Duck Island Saloon
Taps: / Bottles:
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
Ratings: 15 | Reviews: 14 | Display Reviews Only:
4.58/5 rDev +6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
I doubt very many cities could have two outstanding beer bars so close to one another and have both do (apparently) quite well. This place is about a two minute walk from the Uber, and as it opens earlier then the Uber, it was a great place to hang out before heading over there.
I love the atmosphere of this place, with it's low key, laid back, sort of rustic and funky atmosphere. The place is fairly small, with a good size wrap around bar that you come upon when first entering the bar, with a few tables off to the left as well. I seriously doubt this place can hold more then 20 or 30 patrons at any one time.
The day I was there I counted 25 tap handles, of which 6 or 7 were Belgians (which surprised me a bit). The rest of the outstanding line-up was generally made up of local Washington beers, although they also had on a couple of German beers, Victory's Golden Monkey, and the aprihop from Dogfish Head. I was one of 5 patrons in the tavern the day I visited, which assured that I received quick and efficient service. As I've come to expect in the NW, my server was the usual knowledgable beer geek and was able to answer any and every question that I had.
Like the Uber, Duck Island does not have a kitchen per se, but you can order food from Beth's next door I understand. In fact, a server from the next door restaurant brought over a lunch order for two young ladies enjoying a couple of beers at a table while I was there.
As an aside, I got a laugh out of the bartender when I inquired about their "beer of the month" listed on a chalk board. It was bud lite lime for $2. He pointed out that the place next door is a lawnmower repair shop, where most of the guys wouldn't know a good beer if hit them on the head. Hence, he pointed out that they always try to have some cheap crap about (his words, not mine), just to keep the guys next dooer happy. He noted that while they do have rainer ale on tap, it's a bit spendy ($2.50 a glass), and that his neighbors just generally go for whatever is cheapest. Hence the beer of the month.
What can I say? This is a great place with a distinctly NW flavor to it. Highly recommended.
06-05-2008 17:30:38 | More by John_M
4.3/5 rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
A: Just next door to Beths on 99 this place is an overlooked beer bar. It has a great atmosphere, pretty laid back, sordove odd shaped. Walking in is wham bar and taps. then you can go left and step down into the middle room where you can play the Indy Jones pinball machine or watch TV. Pretty laid back
S: My server was nice friendly and prompt. She took the time to chat with the customers
S: The handles were thought out but struggled to find many Strong Ales or Bwines regardless of where I went on trek today.
F: No food here but you can order food at Beths and then bring it over I believe.
01-10-2011 14:53:08 | More by barleywinefiend
4/5 rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
aurora ave, just a block from the institutional Uber Tavern
A dive bar, with a tap selection. 25-30 taps though most were kind of pedestrian craft offerings - i did thoroughly enjoy an aged la folie tap though.
separated into 3 divey rooms, each with a TV playing college football on this saturday with some seats out on aurora ave as well. pinball machines and a decor of dead tap handles hanging from the ceiling.
not quite A-worthy in my opinion, but a good spot, and i'll return. for those that are interested, the also-divey, but famous, beths cafe is right next door
10-16-2011 02:32:47 | More by dirtylou
4.14/5 rDev -4.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$
Actually stumbled in here because of a need to use the bathroom! In preparation of a 370 mile drive and the need to be alert, especially in the near-constant lane jumping that is standard on I-5 between the Skagit Valley and Seattle, I'd loaded up on caffeine during breakfast. I was heading home to Spokane and was in no great hurry, and had the idea of stopping at Big Star to check out their selection. They were closed, so I'd decided to hit Uber was open so I could try another couple of beers from their incredible selection, but they weren't open yet. In desperation from the overabundance of coffee consumed in the morning, I'd remembered reading on BA that Duck Island was just down the street. I raced down Aurora on foot and made it just in time!
Once I was feeling relieved of my burden, I decided to order a beer. Thinking a crisp pilsner would be nice, I ordered a Trumer pils (the only one of the style on-tap). After that, I had a pint of Monkfish. The service was prompt, and the Monkfish was poured into a Chimay goblet, so extra points for glassware. The bartender made conversation with me but didn't hover, which was nice, since I was the only one there at first. While it's no Uber, there was a decent selection split between micros and import, with the one macro being the once-local Rainier. There didn't seem to be a whole lot of overlap between here and Uber, so perhaps they keep tabs on one another. Prices were on average $4/pint, which seemed about average around Seattle.
Like Uber, the atmosphere was cozy, split between a couple of different small rooms. Everything seemed to be clad in shiny sheetmetal, which was a little odd, but original. It was early in the afternoon, so it wasn't too crowded, but it wouldn't take much to crowd the place.
If Uber is closed or too crowded, you could do a lot worse than this place, and its only a few blocks down the street.
10-02-2007 04:07:02 | More by woemad
4.78/5 rDev +10.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$
Went here shortly after being at the Uber tavern, its located just down the road on the same side of the street. Excellent selection of very good quality taps. Didn't really see any bottles although I'm sure they have some. Smallish cozy kind of bar with very friendly bartenders. Good beer and friendly people...couldn't ask for much more than that. I would highly recommend this place if you are ever in north Seattle, and even if you aren't it would be worth the trip out of your way to get here.
