Food & Drink

Bar Exam

Grim's, the Newest Bar on Capitol Hill, Is a Very Complicated Place

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Grim's is a "social networking beer hall." It is also "steampunk." Grim's says this on its website; it also says it is "the newest 'it' bar." Whether "it" or not "it"—the mind reels before you even set foot in the place—Grim's is the newest bar on Capitol Hill. It's in the space where Grey Gallery & Lounge used to be, brought to you by the Po Dog/Auto Battery people. Po Dog is an upscale hot-doggery, and Auto Battery is an auto-repair-shop-themed sports bar. These people want to complicate your world.

Last Thursday night around 7:30, Grim's was packed to the exposed wooden beams; everyone had a name tag. Something called Mashable was happening. Messages originating from the iPhones of those in the room were being broadcast on a screen; the long wooden communal tables were littered with flyers for things like nology (apparently a proper noun, seeking to help you "Build Your Social Brand in 30 Days"). The room had been carpet bombed with bags of popchips™. Capital letters had fled the scene.

Where Grey Gallery had a relatively simple interior, what could be seen of Grim's during the Mashable betrayed a full-scale Quinn's/Smith–style installation. One wall had been upholstered in a coat of weathered wood; another had a fresh layer of "worn" fleur-de-lis wallpaper; to another, a bunch of antique-looking door hardware had been affixed. I made my way to the bar (which has old-timey post-office-box doors and library- type drawers underneath it), where I put on the abandoned name tag of someone named, improbably, Timm, and ordered a Drink of the Night—vodka, lime, ginger beer. It came, ineluctably, in a mason jar.

People continued to Mashable all around. A seat at one of the long communal tables was found (a seat that swung out from under the table on an old-timey metal arm-apparatus). A big glossy poster taped to a nearby rusted-metal wall showed a gleaming new platinum-colored Cadillac and read "TWEET YOUR WAY TO A NEW CAR!"A passing Mashable man was asked, "What is this event?" "It's mostly marketing people," he said. "Only a few content people." He glanced with a modicum of subtlety at my name tag. "I'm Timm," I said. "Very nice to meet you."

A waiter was flagged down, and an herbed leek and Asiago grilled cheese was ordered. It cost $6.95 and turned out to be very good—the leeks melting into the melty cheese, the bread perfectly toasted and not too greasy. Also quite good: a French dip. (The menu, unlike the place, is uncomplicated: sandwiches, snacks.) Despite a puckeringly vinegary side salad, I was a content person. The Mashable dispersed. recommended

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Comments (28) RSS

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chimsquared 1
They shouldn't be allowed to serve a French Dip without fries.
Posted by chimsquared on December 22, 2010 at 5:00 PM · Report this
Ok, Po dog is NOT an upscale hotdog restaurant. It's an overpriced bar serving hotdogs with weird toppings. They don't make their own sausage or htodogs the last time I checked.
Posted by Po bar serving over priced hotdogs on December 23, 2010 at 1:01 PM · Report this
boxofbirds 3
Agreed, loved the leek and asiago sandwich. Their dark and stormy was pretty good too. I recommend attend on a night sans marketing people.
Posted by boxofbirds on December 23, 2010 at 1:49 PM · Report this
Sounds like the only bar in Hell.
Posted by twinkie223 on December 26, 2010 at 7:31 PM · Report this
There is nothing at all steampunk about grims.

Nothing at all. So stop calling it that, media.
Posted by sonder on December 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM · Report this
@5: It is a quote--they call it that themselves! Check it: "the ghostly steampunk atmosphere." It is totally bananas, agreed.

