The Bellingham, WA bar scene has much to offer. There are great dive bars if you like to play pool, and great places to go see live music, but sometimes you just want a place to chill out and meet some people, or lay your weary head on a nice, wooden bar. That’s when you need a good pub, or maybe a swanky cocktail lounge. When it’s time to raise a glass with old friends, or get to know some new ones, nothing beats a good pub. Whether your personal poison of preference be beer, wine or spirits, it is a comfort to us all to know a warm, inviting place to find it. My palate tends to lean in the direction of beer, light or dark, domestic or imported, though I do have a special place in my liver heart for Canadian whiskey, the great gift of our neighbors to the North. Years of exuberant experience have left me with a pretty good handle on the particulars of Bellingham’s many offerings. These are my favorites…in no particular order.
- Uisce Irish Pub
Uisce: OK, this one is my favorite, so I guess there is some particular order… Uisce (pronounced “ISH-kuh,”, the Irish word for “whiskey”) is a glorious Irish pub in downtown Bellingham. Opened just a few years ago by native Bellinghamster Molly McGarry and her Irish-native husband, David, Uisce is a classic Irish pub, repleat with hardwood floors, a fire place, church pew benches, and a wide range of Irish and English beers on tap, not to mention a solid collection of The Pogues on the jukebox. Lots of whiskey, too, of course…and darts. 1319 Commercial St., Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 738-7939
- The Copper Hog
The Copper Hog: Another newbie to downtown Bellingham, The Copper Hog is a European-style gastro pub with a rotating array of 15+ beers from around the world, as well as a full bar. Their menu is varied and enticing, and the atmosphere is cool, dim and classy, without being pretentious. They offer darts and free wi-fi, as well as limited outdoor seating in the warmer months. The building The copper Hog occupies is about 100 years old, as evidenced by the beautiful woodwork and the rather creepy 19th Century asylum-esque bathrooms. I mean “creepy” in the nicest possible way… 1327 N State St. Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 927-7888
- Nimbus and Bellingham Tower
Nimbus: Though known more for its innovative gourmet food menu, Nimbus is unique in that it sits atop the tallest building in downtown Bellingham, the Bellingham Tower. From 14 stories above the city (ok…big small-town), the views from Nimbus are unparalleled. With windows on three sides, the views make Nimbus is a great place for before, during, or after dinner cocktails, especially if you’re on a date… The custom blown-glass handles on the rotating beer taps add a cool, artsy touch to an altogether classy atmosphere. The garlic French fries pair quite nicely with the Smithwick’s draught, I must say… 119 N Commercial St # 1500 Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 676-1307
- Archer Ale House
The Archer Ale house: Epitomizing Old Fairhaven’s English atmosphere, Archer’s feels the way Cheers would feel, if Cheers were in some quaint little English village. Nestled underground beneath some of Fairhaven’s most popular boutiques, Archer’s is warm and cozy, with a good range of European beers on tap, and a much larger variety of imported bottled beers. Though the food is known to be a little hit-or-miss, the place is like none other in Bellingham. The underground setting creates a genial, lively vibe that always feels inviting. They might not know your name, but everybody is in good spirits. 1212 10th St Bellingham, WA 98225 (360) 647-7002
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