Image: Jason Tang
Clean. But not too clean. Photo via the Comet's Facebook page.

It a lot of ways The Comet is still the same: cheap drinks, pinball, and a divey ambience. But in other ways the overhaul courtesy of two veterans of the neighborhood nightlife scene it is a whole new concept. The disease-ridden bathrooms, penicillin incubating refrigerators, and (for better or worse) $6 punk shows, are a thing of the past.

 As the new Comet Tavern scales back on music, owners Dave Meinert and Jason Lajeunesse say they want to create a fun neighborhood space, rather than a gentrified tourist attraction or purposely grimy rathole.

The Comet Tavern will serving up a small, but tasty menu of bar grub. There's the wild west sloppy joe, made with wild boar, like the one up the street at Quinn's,  and cooked in Snoqualmie stout. Other eats include a spiced up grilled steak sandwich on pretzel bread, and a fried and chopped chicken sandwich (that is, a fried chicken breast that's chopped and stuffed inside a hoagie. This one is Meinert's favorite; he calls it “the mac ‘n cheese of sandwiches,” because his love of it is on par with the population's general ardor for mac and cheese. The pickled eggs, marinated in beet juice, would have been at home on the bar during the Comet's grittier days.

 Drinks at the new-old Comet include a wide variety of drafts, ciders (don't miss the chai cider), lagers, a serious whiskey collection, and more straightforward beer, all under $6.  “We have a lot of shit beer,” says Meinert. “I’m not saying anything is wrong with that, but… shit beer is like the sexy trashy girl at the bar. You love her and just want to hang out with her all night."

The Comet also offers sweet happy hour deals. Free pool is available 4 to 6pm during the weekday, and pitchers of beer come with sliding prices ($4 at 4pm, $5 at 5 pm and $6 at 6pm). Country brunch on Sundays (except the second Sunday of each month) includes chili, cornbread, beer, and music from live country bands and DJs.

Stop in for the grand reopening party today for free pool and Ed’s Ethel Ale for just 45 cents. Former owner Cathy Hillenbrand will make a special guest appearance by former owner Cathy Hillenbrand from noon to 2 am. She's going to be there for a long time.

Track the doings of the new Comet on the bar's Facebook page.

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