Food & Drink

The 8 Oldest Bars in Seattle

Published On 03/05/2015 Published On 03/05/2015
Chona Kasinger/Thrillist
Jules Maes Saloon
Flickr/josh
Flickr/rioncm
The 5 Point Cafe
Flickr/¡Carlitos
Chona Kasinger/Thrillist
Chona Kasinger/Thrillist
Chona Kasinger/Thrillist
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1. Jules Maes Saloon 5919 Airport Way S, Seattle, WA 98108 (Georgetown)

Pre-prohibition, the Jules Maes in Georgetown was serving up that gool ‘ol firewater. This grungy old bar at the corner of Airport Way and Nebraska serves up stiff drinks and frequently hosts live music.

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2. The J & M Cafe 201 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 (Pioneer Square)

Vigorously beautified by the former Fenix owner, the oldest bar in Seattle has a mammoth wooden main bar and an open kitchen to go with the old charms (its name in stained glass above the door, the antique plaster ceiling, the charmingly cavernous interior), all in an attempt to set the iconic night spot "as it should be", which given its history as a gold rush flop-house, prohibition speakeasy, and illegal brothel, was a pretty risque proposition.

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3. The Central Saloon 207 1st Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

This casual saloon opened in the 19th century and serves tons of excellent American pub food.

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4. The 5 Point Cafe 415 Cedar St, Seattle, WA 98121 (Belltown)

It's hard to argue with this quirky's dive's tagline: "Alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929" -- these guys have been serving boozy concoctions way under the radar since just before the end of prohibition, and it shows. The same goes for its heaping breakfasts of chicken & biscuits, plate-sized pancakes, and vegetarian hash and endless selection of classic burgers, sandwiches, and classic American comfort foods that make an ideal pair for a pint or specialty cocktail.

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5. The Mecca Cafe & Bar 526 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 (Queen Anne)

Any bar with a motto like "alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929", all-day breakfast, and a jukebox playing Coltrane, The Pixies, Tom Waits, and... um, Wham, is probably the place for you. So why aren't you at Mecca Cafe & Bar right now?

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6. Blue Moon Tavern 712 NE 45th St, Seattle, WA 98105 (University District)

Home to the beat poets back in the day, the Blue Moon’s roots extend far beyond that decade. In fact, it’s the first and oldest bar in the U-District. By state law, the bar had to be at least one mile away from the UW, locating it precisely where it is, just off the freeway.

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7. Duchess Tavern 2827 NE 55th St, Seattle, WA 98104 (University District)

Planting its roots in Ravenna far before the era of parking lots, this large, yet cozy UW bar not too far from the U-Village has seen its fair share of rowdy scholars getting down on a Saturday night. Decked out with two fireplaces, an outdoor smoking area/patio (remember when you could do that inside?) and more Husky regalia than one could possibly imagine, the Duchess has been home to a good time since at least 1934.

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8. The Tin Hat Bar & Grill 512 NW 65th St, Seattle, WA 98117 (Phinney Ridge)

The Tin Hat is one of Seattle’s older bars… and a magical time machine back to an easier, simpler time. After all, any place whose motto is “Shut the F Up and Drink” is a place we want to be at.

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