Seattle's First Women's Sports Bar Takes Over Sawyer's Space

We're nowhere near done mourning this recently departed Ballard restaurant. At least Rough and Tumble will write a cool new chapter for its address.

By Allecia Vermillion October 25, 2022

Owner Jen Barnes has some photogenic window clings up while construction proceeds.

When plans emerged for Rough and Tumble—a pub that prioritizes women’s sports—owner Jen Barnes announced she had a space in Old Ballard, but declined to say exactly where. That question mark collided with another big piece of Ballard news: The much-lamented closure of Sawyer in early October.

Not surprisingly, those two developments are connected: Rough and Tumble is busy rebuilding Sawyer’s former home at 5309 22nd Ave NW, transforming the tile-and-timbered restaurant space into a den of 15-plus TVs and an all-ages section where families can cheer on the Storm, the OL Reign, or even teams of the Y-chromosome variety, like, say, the Seahawks or the throwback-jerseyed Kraken.

If things proceed according to schedule (always a big "if") Rough and Tumble will open in early December. This space has come a long way from its origins as a sawmill in the 1920s—the inspiration for Sawyer's name.

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