When Marshawn Lynch broke eight tackles on his way to a 67-yard touchdown run against the defending Super Bowl champions, the New Orleans Saints, in the 2011 NFC Wild Card game—literally causing the earth to shake beneath him and forever stamping Beast Mode in Seattle sports fans’ lexicon—I was at a bar in Moscow, Idaho.
I know what you’re thinking: what an idiot. But I was a struggling college student at the time and could barely afford $2 PBR tall cans, let alone a ride to Seattle and a ticket to CenturyLink (then Qwest Field) for what was to become a historic game in Seahawks history.
The point is, sometimes fate has plans that don’t align with our expectations and we must make do with what we’re dealt. Would I have liked to experience the chaos inside the stadium that day? Absolutely. But like Vince Lombardi once said, “The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.” So I experienced the victory at a bar called Sand Piper instead. And that is the story I’ll happily tell my grandkids someday.
With the 2015 season just around the corner, you probably won’t be able to attend every game (cheers to you if you can).
Behold, these are the watering holes wherein to wet your whistle on game day. And although this list isn’t exhaustive, I sampled a lot of beer and sacrificed time I could have spent at the opera and reading books and stuff to dedicate myself to my extensive research. So you’re welcome.
Goofy’s offers ice-cold beer on tap, seven different burgers with 1/3-pound patties, appetizers (from quesadillas and mac n’ cheese to beef chuck sliders and hot wings), HD TVs, and pool tables and video games for halftime entertainment.
Market Arms is traditionally a haven for soccer fans. But on game day, the HD TVs that typically air MLS or Euro-League matches blare Seahawks action for all to enjoy.
The pub also offers a unique European-themed atmosphere, as well as a nice change of pace for fans looking to enjoy the game over some rounds of Guinness or Newcastle Brown. Don’t forget to try the delicious breakfast (served all day), appetizers, fish n' chips, burgers and more. I recommend the full English breakfast, which comes with bacon, sausage, eggs, mushrooms, Heinz baked beans and toast.
One of the greatest moments of my childhood was Ken Griffey Jr.’s epic feet-first slide into home plate to eliminate the dreaded New York Yankees from the 1995 MLB playoffs. In all honesty, 95 Slide could serve spoiled goat milk and I’d still check it out just because of the name.
Luckily, it doesn’t! Expect 12 different draft beers and inexpensive pitchers (Manny’s, Blue Moon and Mack & Jack’s); a diverse menu with tasty burgers, sandwiches and appetizers; and a rooftop bar for when it’s nice outside. Note: This corner of Capitol Hill is slated for eventual redevelopment, but it's definitely business as usual here for this football season.
Owner Shawn Roten is a former contractor who built homes until 2008 when he and his wife decided to enter the bar business. Roten took his knowledge of wood-working and interior design and applied it to his new profession—constructing The Lodge with rare solid black walnut slabs, heavy timber beams and Alaskan cedar planks.
There are also TVs visible from every seat in the house and lots of beer—it offers 48 beers on tap, as well as hand-crafted cocktails and an extensive wine list.
It might not have the most thought-provoking name of any bars on this list, but it’s definitely a sports-lovers paradise—with Seattle sports memorabilia dating back to the early 1900s displayed throughout, 32 HD TVs, a 130-inch HD TV projector and a scrumptious menu featuring New Orleans-style chicken jambalaya, rigatoni Bolognese and Texas steak chili.
This place has it all, including daily drink specials and delicious pub-food menu items—all burgers feature 1/3-pound hand-pressed patties, lettuce, onions, tomato and mayo (the works burger comes with cheddar and Swiss cheese, bacon and a fried onion ring.) Make sure to check out the diverse breakfast menu (Sundays only) as well featuring a variety of scrambled egg combinations, four different kinds of bagel sandwiches, and hangover cures like Bloody Marys, mojitos and mimosas.
Just remember, it’s usually packed on football Sundays so make sure to get there early if you want a seat.
Pioneer Square and Near the Stadium
You’ll probably never make it in the NFL, but maybe being a really good pool player is the next best thing. Even if you’re terrible, it’s still pretty fun, especially when the Seahawks are destroying some poor NFC West foe on the HD TV next to you. Temple Billiards also offers daily specials from 4-8 p.m.
This bar opens at 9:30 a.m. for the September 13 Seahawks opener against the St. Louis Rams. That’s dedication! Here, the beef is locker-aged for a minimum of 21 days and the oyster bar offers six varieties of the tender, shucked-to-order bivalves.
To borrow a line from Grease, “If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.” And there’s no better place to do that than at Quality Athletics. With its motto, “We celebrate sport,” this full-service bar and restaurant features flat-screen TVs, a wood-fired grill, a slushy and snow cone machine, a rooftop garden, outdoor fire pits, a private event space and indoor and outdoor seating.
This self-described five-star dive bar is a great place to watch sports, drink beer, play pool and even sing karaoke if the occasion calls for it. (Although I learned the hard way that it’s a bad idea when the game is on.) It also includes 18 draft beers, hundreds of liquor selections, and a pub menu with burgers, wings, flatbreads and more.
Henry’s pays homage to the 140-year history of Blitz-Weinhard Brewery—at one time the largest brewery in the Northwest—with more than 100 beers on tap from a variety of local brewers and ever-changing seasonal specials. (I really like the Diamond Knot Industrial IPA.)
It also offers a huge lunch and dinner menu, happy hour specials all day Sunday, and a unique game day menu featuring mesquite smoked barbecue baby back ribs and slow-cooked tavern chili.
Seahawks fans might not think highly of a name with “Ram”—the St. Louis Rams being perhaps Seattle’s biggest rival in the competitive NFC West—but names can be deceiving. The first RAM opened in Lakewood 40 years ago and expanded to 30 restaurants in six states. With unique, hand-crafted beer (such as BIG Red IPA, Total Disorder Porter and 71 Pale Ale) and a delicious lunch and dinner menu, the U-District location offers a unique “college bar” feel and HD TVs for game day action.
The Bridge relocated in 2013 to what was once Chuck and Sally’s Tavern (a staple in West Seattle since the FDR administration) and carried with it much of the nostalgia and charm of its previous owners (inside you can find the original Chuck and Sally’s sign and a vintage beer can collection with some cans dating back to the 1930s).
In addition to its rich history, there are also hand-crafted beers (including Hale’s Supergoose IPA, Rotating IPA and Georgetown Manny’s), unique cocktails (try the pineapple express: It comes with Cruzan Rum, muddled limes, mint-infused simple syrup, triple sec and pineapple juice served with ginger beer) and more than 20 items on the brunch menu alone. And with NFL Sunday Ticket packages on HD TVs, it’s definitely a good place to be on game day.