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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tonight's the End for the Viking Tavern in Ballard

Posted by on Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 12:32 PM

  • Nooooooooooooo!

The Bus Stop is gone. So is the 1st Hill Bar & Grill. And the Broadway Grill.

And now the tiny, classic Viking Tavern—serving Ballard since 1950, with the photographs of opening day and timelessly great ambiance to prove it—is closing forever.

Here's an interview with longtime owner Tim Cannon, including when and why the Viking started selling fresh eggs by the dozen.

And here's an appreciation of both the Viking's barbecue and the place as a Seattle institution by Rachel Kessler from way back in 2001:

There is something about the Viking that reminds me of old Seattle: the lush and green and lonely Seattle of the 1970s, imbued with the infinite sadness of spent resources and industrialized, polluted, then abandoned riverbanks. In the old Seattle, there were weeds, and dogs without leashes. The paint peeled off houses and nobody bothered the city council about it. My grandpa, a lean man who sleeps with a gun under his pillow in his mossy rambler out in Preston, would drink at the Viking if he lived in Ballard. I imagine both my grandparents being very comfortable at the Viking, in fact, with their pair of Dobermans, Acey and Deucy, at attention next to several rib bones picked clean...

The ground upon which the Viking stands will become a development called the Ballard Lofts. Please join me now in a moment of silent hating of the world.


Comments (30) RSS

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Will in Seattle 1

It all started going downhill when they took out the bowling alley and the steak joints.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 30, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Fred Casely 2
My personal time machine's maiden voyage will be to the Dog House.
Posted by Fred Casely on April 30, 2013 at 12:58 PM · Report this
The more things change, the more they become the same.
Posted by Here Lies Violet Trefusis on April 30, 2013 at 1:08 PM · Report this
So a safer Seattle,is a worst off Seattle?
Posted by Seattle14 on April 30, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this
Oh, please, Bethany, I'm sure when the new Ballard Lofts has the latest Matt Dillon restaurant (or whatever) in the ground floor, you'll be there, swooning.
Posted by annettefunicello on April 30, 2013 at 1:17 PM · Report this
I had ribs there about 3 months ago and they were among the worst I'd ever eaten. All gristle and sauce, hardly any actual meat. Plus one of the old, fatass, regulars sitting at the bar was rude to my girlfriend for no reason. Good riddance.
Posted by Keenan C on April 30, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
The Bus Stop is open for one last time this evening...…
Posted by Kelly O on April 30, 2013 at 1:22 PM · Report this
treacle 8
I think I'm going to start a project of visiting all the cool old places in Seattle before they get turned into "lofts" and "condos". I'm glad to say I drank at the Viking, only but once.

I really miss the psychedelic cows that used to be on the corner of Madison & 19th. Now: Lofts.

Ah well, bye bye Seattle of yore.
Posted by treacle on April 30, 2013 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Fnarf 9
It will be replaced by someplace that's all glass and all facade, where every seat is within ten feet of the window because the space is so shallow, where the decibel level is over 100, and where the beers are $8 and the cocktails $13.

Posted by Fnarf on April 30, 2013 at 1:50 PM · Report this
--MC 10
Not surprised. Last time I was there, about two years ago, it was full of New Ballardites, featureless people who looked like they had just come from scowling at the guys wiping their Escalades down at the Elephant Car Wash. Ballard is theirs now.
Posted by --MC on April 30, 2013 at 2:00 PM · Report this
@6 You ate food there? And you're complaining about it? LOL
Posted by ian on April 30, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
Working class douchebags driven out by yuppie douchebags. Yawn.
Posted by tiktok on April 30, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
balderdash 13
Old businesses close down and either become or make way for new businesses. This is the way of the world. It is all part of constant renewal. It is sad to lose somewhere you have pleasant memories of, but something new will come along. If the new thing is nice too, it's not such a sad story.

Unfortunately, in this case, the "something new" is yet more of Ballard's malignant condo cancer. Yecch. I can understand condo overdevelopment back when the market was superinflated, but how can it still be happening? This is nuts.
Posted by balderdash on April 30, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 14
Drove by it a bazillion times thinking it was a sewing-machine store. But that would be Wiking with a 'W', right?

But on the other hand, my alcoholic grandfather was probably there when it opened.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on April 30, 2013 at 2:43 PM · Report this
fletc3her 15
The condos will look like communist era tenement blocks soon enough.
Posted by fletc3her on April 30, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
Total sucky news. If this crap keeps happening, Ballard (and Capitol Hill, and [insert name of your neighborhood here]) is at risk of losing its soul.
Posted by Dingle Berries on April 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
@4. Since when did tearing down little taverns and building lofts make a town "safer"? More bland maybe.
And, it's "worse", not "worst".
Posted by tacomagirl on April 30, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 18
@14 I had the same reaction, the first couple of years I lived in Ballard. Not sure why.

They still have that place that does the battered fried mushrooms and shakes and burgers at NW 24th, thank god.
Posted by Will in Seattle on April 30, 2013 at 2:55 PM · Report this
snacktruck 19
Ballard is like the TV show Mad Men - lots of bars, white guys drinking and no people of color.
Posted by snacktruck on April 30, 2013 at 3:12 PM · Report this
Baby Blue 20
RIP Viking. My thumb will never be the same.
Posted by Baby Blue on April 30, 2013 at 3:28 PM · Report this
One more example of how the urbanistas hate Seattle.
Posted by Unbrainwashed on April 30, 2013 at 4:14 PM · Report this
I am contractually bound to publicly mourn the 318 Tavern any time we lament the loss of another old school Seattle institution.

Posted by karion on April 30, 2013 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 23
If Seattle hadn't been so historically underbuilt, this wouldn't be happening. You don't see anyone tearing down the apt. building at BWay and John - it's already 5 stories tall.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 30, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 24

Another dive with character being replaced by overpriced condos
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on April 30, 2013 at 5:22 PM · Report this
25 Comment Pulled (No) Comment Policy
All things, good and bad, must die.
Posted by Joel_are on April 30, 2013 at 9:19 PM · Report this
seatackled 27
I miss Rachel Kessler's reporting. What is she doing now?
Posted by seatackled on April 30, 2013 at 10:19 PM · Report this
Ballard Pimp 28
Ballard hails its new condo overlords.
Posted by Ballard Pimp on April 30, 2013 at 11:55 PM · Report this
I'll miss the Viking. Met one of my best friends there totally by chance.
Posted by CPN on May 1, 2013 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Nelson Bradley 30
Another façade for MOHAI.
Posted by Nelson Bradley on May 1, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this

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