74th Street Ale House

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74th Street Ale House74th Street Ale House
17 Ratings
74th Street Ale House74th Street Ale House

Type: Bar, Eatery

7401 Greenwood Ave N
Seattle, Washington, 98103-5043
United States

(206) 784-2955 | map

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Added by jreitman

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Ratings: 17 |  Reviews: 11
Photo of VashonGuy
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.75 | food: 4

I've been here several times over the years, and this place doesn't change much. In fact, if you read the BA reviews from 10 years ago, they sound like they were written yesterday. And in today's Seattle, where the tech world changes everything at warp speed, that's kind of cool.

The taplist has quality beers, without reaching for the exotic or unusual. Most of the beers on tap don't change, with just a few rotating taps. There are always several NW micros, usually with a German beer, an English, and Guinness. The food is solid, and so is the service. The Reuben is one of the best in Seattle.

There are certainly pubs in Seattle with better taplists, and there are places with better food. But I can't think of many spots that do both beer and food quite this well.

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Photo of EdwardAbbey
4.18/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

An excellent neighborhood pub. Good food, good folks, cozy ambiance, and a fine selection of beer comprised of local micros and imported macro classics. Well worth a stop whenever in the area.

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Photo of erickc
3.79/5  rDev -5.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of TheBungyo
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of crowellbw
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of kyleavk
3/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of ayatsato
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Needmorebeer312
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.71/5  rDev -7.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A: Pretty busy here, even on a mid Sunday afternoon. Nice long bar, traditional pub decor, a mix of people but never heard anyone talk beer or drink or saw anyone drink anything solid which goes to the selection.

Q: Slightly above average. Some pretty typical WA generic beers: Mannys, Rogue and of course Guinness blah blah blah. Nothing exciting at all.

S: The server was nice and prompt

S: Like I eluded to in quality. There was nothing there that I could not find at any beeer bar or Red Robin in WA sate. Boring taps!

F: Did not try any but the guy next to me ordered a soup that looked more like water with some food

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This is one of three neighborhood pubs that make up the Seattle Ale Houses franchise (along with Hilltop Ale House and Columbia City Ale House).

While I haven't been to an English pub house, this is what I imagine one is like. It's often crowded and rather loud (from conversations at every table rather than music or TVs). Long cedar bar that runs 3/4 of the length of the place with two-top and four-top tables on the floor. These are often situated very close together, giving the place a cramped feel.

Bartenders are often friendly and knowledgeable and more than willing to strike up a conversation. The waitstaff are also friendly and prompt but not so knowledgeable about the beer.

A good selection of PNW and west coast taps with a few English and east coast taps. Focus is on the PNW, though.

The food is upscale pub food. The red cabbage Reuben is the second-best Reuben in town. (The best Reuben in town can be found at T.S. McHugh's: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2373

Reasonably priced.

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Photo of bweinst
4.68/5  rDev +16.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Finally decided to add my 2 cents after frequenting this place for many years. Had a good friend who lived 3 doors west on 74th St. and the first time I visited this location, it was a hole-in-the- wall tavern with little to distinguish it from others. The present incarnation is what a good beer bar should strive for. An extensive and varied tap and bottle selection, and a good solid menu of tasty and unique interpretations of sandwich, soup and salad offerings. The Reuben is one of the best I've had, anywhere, and that includes, LA, and NY. I seem to enjoy a bottle of Sam Smith's Imperial Stout on most occasions, but there's plenty of local, regional, and foreign beers, as well. It's a bit noisy, but what popular crowded bar/restaurant, isn't. If you've not tried it, do. It's a special alternative to your usual haunts!

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Photo of John_M
4.18/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I have to say that I'm a bit amused by some of the recent reviews of this place. It's not that they're inaccurate, but I guess I just see some of the "problems" in a somewhat different light.

I've been coming to this place for nearly 15 years now; it was easily my favorite restaurant when I first visted Seattle back in 92 or 93. This was the first place I ever went to where they only had craft/import beer on tap, and where they served the beer exclusively in imperial pints and half pints. I know that's not such a big deal these days (at least it's not in the Seattle/Portland area), but it was a rarity back then. Then as now, the alehouse had an excellent, diverse selection of beers, often times having some limited run beer from a local brewery on tap as well.

