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Bar Exam

Once Seattle's Newest Sports Bar Gets Wings, All Will Be Right with the World

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A sports bar is a place to watch televised sports and drink beer that is not your own living room. Televisions and beer are obviously required; some also maintain that a sports bar must have chicken wings prepared in the style of the city of Buffalo, New York.

Regarding televisions: A sports bar with its walls completely tiled in TVs would be the best sports bar of all, because of all the sports, right? Wrong, sir or madam. A sports bar should have enough televisions that you may easily view your game of choice without getting any kind of crick in your neck, yet each television should have a television-free visual margin around itself, so that you may concentrate on your game of choice without distraction or inflammation of any ADHD tendencies. Or so goes the sports-bar television rule according to one sports-bar fan found recently at Auto Battery, Seattle's newest sports bar.

Auto Battery is brought to you by the people of Po Dog, and it's situated in a former auto battery shop next to Po Dog. The Po Dog people have been doing some astute analysis of market conditions: First they filled Capitol Hill's upscale-wiener void (same with the U-District's, with another Po Dog on the Ave); now they have provided the neighborhood with a place to, at last, collectively watch sports and drink beer. The ratio of wall-to-television at Auto Battery was judged to be very good by the sports-bar fan; the sight lines were pronounced "excellent." (The sports-bar fan sportingly tested different seats all around the room in order to make this pronouncement. An unrelated observation: The Mariners are playing like excrement.) Also optimal: Auto Battery's large number of electrical outlets, as more and more fans bring their laptops to keep up with online coverage of whatever they're watching, or their fantasy league, or something. Outlets are good; Auto Battery's got lots.

Auto Battery has a not-too-overt auto-shop theme—an old gas can for a tip jar, a pegboard wall with tools hanging (mostly for show, though one screwdriver has been used on the espresso machine). Cocktails have names like the Tire Iron and Antifreeze; ingredients include Absolut flavored vodkas and energy drinks (infusions, house-made bitters, and so forth are not, apparently, where a sports bar's at). If you want to do a thing instead of watch a thing, Auto Battery has free shuffleboard. If you want to feel like you haven't been in a cave even though you watched sports on TV all day, Auto Battery's entire front side is windowed roll-up garage door, which helps.

Currently, Auto Battery serves only the Po Dog menu, but there are plans to expand. A suggestion from a sports-bar fan: wings. recommended

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Comments (15) RSS

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I wish their website had more than a splash page with no content. I've been trying to find out if they will be showing Game 2 of the WNBA quarterfinals tomorrow
Posted by genevieve on August 27, 2010 at 3:00 PM · Report this
razorclammer 2
What's the most important aspect of a sports bar? What does it REALLY need? To EXIST. There is no alternative to Auto Battery on the hill, so why would I complain about the menu or anything else? To even qualify to be called a sports bar you need at to be able to see at least 2 TV screens from any seat in the place, and they need to purchase all of the sports channels in HD. that's it.

@1: They have NBA TV, the station you're looking to watch tomorrow at 7. Just ask them to change the channel when you get there.
Posted by razorclammer on August 27, 2010 at 3:19 PM · Report this
umm... Bill's Off Broadway has the Sunday Ticket and all the tv's you need. Apparently the best kept secret on the hill...
Posted by fag on August 27, 2010 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Are there worries that this new sports bar will attract the wrong element to Capitol Hill? That is, sports fans and homophobes (much of the time one in the same).
Posted by Judith on August 27, 2010 at 4:15 PM · Report this
Hernandez 5
@4 There are many, many sports bars in other neighborhoods. Capitol Hill is not, and probably never will be, a destination spot for sports fans, simply because of people like you who automatically assume that all sports fans are ignorant meathead homophobes.

It's close to where I live and I love that, but the prospect of getting death stares from hipsters who think that my Seahawks jersey means I'm out to gay-bash someone means that I will probably never go there.

Posted by Hernandez on August 27, 2010 at 4:27 PM · Report this
Yeah, wings.

I mean, wtf.
Posted by STJA on August 27, 2010 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 7
Amazing that a review about a sports bar would not mention which TV sports packages the bar has. It's like a review of a restaurant with no mention of what's on the menu.
Posted by Free Lunch on August 27, 2010 at 8:01 PM · Report this
So I went to Auto Battery after work to inquire about tomorrow's game (@2 - noon on ESPN2, not 7pm on NBATV). The response I got was pretty tepid and the bartender seemed to have no idea who or what the "Storm" were, but looked up the channel and they've got it.

When I left I realized that none of the 10 tvs in that room had the sound on. Er....isn't the point of a sports bar to be able to follow the game? sound and all?

Posted by genevieve on August 27, 2010 at 10:33 PM · Report this
razorclammer 9
faq? I don't think Bill's has HD, am I wrong?

@ genevieve: how'd it go?
Posted by razorclammer on August 28, 2010 at 8:19 PM · Report this
razorclammer 10
Sports fans are not homophobes. Maybe NASCAR fans, but not most Seahawks or M's fans.
Definitely not hardly any Sounders fans, and if you find a homophobic Storm fan, you should go buy a lottery ticket.

More on sports bars in general: If I'm looking for a place to just catch a few innings or glance up at a TV while eating, I'll surely choose a place like The Canterbury, Bill's, The Elysian, or any other non-sports bar. But when I'm looking for a sports bar, you can't subside on a bar with a TV. One recent visit to such a place gave me some crap about wanting to watch the mariners, citing their poor performance this season. PHWAH!!
Posted by razorclammer on August 28, 2010 at 8:36 PM · Report this
benjammin509 11
"That is, sports fans and homophobes (much of the time one in the same)."

Posted by benjammin509 on August 30, 2010 at 1:18 PM · Report this
@9 - I went in and the bartender was willing to turn the tv to the game I wanted, but not willing to turn on the sound unless it was football, or I brought a group in. Which there is potential for, as the Storm has made it through round 1 and there will be at least one more away game and fans are definitely looking for places to watch - but there was hardly anyone in the bar at that time and I was expecting a bit more enthusiastic response, I guess. I don't feel like I can recommend the place to other Storm fans, as there are places that will have much better coverage.

In the end I decided that it was better to hear the game with no picture at my own home than to see the game with no sound and spend money on food & drink (which I gladly would have done).

The space is really great and I think this will be a fun bar - I just don't think it's a sports bar. It's more like a typical Cap HIll hipster bar using sports as really expensive wall art.
Posted by genevieve on August 30, 2010 at 1:32 PM · Report this
JF 13
@5 Couldn't agree more.

It's funny: Drinking on the hill on Saturday in my t-shirt - I'm a cool enough guy.

Drinking on the hill on Sunday in a hawks shirt - I'm an asshole.

@4 - Just think, for one second, how that MIGHT be considered rude, bigoted and just overall pretty fucking ignorant.
Posted by JF on August 31, 2010 at 1:20 PM · Report this
Jiff 14
No sound for a home team game? Not a sports bar.
Posted by Jiff on September 1, 2010 at 1:33 PM · Report this
razorclammer 15
Yeah, I'm afraid you're right. I suppose they never actually advertised themselves as one. Those are some pretty shiny TV's though.
Posted by razorclammer on September 2, 2010 at 12:45 AM · Report this

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