, and Sounders games on its high-def TVs. In the early years, it didn't even serve liquor, sticking to beer and wine. Today, however, bartenders concoct cocktails at the full bar, along with cracking open domestic and imported beers.