Ken Anderson is going from Full Tilt to full liquor with his new bar in Columbia City. The Hummingbird Saloon will occupy a former print shop right next door to his ice cream parlor on Rainier Ave. S.. "This space opened up and I decided to take it because I was concerned that a dispensary was going to move in and this parking lot was going to get shady again," says Anderson. "Being in the already dicey part of town and trying to have a family-friendly business, that doesn't work, so I decided to occupy the space myself."
Anderson says he's been talking to his wife about opening a restaurant for a long time, "but what really made the difference is that my brother-in-law, Steve, moved to town and he's been a bartender for 20 years. He used to run a place in New Orleans called Checkpoint Charlies and he's a great guy to have in the project."
While Steve tends bar, Anderson will tend to the food. Turns out, the guy has a restaurant background, including a several year stint at Salumi.
"Our aim when we opened Full Tilt was to be a neighborhood hangout and a place we could walk to. We felt like there could be other places that could be accessible in the city and fun and comfortable. We're trying to aim for that with the bar, although it will be 21 and up, full liquor, and we'll have some games—pinball, shuffleboard and a couple of cocktail table, sit-down video games. For food, we'll have Cornish-style pasties and vegetable pies. We'll also do our own sausage and meatballs, burgers, salads, sandwiches and things like that."
Besides a full liquor selection, there will be the usual suspects of a neighborhood bar: beers on tap, local micros. "It'll be pretty simple. We're not trying to be a craft bar. We just want a neighborhood bar. Hearty food, stiff drinks." And no kids, unless the clientele demands them.
As for the name, Anderson says there's no special meaning behind it, unless you consider not wanting to be a regular stop on the police beat special.
"We wanted to make [the saloon] a little softer. In fact, a local police officer came in after we announced we were planning to open and she said, 'Why a saloon? Are you going to open another Angie's?' We emphatically did not want to be another Angie's! I don't really remember why Hummingbird came up, but I do remember seeing a hummingbird out in the parking lot chasing crows, which I had never seen before. Maybe we just didn't have any better ideas, I don't know."
Anderson would like to be open by the holidays, but says January is a more realistic deadline.
Some fun facts about Hummingbird:
· The space used to be a Safeway in the 1950s.
· Several of the saloon's short barstools came from the recently shuttered Funhouse. They'll be used for a giant chess table.
· You'll be able to get pints of Full Tilt ice cream to-go.
· The bar will be open 4-2 a.m., 7 days a week.
· All Coverage of Full Tilt [~ESEA~]