The Walrus and the Carpenter
Description: A lightly upscale bar and oyster joint brought to you by the Boat Street Cafe's Renee Erickson, resting in a newly renovated landmark building in Old Ballard. Spare and careful, the decor suggests a beach house—one that's particularly clean and elegant and far away, with plenty of whitewashed surfaces, beaten wood, and rustic wire baskets. A giant back-wall viewing window overlooks the restaurant next door, bringing depth to the space.
Namesake happenings: It's named after a Lewis Carroll children's poem, about a duo leading a trail of oysters to their doom. It sounds grim, but all the delightfully nonsensical details and silly illustrations keep things fun. However, the Ballard restaurant's artworks portray the carpenter as a rough-looking man—all meaty and dull-eyed, his face smeared with whiskers. With this version of him in mind, the story only seems depraved. (Especially when he asks the oysters: "Shall we be trotting home again?" knowing full well they won't answer, because he just finished murdering them.)
Bonus: Outdoor patio!
Happy hours: Sun–Thurs 4–6 pm.
Happy-hour drink specials: $7 muscadet (Domaine de la Pépière), $4 pints (Union Jack IPA, Peroni), $7 cocktails (the pamplemousse contains Aperol, white wine, and grapefruit juice).
Happy-hour food specials: Discounted oysters, harvested locally and priced to market value: 4–5 pm half off, 5–6 pm quarter off.