Posted by Bethany Jean Clement on December 27, 2010 at 11:23 AM · Report this
schmacky 7
It's true...there's absolutely nothing steampunk about an iPhone.
Posted by schmacky on January 1, 2011 at 11:47 AM · Report this
Chef Thunder 8
Also the drinks are bad and the service uninterested. Nice space tho.
Posted by Chef Thunder on January 1, 2011 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
Steampunk? Nah, not enough welding goggles nor leather aprons about.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on January 1, 2011 at 12:15 PM · Report this
generp 10
How about call it stupid? This is a stupid bar
Posted by generp on January 1, 2011 at 12:20 PM · Report this
generp 11
This place is offensive to any intelligent life form
Posted by generp on January 1, 2011 at 12:25 PM · Report this
I had a good enough time there. It kind of felt like whoever themed the place was fighting against me, though. I'll go back, but it probably won't become a regular spot or anything.
Posted by doceb on January 1, 2011 at 12:29 PM · Report this
It was a meetup sponsored by, CHS, Nology Media, and others:…
Posted by aaronbrethorst on January 1, 2011 at 12:50 PM · Report this
judgmentalist 14
Victorian frat house punk?

Ok, that's not fair. I haven't been inside yet but I've fond the crowd daunting. I've heard good about the food.

Posted by judgmentalist on January 1, 2011 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Badger 15
If it doesn't have goggles or non-functioning watch gears hot-glued to it - it ain't steampunk.
Posted by Badger on January 1, 2011 at 1:47 PM · Report this
If Grey's experience is predictive, this place will only be here for a short while before the landlord pulls some dick move, terminates the lease, and then tries to sue for the tens of thousand of dollars of "damages" caused by the build-out.
Posted by d.p. on January 1, 2011 at 1:52 PM · Report this
TVDinner 17
Oh, Bethany. Why the passive voice? Why?
Posted by TVDinner http:// on January 1, 2011 at 2:31 PM · Report this
May we please stop with the steampunkery, ridiculous themed bars, and goddamn mason jars. For fuck's sake.
Posted by Joeyjj on January 1, 2011 at 5:36 PM · Report this
murray chatauqua 19
@18 You have something against Mason jars? Seriously?
Posted by murray chatauqua on January 1, 2011 at 7:34 PM · Report this
Mason jars are obviously related to the Illuminati. Accursed masons! Their influence is everywhere!
Posted by Monty on January 1, 2011 at 8:10 PM · Report this
kylembelltown 21
went there once - the service sucked so bad we left after one drink.
the bartender was too busy checking his phone and then talking on it to even run our credit cards - it took at least 15 min from the time we asked for the check to even get it. "It" bar? LOL more like "_ _it" bar! drinks were ok and my friend had some food he thought was good. the front door looks out of place with the redesign. it needs some more thought. you'll see what i'm talking about.
Posted by kylembelltown on January 2, 2011 at 12:06 AM · Report this
"Intricate drink specialties, creative menu items, and attentive staff this bar is sure to be a hit when looking for a classy yet comfortable place to get a drink and a bite to eat."

Direct quote from their poorly written website copy. I also enjoyed how they have to translate all their cute terms: Provisions (food).
Posted by I Love IPA on January 2, 2011 at 4:46 AM · Report this
NinjaJohnson 23
I'm with #22. That website is unforgivable.

I will never go to this place.
Posted by NinjaJohnson on January 2, 2011 at 9:49 PM · Report this
@18- I drink from jars at home. Not mason jars, mostly Classico Pasta Sauce jars. They come free with my pasta sauce!
Posted by dwight moody on January 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM · Report this
More, I Say! 25
lol @24...I sometimes feel like i'm the only person in the world who *doesn't* enjoy jars-as-cups. (because I use them as tupperware and you damn kids keep drinking out of my jars and now I have nowhere to put this leftover soup!!)
Posted by More, I Say! on January 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM · Report this
I don't care how people label it. I will always try something once & judge it for myself. I've been there a few times and sat upstairs with friends. Seems like a good meet up spot and then move on to somewhere else.
Posted by lilHoss on January 4, 2011 at 10:29 AM · Report this
This place is too full of itself and the service was horrid.
Why do more and more places make me feel like I'm bothering them when I want to order a drink or food???
Posted by shannonlynne on February 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM · Report this
damn it feels good to be in Belltown
Posted by seattletexan on February 16, 2011 at 1:22 AM · Report this

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