Bar Hop: The Market Arms in Ballard

The Market Arms in Ballard opened in June, much to the delight of World Cup soccer fans
The Market Arms is less pub and more sports bar

On a bustling corner in Ballard, The Market Arms (2401 NW Market St; 206.789.0470; themarketarms.com) opened in June, much to the delight of World Cup soccer fans. Brought to you by the local Brits responsible for The George & Dragon in Fremont, the bar features endless sports on the telly and, of course, Guinness galore.

THE VIBE: The freshly carpeted, large-windowed locale seems less like a British pub and more like an American sports bar. A Union Jack hangs from the ceiling, and the walls are peppered with European beer logos, but the space is too open and well lit (no cozy corners or quaint décor) to feel “old-school pub.” But what it lacks in Old World charm, the Arms makes up for in amenities: four flat screens, a plush new pool table and a dartboard.

THE FOOD: Pair your pint with an order of fish and chips ($11 large, $8 small), or invest in the shepherd’s pie ($10). Smaller snacks include onion rings and potato wedges (each $4.50). A “Lost in Translation” section on the menu clues Yanks in to British slang.

THE DRINKS: The selection of European beers on tap reflects across-the-pond influences, including Boddingtons and Kronenbourg. Local favorites Manny’s and Elysian are available, along with one rotating specialty tap. All beers are served in either the U.K. pint (20 ounces, $5.25) or the standard U.S. pint (16 ounces, $4.50).

THE BATHROOMS: Beyond being marked “Birds” and “Blokes,” the facilities are bereft of Britishisms, and are much cleaner than you’d expect from a pint-pounding crowd of sports fans.

Published November 2010

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