11265251 10153925496713712 4854970413009795275 n dwhkro

Image via Facebook. 

Latona Pub—which celebrates its 30th anniversary this August—is a space of quiet contradictions. A neighborhood pub that’s also an epicenter for local craft beer. A bar that’s hardly changed its décor or approach since it opened, yet remains fresh and welcoming. A hub both for twentysomethings and baby boomers.

Originally the space on 65th and Latona Ave—where Wallingford gives way to Green Lake—was home to Latona Tavern, a divey place with boarded up windows that opened in 1933 after the repeal of prohibition. But in 1987 Robert Brenlin (with a few silent partners) bought the place and gutted it: they lofted the ceiling to its current airy heights and put in the walls of windows that make the wood covered room glow when the sun hits. After a few years, the bar started hosting live music—including jazz, which they still do for Friday happy hour—and then added thoughtful bar food (no deep-fryer!) a few years later. 

But from the beginning Latona focused on quality craft beer in a way that’s set a blueprint for the city—a good brew is a product of community, something to treat with care. If you probe the place’s significance, stories quickly pile up. How Redhook used to deliver kegs to the bar in a VW bug. How Latona along with its sister pubs (Hopvine on Capitol Hill and Fiddler's Inn in Wedgewood) used to buy ten percent of Big Time's production. How in 2003 it was the first place to pour a little upstart’s first beer: the now ubiquitous Manny’s by Georgetown. And how in 2009 Latona poured the first pints of Fremont's Universal Pale Ale.

It’s easy for a place like this rest on its laurels and thus fall by the wayside, but for evidence of Latona’s persistent relevance look no further than the breweries it’s collaborated with for anniversary beers with this year: Cloudburst, Three Magnets, Flying Bike, Naked City, Anacortes Brewing, Holy Mountain, Reuben’s, and Stoup.

From August 14 through 19, Latona Pub is celebrating its anniversary week. Each night will host a different event. A Legacy Brewer’s Night on August 15 celebrates some places that Latona has been serving since the beginning: Maritime, Hale's Ales, Pike, and Big Time. August 17 sees a Cask Beer night (the bar was one of the first to in the area to run beers on cask). And finally an anniversary  celebration on August 19 with bluegrass and special releases from Georgetown, Schooner Exact, Fremont, and Wander Brewing.  

So Latona, take a bow. Your atmosphere is still as eclectic—a full suit of armor over the kitchen, Picasso-esque paintings over the piano, the Clash giving way to “St. James’ Infirmary” on the stereo—as your customers: fiftysomething couples on date night, beer geeks with spiked leather bracelets perched at the bar, young friends rehashing their work weeks. You’re a place that—in a very Seattle way—knows that to do your own thing, honestly, peripherally, is the best way to stay at the center of things.   

Filed under
Show Comments
In this Article

Pike Brewing Company

$$ American/New American, Gastropub 1415 First Avenue

One of the stalwarts of Seattle's craft brewing community serves solid pub fare (don't miss the pretzel) in a rambling space that wraps around brewery operat...

Hopvine Pub

$ Sandwiches/Deli 507 15th Avenue E

The chef who wrote a book about soup offers three kinds daily (from his repertoire of 200) at this alt-tinged pub on the Hill. Lucky you if one of them is th...

Schooner Exact Brewing Company Brewpub

Brewery 3901 First Ave S

Hale's Brewery and Pub

Brewery, Outdoor Patio, Pub, Recommended Beer Selection 4301 Leary Way NW

Stoup Brewing

Brewery 1108 NW 52 St

Reuben’s Brews

Brewery, Editors Pick 5010 14th Ave NW

Brit-born brewer Adam Robbings quickly built one of the most respected beer operations in town. His ardent followers can congregate in Reuben's new, larger t...

Holy Mountain Brewing Co.

Brewery 1421 Elliott Ave W

There’s a vaguely culty feel to this brewery on Interbay’s main artery. It could be the temple vibe in the austere white taproom, or maybe just the reverence...

Naked City Brewery and Taphouse

Brewery, Pub, Recommended Beer Selection 8564 Greenwood Ave N

A Greenwood tap room that serves sandwiches and such, but where beer takes center stage.

Cloudburst Brewing

Brewery, Editors Pick Multiple Locations

In his previous gig as Elysian's experimental brewer, Steve Luke created hits like Space Dust IPA and Split Shot espresso milk stout. So it was big news when...

Fremont Brewing Company

Brewery, Outdoor Patio, Recommended Beer Selection 1050 N 34th St

Fremont pulls off a tricky balance: It's one of the state's biggest craft breweries, yet feels as spirited and authentic as its early days. The tap room (ful...

Georgetown Brewing Company

Brewery, Editors Pick, Late Night, Pub, Recommended Beer Selection, Recommended Menu Multiple Locations

Big Time Brewery and Ale House

Billiards, Brewery, Editors Pick, Late Night, Pub, Recommended Beer Selection 4133 University Way NE

Latona Pub

Editors Pick, Late Night, Live Entertainment, Pub, Recommended Beer Selection, Recommended Menu 6423 Latona Ave NE