The alehouse is located in what I guess was at one time a fairly small home. It's a somewhat narrow structure with high ceilings, so even under the best of circumstances and occasions, quarters tend to be a bit tight. The place is wicked popular, and I can't remember the last time I was there when it wasn't crowded. When by myself I usually find myself tucked in the corner of the bar (just to the right when you walk in the front door), which is fine by me. Generally, I think you get better service sitting at the bar then at a table. Because the alehouse is always crowded (at least that's how it seems), the place is often very noisy and service is invariably a bit slow.

As for the food, I really don't understand how anyone can complain about it. I've eaten here over a dozen times, have brought family and friends, and no one has ever complained about the food. Portions are good size and I've always been very happy with the gumbo and ceaser salad. I try to branch out when I visit, as I like just about everything on the menu, but the gumbo is the best I've had (and the hottest/spiciest I should add) outside of Louisiana and Alabama. I just have to order it whenever I visit (thank God they have half portions of it).

So, are the prices here super cheap? No, lunch for two and a couple of beers will probably run over $30. Is the atmosphere the best? While it's fine, there's no getting around the fact that this place is always very busy and it's hard to feel very relaxed. Is the service slow? Absolutely; it never seems as if there is enough staff to handle all the tables and folks invariably waiting for a table at the door.

.... but this place has been around for a long time now in an area where closings occur and new restaurants open on a pretty frequent basis.... and yet 74th Street alehouse has changed hardly at all and the place continues to pack them in night in and night out, in a city teeming with great restaurants, great alehouses, and excellent beer bars. I think it safe to say they must be doing something right. Good food, solid beer list, friendly (albeit often slow) service, and a nice vibe... yep, works for me.

This is, and always has been, a great place. I just love this place.

Update from 3/15/08. Visited with a friend, and if anything this place was even better then the last time I visited. In particular, the service was absolutely outstanding, though that may be attributable to the time we stopped by (around 5 PM). There were actually a few empty tables when we arrived, which allowed the waitress to stop by far more frequently to check on us. P.S. Yes, the gumbo was as spicy hot and delicious as ever!

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Photo of ccs
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

The place has a cozy feel with it with darker interior and fashionably worn furniture. The service was good, very attentive. Beer selection was good, about 12 quality local micros (boundry bay, elysian, hales, baron, and walking man) on tap the day we showed up. The food was great and very well prepared. The menu was different than normal pub food, with several interesting specials available. the beer had been well handled and was served in proper glassware. I'd go back if I didn't live quite so far away.

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3.78/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I walked from Prost! and went to the 74th Street Ale House to check it out. A recreation of a classic English pub with nice wooden signs and a bit of neon. A nice bar as well. They have around 14 to 16 taps that are mainly UK and local micros and a decent selection of beer in bottle as well. They only do beer and wine, no hard spirits. The service was good and the selection of food was very good. I had the very spicy gumbo which was very good. A very clean place that seems to be popular with the locals. A solid place to get some beer and food.

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Photo of Hobbz
4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

"Purveyors of Fine Ales & Splendid Food" was the greeting and some of the first words I noticed, quickly followed by curious glances at the offerings on tap. This was my first visit up to Phinney Ridge and was right in time for a few pints with lunch. I had only come across this establishment recently while doing online research planning my latest trip out and was anxious to check it out.

At first, the place was just getting going. I sat alone at the bar while only two other customers were seated at tables behind me. But by the time I had finished my second glass, more and more lunch patrons were arriving - with a mix of business and more casual folk. The atmosphere was what I would expect from an old-time NW ale house - relaxed but with a bit of (beer) sophistication. Clean-kept wood bar, wood tables and fixtures, with mirrors and windows to let in and reflect any varying amounts of light.

I ended up having some fresh local suds starting with a Baron Hefeweizen, then Pyramid Snowcap followed by a Snoqualmie Avalanche Winter Ale and finished with a fine Boundary Bay Cabin Fever. Didn't really want to leave, but any more of this and I would be retiring way too soon. And I had yet to hit Prost! (spitting distance from here -- well, depending on the animal, I guess).

