The Angry Beaver may be the most star-crossed bar in Seattle. Opened in 2012 by Canadian Tim Pipes (nearly a decade before Seattle even had a hockey team), the hockey bar had to endure an NHL lockout in its inaugural season, then caught the brunt of a massive explosion that rocked Greenwood in 2016. Then there was the pandemic. Now, in the wake of the bar’s plumbing freezing, then bursting, it doesn’t sound as if Pipes is able to keep things going.
“It’s time for me to get out,” the owner said in an email to Eater Seattle. “I’ve created something beautiful and a community at my bar, but after 11 and and a half years, I need to get on with my life desperately. This business has just about killed me.”
The cold snap that hit the region last week froze the Beaver’s pipes, then a water main broke, flooding the bar and forcing it to close. But the bar was already struggling before that. In a Facebook post on Wednesday, January 17, Pipes said that other problems included debt he’s incurred and the recent suicide of an employee. The owner started a GoFundMe this week to help him reopen that referred to “our never-ending stream of bad luck” — though it raised nearly $10,000 in two days, Pipes is ultimately looking to move on from the Angry Beaver. That could take the form of selling the business or maybe turning it into a co-op owned by hockey fans. “Bankruptcy has become a very real option at this point.” Pipes wrote on Facebook.
“I would like to see it continued on as a hockey bar,” Pipes told Eater Seattle. “Either way, I’m trying to save my life right now.”
More hot chicken heads to Seattle
In lighter news, Nashville-style chicken franchise Houston TX Hot Chicken plans to open its first Seattle location (at 101 Denny Way) this June, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal. The chain was founded in Texas and has locations across the West, including one in Spokane. This follows a LOT of fried chicken chains opening around here, including an outpost of Drake-backed Dave’s Hot Chicken on Capitol Hill and the Seattle-incubated Mt. Joy not far away.
Olympia Coffee expands downtown
Olympia, one of the region’s hottest coffee roasters, is getting its first downtown Seattle location, a press release announced this week. It will be part of the Cedar Hall “retail experience” at U.S. Bank Center on Fifth Avenue. There’s no opening date yet but the plan is for it to come online sometime in mid-2024.
Want free food?
A couple of (very different) local chains are offering some celebratory deals. First, on its 70th birthday, ubiquitous Seattle burger drive-in Dick’s is offering 19-cent burgers (the original price when the first location opened in 1954) over a three-day period from January 23 to January 25. (Different locations will be offering the deal on different days.) It’s one per customer, and you can’t order these cheap burgs through DoorDash. In fact, Dick’s will turn DoorDash off while this promotion is happening — but c’mon, who is ordering Dick’s through DoorDash??
A more upscale deal is being offered by Ethan Stowell’s Italian joint Tavolata, which has three Seattle locations and another in Redmond. On Monday, February 5, in honor of its 17th birthday, the mini-chain will give every table a free plate of rigatoni.
Dick's Drive-In will hold its annual 19¢ Burger Days next week, offering the promotion (one per customer) Tuesday at the Wallingford, Broadway and Lake City locations, Wednesday at Holman Road, Crossroads and Federal Way and Thursday at Edmonds, Queen Anne, and Kent.… pic.twitter.com/eJ8POchT1J— Joe Veyera (@JoeVeyera) January 17, 2024
Legendary chef retires
Finally, a shoutout to Wayne Johnson, a chef who has run the kitchen at Ray’s Boathouse and co-owned Renton’s (now closed) Shuga Jazz Bistro, but is maybe better known for his work at FareStart, a nonprofit that provides free meals to people in need and job training for those who have suffered from poverty, homelessness, or incarceration. He announced his retirement this week, though he’ll still be involved with local government and nonprofit initiatives. “Mentally, I would go in there and always felt like I was getting recharged at the same time. It never felt like work,” he said of his involvement with FareStart in an interview with the Seattle Times.