Technically, dogs aren't allowed in any food service establishment, which means your happy hour outing might involve leaving Mr. Fluffles at home. But we're a canine-loving populace—polls have ranked Seattle near the top of the best cities for pooches, and census numbers have shown there are more doggies than children here—and the Washington State Department of Health enforces this prohibition only when confronted with a blatant violation or a serious health risk. Thus, if your pooch isn't eating off tables, causing a ruckus, or making puddles under the bar, man's best friend can be man's best drinking buddy, too. Indeed, in dog-loving Seattle, there are plenty of establishments that welcome you and your "fur baby." These are some of my favorites.
3714 S Hudson St, 206-420-1201
Marination Ma Kai's Columbia City outpost is next to a large parking lot, allowing for quite the patio space. That patio welcomes dogs and is dotted with plenty of umbrellas for the comfort of you and your canine companion. Happy hour at Super Six, daily from 3 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close, is also very comforting. For one, it includes lots of drinks. All draft beer is $2 off; you can choose from red, white, or rosé for $5; champagne cocktails are $5; and three of their specialty cocktails are on offer for $6. The Island Spritz—lemongrass-infused vodka with mint, cilantro, cucumber, lime, and soda—is great. For two, their happy hour food is not to be taken lightly. The musubi ($5) isn't the tiny bite-size portions you might get from a gas station on Maui. If you order this rich, flaky pork-belly version, you could probably give half to your pup and still enjoy your fill. Throw in some of their superlative Aloha fries ($7)—long, crispy frites topped with kalua pork, drenched in kimchi mayo, and topped with a perfectly fried egg—and you're set. Unless, of course, you can spare room for their "Auto Banh Sando," a little pork sandwich served on a doughnut dough roll. If you can, you should.
1600 Melrose Ave, 206-588-0375
The Pine Box has a feature that is invaluable for dog-owning diners during Seattle's gray, wet days: a (mostly enclosed) covered patio. It's located in the portion of the former funeral home where the hearses used to drive through to pick up bodies. Basically, you're hanging in a porte cochere. Though Pine Box and its predecessor, the very clubby Chapel bar, both bought in to the funeral-home theme, the space is currently very much alive with beer, and they've got a great happy hour (3 to 6 p.m. daily). All of their 36-item, ultra-eclectic tap list is $1 off, as are wells and a rotating cocktail special. They also have Four Roses Yellow Label whiskey on tap and offer shots for $5. For only $1 more, you can get it as an old-fashioned, manhattan, or whiskey sour. As for food, the beef and pork meatballs in tomato sauce ($6) are great, as are the pulled pork tacos with tomatillo-arbol salsa ($7). Also, you can't go wrong with porcini-dusted truffle oil popcorn ($4), and I'm sure Baron von Scruffington wouldn't mind mopping up the few you'll inevitably fumble.
460 N 36th St, 206-547-1417
Norm's Eatery and Alehouse is named for the former owners' late golden retriever, Norm. His image is still emblazoned on their sign, and a photo of him tending bar headlines their website. To say they love dogs would be something of an understatement. Norm's is easily the city's doggiest eatery, urging diners to "sit... and stay." The walls are covered in doggie decor, dogs are welcome inside and out, and they even have a special pup menu. Bacon pupcakes, anyone? Also, they clearly have their priorities in the right place, as evidenced by the "Pets welcome, children must be leashed," sign that hangs out front. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. daily, with $4 drafts from their extensive local tap list and a selection of bar snacks at the $3 to $10 price points. A bowl of tots, rings, or fries is $3, and fries smothered in chicken chili and cheddar cheese are $7.
3901 First Ave S, 206-432-9734
While almost all breweries in Seattle are dog friendly these days, Schooner Exact has a patio that is surrounded by railings perfect for hitching up your doggie, brews consistently amazing beer, and secretly serves some of the best food in Sodo. Unbeknownst to many, they also have a great happy hour, with 16 percent off all draft beer (the math works out to make them exactly $4.20 a pint), and a selection of fancy beer-friendly snacks, like cotija-dusted chicken tacos ($6 each) with a very zesty cilantro lime slaw, or chipotle ancho beef chili nachos with lime crema ($9). Good snacks! Happy hour is 3 to 5 p.m. and 8 to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday.
1224 First Ave, 206-467-4042
Owning a dog and living the downtown life might not be easy, but it hasn't deterred many of you. I've seen Great Danes come trotting out of some of those apartment towers, and unless you've got the penthouse, I'm not sure where you're keeping the damn thing. Regardless, all of that time spent avoiding eye contact with passersby while awkwardly walking Fido can leave you thirsty, and the Diller Room has got you covered. The comfortable, classy bar also has a nice patio that extends up its University Street side, making it spacious enough for you and Marmaduke. Being situated on a busy strip of First Avenue, right across from the Harbor Steps and the Seattle Art Museum, makes for some pretty good people watching, too. The Diller Room's generous happy hour runs from 2 to 7 p.m. daily, and they do $4 drafts, $5 wells and wine, and offer discounts on a variety of their food, which is simple, unfussy bar fare. I recommend the roasted red pepper goat cheese dip ($5). There is also an array of sliders and pizzas.
2514 E Cherry St, 206-324-7462
The Twilight Exit is a true Seattle classic, and one that has weathered the storms of gentrification with grace and aplomb. The Central District dive got bumped out of its original spot on Madison Street in 2008, and quickly jogged over to a new space on Cherry Street. This might spark controversy, but I actually like the new digs better. Instead of a tiny square for smoking, their new patio space is roomy and comfortable. It's got a ping-pong table, which is an extremely enjoyable bar game and kind of hard to find in Seattle. Plus, you can bring your pooch out there to fetch stray balls for you! Happy hour is 4 to 8 p.m. daily, drafts and wells are $4.50, and PBR is $2.75. They don't do food specials, but the regular menu is already chock-full of affordable, awesome bar burgers and other snacks. If you drop in, make sure your pet is leashed.
400 Fairview Ave N, #105, 206-922-3288
Bar Harbor does not offer its full happy hour on their sprawling, chic South Lake Union deck, due to differences between the indoor/outdoor tap lists and food menus, but they do welcome dogs. Because they still honor the happy hour $1 discount on oysters outside and because it's such a pleasant deck to kick back on with a pilsner and some clam dip, I'm giving them an honorable mention. Owner Ben Hodgetts informs me that while dogs are always welcome, "probably someone mad about no happy hour pricing [on the deck] just stole our giant dog water bowl." For shame! Happy hour is 3 to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.