Some have noted that the food prices are a tad high, but the food I had was really tasty and freshly prepared and others around me were enjoying and commenting on their lunches. I had the black bean burger which had a good spice and heat kick. Washed down happily with my winter beers.

When I return to the NW I'm def. going to hit up this neighborhood again. With friendly Prost and the Barking Dog nearby, it's a great alternative to downtown.

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Photo of Knuckles
4.38/5  rDev +9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Back when I was in college (which actually accounts for almost a third of my life), I used to go on a weekly beer drinking expedition with a professor buddy of mine. There was this coupon book you could buy back in the early nineties that gave you 2/1 pints at various beer bars and brewpubs around the city, so we'd go out each week after class and try someplace new until the coupon book was empty. It was during the course of these coupon-guided beer travels that we hit the 74th. He'd been there many times before, but I hadn't. Well, thanks to that coupon, the 74th became a regular hangout of mine when I still lived on that side of the Sound. After much too long a layoff, I have now been to the 74th Street Ale House twice in the past three weeks, and am happy to report that it is still as kickass as ever.

Atmosphere: The 74th is actually the older brother to two other pubs in Seattle owned by the same group: The Hilltop Ale House, and one in Columbia City. The whole idea behind the 74th was to recreate a classic English pub in Seattle style. It's homey, with a nice long bar along the north side of the building that seats maybe 12-15 people. The floor is strewn with tables, with a maximum capacity of maybe 75. Kitchen is straight in the back.

Quality: The taps are always very carefully chosen, and well maintained. No BMC anywhere to be found. They have 16 taps, some of which were Alpine Oktoberfest, Baron Hefeweizen, Leavenworth Oktoberfest, Fuller's ESB, and Diamond Knot IPA. Nothing particularly dark, which was a bit of a disappointment, but I do enjoy that damn Alpine.

Service: I'd like to complain more about it, as they always seem horribly understaffed, but the two people maximum they have covering the floor always do a magnificent job of circulating around on the floor and making sure that everyone gets served. My only complaint would be that they don't serve hefeweizen in weizen glasses for some reason.

Selection: Sixteen taps of top notch imports and craft beers, with lines that are very meticulously maintained. A decent bottle selection of imports. A menu that has some of the best pub food in Seattle. What more do you want?

Food: All I can say is "Fan-frickin'-tastic". I made the mistake of going to Dick's right before I last went there, and was kicking myself. The beef barley soup they had on was just delicious (my friend got some, and graciously offered me a bite).

Value: $4.50 imperial pints are aiight by me. No happy hour that I'm aware of, but in my case it wouldn't matter anyway, as I'd never make it.

All in all, this place is a must visit when you are in Seattle, if only for it's position in Seattle craft beer history. This is one of the first specialty beer houses in Seattle, and one of the longest lasting (Cooper's on Lake City Way actually owns that distinction, as I understand it). You won't be disappointed.

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Photo of FirstMan
4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Ahhh, what a good night that was.

Knuckles, a (not yet BA) friend of mine, and I went to the Maritime Tap Room for dinner, had a number of just out of this world beers and then headed up to Phinney to go to Prost.

Well, Prost was packed to the rafters, so we said - hey, let's go to the 74th!

This was my first time at the legendary 74th. Why I never went there when I actually LIVED in Seattle is beyond me. That said, I'm glad we went.

The 74th is a classic Seattle beer bar. Great atmosphere, totally low-key, with a dedication to quality beer that seems to just happen by default in so many places in Seattle. There's a sort of sea-shanty, meets house in the woods feel to the atmosphere. A long bar runs from the front entrance to the back.

A line up of taps that I'd kill somebody for in Massachusetts. There are maybe 14 or so taps, but each and every one is a great NW micro. I had the Alpine Maerzen, which is hands-down the best Maerzen in America, in my maybe not so humble opinion.

The night that we were there, the place was full, but not crowded at all. That said, I've heard that the 74th can really get full sometimes. If you don't like crowds, you may want to try this place out earlier in the day. It was a Saturday night when I was there, though, and I felt like the place had just the right number of people.

Highly recommended. And don't miss Prost while you're in the neighborhood.

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74th Street Ale House in Seattle, WA
Place rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 17 ratings