I've lived in West Seattle for 11 years and this was the first time I had ever been to the Alki Tavern. How come nobody told me how cool this place was? I have always been intimidated to go here because of the bikers. Specifically, the dozens of bikers that swarm this dive bar every Thursday for $1 Taco Night. For the first seven years I lived in West Seattle, I lived in an apartment just up the hill from Alki on California Ave. I just remember every Thursday being woken from my slumber by the sound of roaring bikes. It sounded like a swarm of angry bees; angry bees that could only be tamed with cheap booze and tacos.
I begrudgingly went with a friend of mine who loves dive bars. I wasn't expecting much. But when I saw the seat he was saving for me this evening, my mind changed dramatically. It's a little known secret that Alki Tavern has a few bar seats that serve as a front-row view of the Seattle skyline. Check it out:
So beautiful. On a Monday evening after work, there were only a few other people in this lodge-style watering hole and my friend was able to snag the premier seating. I sat down and looked around: Pool table? Check. Juke box playing Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train?" Check. Dart board? Check. Plastic Santa Claus legs sticking out of the ceiling? Check. Alki Tavern is my new favorite place.
My buddy ordered a pint of Mac & Jack's and I, always tempting an ass-kicking (I once played "Little Red Corvette" on the jukebox at the 5 Point during prime fightin' hours -- not good), ordered the house chardonnay ($4). It was such a generous pour, I had to take a sip of it before I put it down to keep it from spilling. The cheap wine was good. Really good. And the nachos? A large plate with crispy tortilla chips, real cheddar cheese, jalepenos, and shredded beef served with a generous bowl of salsa and sour cream. I licked the plate clean.
To summarize: Alki Tavern rocks hard and is pleasantly charming. It's like the guy I imagine I'll someday marry -- the Prince Charming who lived next door to me all my life and I never knew it until we were brought together over cheap booze and bar food.