Local hockey fans have been waiting for this moment a long time. On Wednesday, July 21, the city’s much-heralded new pro sports team, the Seattle Kraken, will select their full 30-man roster from a list of unprotected players across the NHL, one from each other team, excluding the Las Vegas Golden Knights. This expansion draft (airing on ESPN2 at 5 p.m. PT) will have plenty of pomp and circumstance, including an official star-studded event at Gas Works Park. But for those who want to support local businesses, there are also watch parties around the area at various sports-loving bars and restaurants. Here are a few notable places that will be hanging on every player picked.
Ever since it opened in 2012, this Greenwood bar has been known as Seattle’s premier destination for hockey diehards. There’s a menu of Canadian specialties, including “flights” of poutine, plus twelve rotating taps to wash them down. Owner Tim Pipes says he expects a packed house on draft day, and will open the doors at 2 p.m. with the event playing on every TV in the joint.
Bosk Brew Works
This family owned and operated brewery in Woodinville has a laid-back atmosphere and an outdoor patio that’s both dog and kid-friendly. It’s also advertising a watch party for the expansion draft, with doors opening at 4 p.m. On the menu are malty IPAs and lagers, and there will also be a food truck parked outside.
The Queen Anne location of the iconic local burger franchise is leaning into all the hype this week for Seattle’s NHL team, setting up a huge screen in the parking lot to watch the draft festivities, complete with some lawn games. Dick’s is also sending out its new food truck out to West Seattle Brewing Company, where it will camp out during the event and sling some patties from 4-7 p.m.
Queen Anne Beer Hall
This cavernous bar in Lower Queen Anne with a Bavarian bent has gained a reputation as a good sports venue, with a giant screen on display for big events and plenty of German beers on draft. For Wednesday’s fete, there are liters of Fremont Sky Kraken on offer, as well as $8 Kraken Rum and Cokes, plus 75-cent wings. Those who want to stick around after the last player is picked will be treated to a live DJ.
Though it’s more of a Midwestern-leaning sports bar (it’s lately been lively with Milwaukee Bucks fans watching the NBA Finals), this Fremont den shows plenty of support for hometown teams as well. It’s one of several bars listed as working with the Seattle Kraken for local watch parties, and should be a lively place to catch the draft while ordering appropriately named dishes such as the “hat trick” mac and cheese.
Rookies Bar & Grill
Columbia City’s reliable sports-watching brewpub serves solid bar bites (such as the Irish nachos, topped with beer cheese and shredded corned beef) and stiff drinks in a welcoming space. For the expansion draft, there will be a few discounts on Kraken Rum cocktails, as well as half-priced wings all day in flavors such as Buffalo, smokehouse dry rub, honey mustard, and spicy garlic. There’s also a happy hour that runs from 4-6 p.m.