If folks didn't strike it rich during the Klondike Gold Rush, they could have flocked to the J&M in Pioneer Square to try their luck gambling. But once the droves of prospectors dwindled and the chatter around the card tables quieted, the establishment, established 1889, the oldest bar in Seattle wild salmon hand cut fries and hand formed burgers, had to adapt. It became the J&H Hotel for a stretch and then the J&M Saloon for a period.
But today, two doors north of its original address, one of Seattle's oldest bars lives on as J&M Cafe. If you compare the old black-and-white photos with the modern Instragramed ones, you'll see similarities—notably the pressed tin ceiling, the back bar made from Austrian mahogany, and Jimmy, a ghost still searching for his misplaced sack of gold. New are the flat-screen TVs, the more than 25 types of beer—including eight on tap—and the burgers, which are made from locally sourced ingredients such as ground beef, wild salmon, and Alaskan cod, and served alongside hand-cut fries. The spot has even become known as a reliable music venue, hosting acts on a near nightly basis.
Seattle’s Best Karaoke: A User’s Guide
Private Karaoke Rooms | BYOB | 23,000+ Songs | Multi-Language Songbook
Where to Sit: in a private room, where you and your party can belt out as many tunes as you want.
When to Go: late at night; the place is open until midnight on weekdays and 3 a.m. on weekends.
While You’re Waiting
Peruse the massive songbook, which lists more than 12,000 English songs, 11,000 Japanese songs, and plenty of Latin and Indonesian tunes.
While Seattle’s Best Karaoke doesn’t serve food or drinks, they allow both inside, so feel free to bring something to snack or sip on. You will, however, need to purchase a $10 Banquet Permit online to bring alcoholic beverages.
Want to belt out your best Bruce Springsteen in the privacy of your own home? SBK delivers karaoke systems for on-location parties.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Practice moves for ensuing Karaoke performances by hitting the floor at Salsa N’ Seattle Dance Studio, which hosts open salsa and swing dancing on select evenings.
After: Head to Da Spot Hookah Lounge and blow smoke rings until 4 a.m. on the weekends.
Bush Garden: A User’s Guide
Keywords: Japanese Cuisine | Karaoke | Late-Night Bar Menu | Open Since 1953
* Appetizer: tempura prawns and vegetables
* Entree: broiled black cod kasuzuke marinated in sake paste
* Sushi: Bamboo roll with eel, avocado, and cucumber
Brush Off Your Karaoke Favorites: Karaoke is one of Bush Garden’s main draws, beginning every night at 9:30 p.m., except Sundays, when it begins at 5 p.m.
If You Work Up an Appetite Singing: there’s a late-night menu serving calamari, yakitori, and deep-fried karaage chicken until midnight.
Conversation Starter: Bush Garden opened in 1953 and was once a ritzy destination, drawing visits from the likes of Joe DiMaggio and members of Japan’s royal family. Though the original owners, Roy and Joan Seko, sold the restaurant in 1996, one of today’s owners, Karen Sakata, was a Bush Garden waitress in the 1970s.
Where to Sit
Tatami Rooms: These private rooms, some of which seat up to 50 people, feature low-slung tables atop floors lined with tatami mats. These are ideal for larger parties, special events, or preventing misbehaving children from hiding under the table.
Booths: The booths run along the dining-room walls and feature dividers between each, allowing more privacy than typical booths.
Sushi Counter: Sit at the sushi counter to watch the chef expertly execute fresh-fish preparations.
Karaage: a Japanese dish prepared by marinating small pieces of meat (typically chicken) in a mix of sauces, dredging them flour, and then deep-frying them until crispy.
Sashimi: sliced raw fish or meat that, unlike sushi, is not served with rice.
In Focus: The Cuff Complex
The atmosphere: leather-themed gay bar and club
One word to describe the venue: Massive—it encompasses three bars, a dance floor, and a patio.
One word to describe the cocktails: strong
Best time to go for cheap drinks: daily happy hour from 2–8 p.m.
Live events: DJ sets, themed parties, and movie screenings
Local buzz: Zagat named it one of the best LGBT nightspots in Seattle.
Find delicious sandwiches at other American favorites at Tini Bigs Lounge.
With this restaurant's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening.
Happy hour at Tini Bigs Lounge is filled with deals and steals.
Dine under the sun (or stars) at Tini Bigs Lounge with their charming outdoor seating.
Wifi is on the house at Tini Bigs Lounge, so you can stay connected on your mobile device.
Those hoping to avoid the weekend rush will do best visiting the restaurant during the week.
No suit, no problem! The dress code at laid-back Tini Bigs Lounge is ultra casual.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
Ample parking is located near Tini Bigs Lounge.
A mid-priced establishment, Tini Bigs Lounge offers meals that typically cost about $30 or less.
For a dish just like mom made, you'll definitely want to stop by Tini Bigs Lounge's tasty restaurant.
For highly-rated American cuisine, look no further than Tini Bigs Lounge.
The Three Faces of Hula Hula
Local, Sustainable Menu
Hula Hula claims its got the world’s best karaoke food, and with one look at the menu, you’d be hard-pressed to argue. Most of its items are shareable and easy to nosh on between songs, from plates of spanish steamed clams to flatbread pizzas or red-bean quesadillas. A small menu of sandwiches includes a hamburger and grilled chicken, and every Wednesday night, the special is fried chicken. Best of all, the kitchen uses sustainable meats, seafood, and produce from small local farms.
There’s a theme here, and it’s tropical. The cocktail menu spotlights fruit juices and traditional tropical liqueurs in cocktails that are sure to inspire a few beach-vacation daydreams, from classics like the Mai Tai to signature drinks like the Hina Hula, which mixes Finlandia vodka, pineapple juice, and Chambord. Bartenders whip up more liquid karaoke courage in the form of Zombie Bowls and shots, such as the Fire Dancer, made with Fire Eater whiskey and fresh apple juice.
Every night at 9 p.m., customers give back by becoming the bar’s entertainment. Against the tiki-style backdrop of bamboo and images of hula girls, anyone is invited up to the stage to croon. The staff even helpfully provides performance tips.