Bar Hop: Tommy Gun

Inside Capitol Hill's new hideout.

By Carolyn Yuen


July 13, 2011

This article originally appeared in the August 2011 issue of Seattle Magazine.

Tommy Gun

Bar owner Erin Nestor (of The BottleNeck Lounge in Madison Valley) opened Tommy Gun (1703 E Olive Way; 206.323.4866) in March just a couple of blocks away from the future Capitol Hill Light Rail Station. The Prohibition-era name is a nod to craft cocktails and serious camaraderie.

THE VIBE: Raw-wood-paneled walls, dark lighting and simple furnishings give the bar a manufactured “dive-y” feel, with a rugged “Tommy” (Thompson submachine) gun hanging above the bar next to the sign “Wind to 15 clicks.” The loud, eclectic 20s to 30s crowd ranges from hipsters with dyed black hair, tattoos and piercings in every chunk of cartilage to a quiet couple at a table sharing a bottle of red.

THE FOOD: A step up from greasy bar snacks, but not quite gastropub fare; here, you’ll find mostly finger foods, such as a warm Columbia City Bakery pretzel with sea salt and mustard ($4), buttered popcorn with black truffle salt ($4), and an Italian cold meats plate with dried apricots, figs and crostini ($9). You’ll probably want to make dinner plans elsewhere.

THE DRINKS: Choose from a selection of regional beers on tap, such as Boundary Bay black IPA ($4.75) or keep it classy with a cold PBR tall boy ($3.50). Wine, ports and bubbly are on hand, along with craft cocktails like the Chicago Typewriter ($10), a concoction of bourbon, Aperol, St. Elizabeth allspice, mole bitters and an orange twist.

THEBATHROOM: Two standard restrooms with no personality other than a rough-wood-framed mirror.