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A bar in a wood-paneled room with velvet armchairs and brown leather couches.
The Founders Club, a high-end speakeasy in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.
Into Dust Photography

Seattle’s Hottest New Cocktail Bars

A reboot of Admiral Benbow Room and more bars to check out

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The Founders Club, a high-end speakeasy in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.
| Into Dust Photography

Seattle’s bar scene might have taken a hit with temporary, and permanent, closures during the pandemic, but a slew of recently-opened bars reflect an industry that’s bouncing back. From Carnelian Bay, an immersive sci-fi bar in Fremont to Bar Miriam, which serves an ambitious food and craft cocktail menu in Queen Anne, there’s a new drinking den to suit whatever the mood requires. Here are some favorite bars opened from the last six months or so.

Added this month: Benbow Room, Rochambeau, and Otter on the Rocks.

Know of a spot that should be on our radar? Send us a tip by emailing seattle@eater.com. As usual, this list is not ranked; it’s organized geographically.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Bar Miriam

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Bar Miriam, under the same ownership as Baker’s in Sunset Hill, has been impressing local food critics with its food and drink menu since it opened earlier this year. The food menu include creative snacks like Kentucky-fried soft shell crab, smoked trout churros, and tandoori eggplant with cilantro-chili chutney, yogurt, and mint. The cocktails match the food in quality, with boozy concoctions like the Talent Scout, made with bourbon, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, and angostura. The business is open seven days a week. It doesn’t take reservations, and wait times can be long on weekends.

Lariat bar

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White Center’s wrestling-themed bar Lariat aims to be a destination for Seattle’s underserved wrestling fans, as well as a cozy spot for locals. Filled with nostalgic wrestling memorabilia, notably from the 1980s and 1990s, Lariat also has TVs and a mini wrestling ring.

Carnelian Bay

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Carnelian Bay is Stampede and Dreamland Bar and Diner owner Paul Shanrock’s new neotropical sci-fi themed bar that’s operating on the covered patio of Dreamland in Fremont. The menu features traditional tiki drinks like pearl divers and tequila drinks in cobra mugs, as well as ten house cocktails that — with blurbs on the menu — tell a narrative in a sci-fi world Shanrock started developing at Stampede. Bar snacks include loco moco, honey walnut torpedo shrimp, and green papaya salad.

A bar, lit up by neon blue, purple, and red lights, with tropical plant decorations above it.
The bar at Carnelian Bay.
Paul Shanrock

Crumby Sandwich & Spirits

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Fremont’s upscale sandwich shop Crumby offers exceptional menu items like braised beef, crab cakes, or buttermilk chicken sandwiches, and the spirits side of the menu is just as robust. Check out Crumby’s blackberry cocktail made with bourbon, all spice, and egg whites, or the “build-your-own bloody mary” options on Sundays.

Former gastropub Lazy Susan in Queen Anne has reopened as SZN under new owner Jack Cheung. Diners will find similar playful decor and Korean-Mexican snacks on the menu as before, but the drinks side is where the spot really shines, with some inventive twists on classic cocktails. Try the SZN old fashioned with rye whiskey, Angostura bitters, and maple; or the Bustling ID made with vodka, lychee, orange liqueur and lemon.

Founders Club

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The historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel recently opened its new speakeasy Founders Club, located literally behind a bookcase just off of the Olympic Bar. An enclave for aged, limited edition, and rare spirits, Founders Club is a decadent hideaway with leather couches, polished brass, low lights, and mirrored ceiling. Secure your seat by reservation only.

Metier Brewing Company Taproom

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Woodinville’s Métier Brewing Company, Seattle’s only Black-owned brewery, recently opened a sprawling new taproom in the heart of the Central District. The owner, Rodney Hines, says he hopes it will become a gathering place that anchors and acknowledges the area’s diverse communities. It has plenty of beers on tap, like the brewery’s award-winning coconut porter and Belgian strong ale, as well as a solid selection of barrel-aged beers. Food is provided by Umami Kushi, another local Black-owned business focused on Japanese okazu pan — fried dough balls with savory fillings.

Benbow Room

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Mark Fuller, the owner of the recently closed legendary fried chicken spot Ma’ono, is rebooting Seattle’s favorite pirate-themed bar. Admiral Benbow Room will soon serve Fuller’s famous chicken sandwiches for those missing Ma’ono. It still has some games like pinball and skee-ball) and has nightly DJ sets on the dance floor. The cocktails are fun and casual, with four types of slushies fortified with rum or tequila, jello shots, and tiki drinks like Pearl Divers.

Otter on the Rocks

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This new Asian-inspired bar in West Seattle is serving drinks like the Sunbreak, made with green-tea-and-pepper-infused vodka, Amaro Montenegro, pear liqueur, and lemon, and the My Thai, made with rum, house coconut-pandan orgeat, and lime. The two-story bar also has solid port, whiskey, and gin lists, and has some live jazz, comedy nights, and open mic nights, coming up this month (calendar on the website.)

