On warm summer days the main problem facing visitors to Reuben’s Brews, one of Seattle’s most famous craft breweries, is that there’s often nowhere to sit. Located at the heart of the Ballard brewery district, Reuben’s draws in taproom crawlers, families whose parents need a break, post-ride or post-run or post-climb workout crowds, and tourists who have been seeing that stylized “R” logo all over grocery stores and want to see what all the fuss is about.
To help deal with that overflow crowd, Reuben’s is expanding beyond the Ballard borders — well, just beyond. This week the brewery announced via press release that it is putting a taproom at 4401 Fremont Avenue, a stone’s throw (and a long hill climb) up from its brewery. There’s no official opening date yet, though a Reuben’s spokesperson told Eater Seattle that the company is shooting for “early fall” (which would be very soon).
The address may be familiar to Seattleites who used to frequent Vif, the well-loved cafe and wine bar that closed in late 2021. It currently serves as the baking facility for the General Harvest restaurant group. The site, like about 40 percent of Seattle, is slated for redevelopment into a multistory mixed-use building, but the Reuben’s spokesperson told Eater Seattle that “the development plans are tentative as of now and we intend to stay there as long as we can.”
That stretch of Fremont is home to several well-regarded lunch and dinner spots, like RockCreek, Le Coin, and Fremont Bowl, but there aren’t many drinking establishments around there except for Ha!, an eclectic diner/Mexican restaurant/bar. When it’s up and running, the taproom plans to be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with indoor and outdoor seating and food provided by the brewery’s Reuben’s Eats.