With a bike or a strong pair of legs you can’t beat Interbay for offering some of the best places to toss down a cold one, red or white one, strong one or hot one.
Interbay offers a world class backdrop to your thirst. Let’s start at Fishermen’s Terminal. With the northern fishing fleet at your feet, Chinnok’s and the Highliner Pub and Grill can’t be beat. If you time your visit to Chinook’s right, you can eat an endless mound of fish and chips with a full service bar.
Just around the corner is the new Highliner Pub and Grill Formerly a salty dog tavern with live music and pool tables (yea, I kinda miss it), it now offers great food put together by Jason McClure, executive chef of Sazerac bar and restaurant in downtown Seattle. They take the freshest fish available from the Wild Salmon Seafood Market each day. Along with other pub fare they offer 15 beers on tap and banks of TV’s to cater to the sports enthusiast.
As you leave Fishermen’s Terminal, find the bike path (which is finishing the final link underneath the Ballard Bridge this year), and make your way over the tracks to the Boxcar Ale House. This place is party central at night with serious karaoke and trivia nights. Locals love the no pretentious vibe, cheap drinks, and endless games of pool. During the day, rail workers and mechanics chill out after a long day of clanging and coupling train cars. This place is the real deal and reminds me of the old Roadhouse Bar in Fremont – bikers and all.
If a true Irish pour of Guinness is what you’re after, head south on Gilman W. and take a right turn at the Arco Gas Station up to Mulleady’s Irish pub. This place is beautiful inside and has a romantic and cozy atmosphere. If you’re looking for a place to get to know someone over Shepard’s Pie, drinks and darts, this is the place for you.
Time to get some air and stretch those legs. Get on back down to Thorndyke and find the bike path that heads south to the cruise ship terminal. The bike path hugs the lowlands of Magnolia and goes underneath the Magnolia Bridge. Pause at Smith Cove and take in the massive cruise boats, grain ships and fishing vessels.
If you really want to hang on Elliott Bay, follow the water west to Maggie Bluffs — voted favorite outside dining by many locals. During the summer this place next to Elliott Bay Marina is the ideal place to have a Mojito, Margarita or crisp glass of wine. The food is great and the background can’t be beat. If the weather is on the chilly side and you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, hit the bar upstairs in the Palisades which has amazing food at happy hour.
I was told to never mix the grape with the grain but our next two stops will toss that advice out the window. Head back east to 15th Ave. W. and jog south a block to Ward Johnson Winery. This is a place for discovering new wines and scoring some good deals on cases (when you come back with your car). This is what one person had to say about Ward’s winery – “15th avenue was lost once I stepped inside; this could have been any other small, self-contained “warehouse” winery, even if it did stand out for being brighter, whiter, and better-lit than average. Beach Boys blasted from the sound system in a way that made it clear that the winemaker was at work nearby while in-between visitors, so I admired the local artwork until a casually-dressed middle aged man emerged from behind some steel tanks and a set of glass double doors.”
And now for the grain and the hottest new trend – custom made vodka (along with whiskey and gin in Woodinville). Cross over 15th Ave. W. and go a few blocks north. Next to a consignment shop you will see a wall with octopus tentacles wrapping around a bottle. Behind the walls of Sound Spirits, Steve Stone will happily pour you a taste of his award winning vodka called Ebb + Flow – a single malt vodka make from 100% Washington Palouse Malted Barley. Most days of the week Steve is working on another batch and encourages everyone to drop by and sip the latest. He offers tours and shares methods distilling vodka.
Conclude your liquid tour of Interbay by retracing your route via the bike path or just head north down 15th Ave. W. to Fishermen’s Terminal. As Interbay continues to grow, more restaurants, pubs and bars are sure to follow. Stay tune to this website for the latest info, and ya’ll get home safely now.