Rochambeau

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This new 20-seat cocktail bar in Queen Anne offers one of the most ambitious food menus out of recently opened Seattle bars. The menu changes often, but recent bites have included a watermelon and scallop aquachile and a panko-crusted burrata with pea vines and golden beets, along with some classic pasta dishes. The cocktails are also complex, with drinks like Garden Variety, made with gin infused with heirloom-tomato-and-mint-infused gin, Cocchi Americano, lemon, and agave-mint syrup.

Bar Miriam

Bar Miriam, under the same ownership as Baker’s in Sunset Hill, has been impressing local food critics with its food and drink menu since it opened earlier this year. The food menu include creative snacks like Kentucky-fried soft shell crab, smoked trout churros, and tandoori eggplant with cilantro-chili chutney, yogurt, and mint. The cocktails match the food in quality, with boozy concoctions like the Talent Scout, made with bourbon, Pierre Ferrand dry curacao, and angostura. The business is open seven days a week. It doesn’t take reservations, and wait times can be long on weekends.

Lariat bar

White Center’s wrestling-themed bar Lariat aims to be a destination for Seattle’s underserved wrestling fans, as well as a cozy spot for locals. Filled with nostalgic wrestling memorabilia, notably from the 1980s and 1990s, Lariat also has TVs and a mini wrestling ring.

Carnelian Bay

A bar, lit up by neon blue, purple, and red lights, with tropical plant decorations above it.
The bar at Carnelian Bay.
Paul Shanrock

Carnelian Bay is Stampede and Dreamland Bar and Diner owner Paul Shanrock’s new neotropical sci-fi themed bar that’s operating on the covered patio of Dreamland in Fremont. The menu features traditional tiki drinks like pearl divers and tequila drinks in cobra mugs, as well as ten house cocktails that — with blurbs on the menu — tell a narrative in a sci-fi world Shanrock started developing at Stampede. Bar snacks include loco moco, honey walnut torpedo shrimp, and green papaya salad.

A bar, lit up by neon blue, purple, and red lights, with tropical plant decorations above it.
The bar at Carnelian Bay.
Paul Shanrock

Crumby Sandwich & Spirits

Fremont’s upscale sandwich shop Crumby offers exceptional menu items like braised beef, crab cakes, or buttermilk chicken sandwiches, and the spirits side of the menu is just as robust. Check out Crumby’s blackberry cocktail made with bourbon, all spice, and egg whites, or the “build-your-own bloody mary” options on Sundays.

SZN

Former gastropub Lazy Susan in Queen Anne has reopened as SZN under new owner Jack Cheung. Diners will find similar playful decor and Korean-Mexican snacks on the menu as before, but the drinks side is where the spot really shines, with some inventive twists on classic cocktails. Try the SZN old fashioned with rye whiskey, Angostura bitters, and maple; or the Bustling ID made with vodka, lychee, orange liqueur and lemon.

Founders Club

The historic Fairmont Olympic Hotel recently opened its new speakeasy Founders Club, located literally behind a bookcase just off of the Olympic Bar. An enclave for aged, limited edition, and rare spirits, Founders Club is a decadent hideaway with leather couches, polished brass, low lights, and mirrored ceiling. Secure your seat by reservation only.

Metier Brewing Company Taproom

Woodinville’s Métier Brewing Company, Seattle’s only Black-owned brewery, recently opened a sprawling new taproom in the heart of the Central District. The owner, Rodney Hines, says he hopes it will become a gathering place that anchors and acknowledges the area’s diverse communities. It has plenty of beers on tap, like the brewery’s award-winning coconut porter and Belgian strong ale, as well as a solid selection of barrel-aged beers. Food is provided by Umami Kushi, another local Black-owned business focused on Japanese okazu pan — fried dough balls with savory fillings.

Benbow Room

Mark Fuller, the owner of the recently closed legendary fried chicken spot Ma’ono, is rebooting Seattle’s favorite pirate-themed bar. Admiral Benbow Room will soon serve Fuller’s famous chicken sandwiches for those missing Ma’ono. It still has some games like pinball and skee-ball) and has nightly DJ sets on the dance floor. The cocktails are fun and casual, with four types of slushies fortified with rum or tequila, jello shots, and tiki drinks like Pearl Divers.

Otter on the Rocks

This new Asian-inspired bar in West Seattle is serving drinks like the Sunbreak, made with green-tea-and-pepper-infused vodka, Amaro Montenegro, pear liqueur, and lemon, and the My Thai, made with rum, house coconut-pandan orgeat, and lime. The two-story bar also has solid port, whiskey, and gin lists, and has some live jazz, comedy nights, and open mic nights, coming up this month (calendar on the website.)

Rochambeau

This new 20-seat cocktail bar in Queen Anne offers one of the most ambitious food menus out of recently opened Seattle bars. The menu changes often, but recent bites have included a watermelon and scallop aquachile and a panko-crusted burrata with pea vines and golden beets, along with some classic pasta dishes. The cocktails are also complex, with drinks like Garden Variety, made with gin infused with heirloom-tomato-and-mint-infused gin, Cocchi Americano, lemon, and agave-mint syrup.

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