04-16-2008 02:28:40 | More by loren01
4.6/5 rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
After driving by for over a year and ignoring the place (It looks like nothing special on a stretch of Aurora Ave that most people fly by) a friend told me that I should check it out. After a first visit, I've been back twice in a couple-three weeks time.
It's a pretty small pace but what got my attention is the Lucifer tap tower on the bar. (No Lucifer on tap but a very cool decorative item. The bartender told me that they used to try to keep it on tap but distribution of kegs in Washington are pretty hard to get these days. I've only seen it on draght once.) Anyway, there's a small bar area with about 10 stools and another small room of tables inside. Various beer memorabilia decorates the bar.
Bartenders are friendly and it's clear that the place has a contingent of regulars. In fact it feels very "neighboorhood" pub like and several people bounce between the bar and tables and seem to know everybody. The bartender I saw on the first visit remembered me the third time I was there. It's not a packed place so they keep up with the bar area but if you're at a table, you'll have to get up and get your beer.
Between every visit the selection has changed. I found Kwak on tap the first time replaced by St. Bernadus ABT 8 the second. They seem to keep about half the taps local micro, 1/4 Belgian and the remaining quarter a nice selection of other upscale beers. (Hitachino, Unibroue Noir were on the last time I was there.) They also have cheap American Megabrew in bottles and cans so you can take your non-B.A. friends there too.
No food, but there's a diner next door that you can order from and they'll bring it over.
Overall a really nice place. Once discovered, it's been growing on me and I think about going there more often.
07-20-2006 08:08:18 | More by czechsaaz
4/5 rDev -7.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
This is a cool beer bar, with fun staff and even more colorful locals. Small place, the door pulls open, not push, also watch that first step up to the bar! Awesome jukebox selection, got a pool table, and a couple different small rooms. I love a beer bar that has Ranier on tap, and they do! This bar is a little out of the way of seattle proper, and looks very inconspicuous, but since it's right near uber, and a greasy spoon diner right next door, you want to go to this area of town. The decor is tap handles hanging from the ceilings and punk rock red. I liked this bar and it is a dont miss in Seattle.
08-09-2007 05:56:29 | More by Murchmac
4.1/5 rDev -5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
I actually had intended to visit the Uber Tavern for the first time after work yesterday but I walked in and it was PACKED. I could barely move and with no place to sit, I decided to come back another time. Thus, I walked down the street and entered Duck Island which had plenty of space and a few locals with 1 bartender. I actually met erkaneva (Eric and Eva) here and had a nice chat and shared a few pints with them. Great convo and really nice people!)
A: great cozy little joint with a definite dive bar feel. The taps all have the proper tap heads for the beers they serve and the ceiling is covered in upside down tap heads which makes for a unique decoration and feel.
Q: the beers were served all in regular American pint glasses, but the beers were great. I only had two (had to drive). I tried the Walking Man Knuckle Dragger and the Lagunitas Lumpy Gravy Pale Ale...great combo. A nice hoppy IPA followed by a somewhat caramely and malty Pale Ale. They had St Bernardus Abt 12 on tap too which was cool to see.
S: Service was good. The place wasn't very packed but it took me a little while to get the bartender's attention. In her defense I didn't try very hard though. I also ordered a philly cheese steak with tomato soup which was brought over from Beth's Cafe just next door. No complaints, it was awesome.
S: Selection was pretty good. About 14+ beers on tap some local (Walking Man, Lagunitas...) and some imports (St Bernardus, Oud Beersel, Franziskaner Dunkel Hefe-Weisse). There was also a bottle list of about 20-25 bottles with a decent selection.
F: The food looked delicious, which is why I ordered. It didn't disappoint. The crispy tater tot style fries looked really good, I'll have to get some of those next. The smell of burgers also had me salivating.
All in all, great place with an awesome atmosphere. The ceilings were kind of low too, which makes it feel that much more cozy. There is a definite dive ambiance to this place, yet it's quality and selection speak for itself. Definitely will be going here again! I would recommend to anyone visiting the Seattle area.
06-06-2008 16:30:53 | More by julian
4.33/5 rDev +0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
Right down from the Uber on the same side of Aurora, is the Duck Island Saloon.
My friends and I had stopped in at the Uber first and then meandered down to DI.
It's a small saloon - bar, pool table below, etc. I prefer these types of bars - kinda like the old vet vs the new rookie.
The beers on tap was a good 20 listed - heavy on the local but that's cool with me.
They still bring food over from Beth's Cafe' so getting some food in you to absorb the alcohol is not an issue.
A cool place that gets overlooked because of the Uber....check it out!
Edit: Went back on 3/6/09 - sober - and had a good time there. Had 5 local brews and some Beth's grub to absorb the alcohol. Cool hang out spot!
02-09-2009 01:06:24 | More by ScreamForMe
Duck Island Saloon in Seattle, WA
94 out of 100 based on 15 ratings.