Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Market Arms

Today my new favorite drinking, dining and socializing establishment opens for business at 11:30am. The Market Arms in Ballard is owned by the same folks that have mastered the fine art of the British sports pub for the past 15 years at Fremont's George and Dragon Pub. We used to live a stone's throw from the George and Dragon in my early Seattle life. I actually remember when it changed over from the Midget Tavern to the George and Dragon...I was hugely relieved, as the Midget was a pretty dive-y place with a very rough and colorful clientele. I used to love going to Quiz Night at the George. My husband still goes regularly with a group of guy friends to get their butts kicked in the quiz challenge. Oh sorry...did I type that out loud?

And now we have our OWN place in Ballard, on the direct bus line from our house. It's like DOOR to DOOR service! I feel like the old Norse gods are smiling down on me today.

We are also lucky enough to be friends with the wonderful owners. Kids are worth having, if for no other reason than they make friends...and then you get to become friends with your kids' friends' parents. We've met some of the greatest people that way.

Even though it's brand new, I have a strong suspicion that the Market Arms is going to become a Ballard institution. There is already a strong bond formed between some of the old guard Norwegians of Ballard and this new English crew. I love it. I can't wait to see what the t-shirts are going to look like (hmmm John?).

It's also just a really nice space to hang out in: lots of windows and light, mixed with lots of wood and warmth. A great deal of care and attention to detail was taken during the build-out. The table bases were brought in from England, the bar was custom made for the space, large screen TVs are easily viewable from every seat in the house, and the signs in the bathroom were attached to the wall with magical screws so that they can't be nicked from the place too easily.

Oh yeah, and the food is great. It's pub food: bangers and mash, fish and chips, shepherd's pie, cheeseburgers, etc. But it's Seattle pub food...that is to say, our expectations here are for above average food, and the Market Arms more than delivers. I got to taste a bunch of different dishes, and they were all excellent. The hamburger was to die for. Hamburger Harry's next door is going to be hurtin'. And they have an amazing beverage selection, obviously. And a very friendly, experienced and enthusiastic staff. And they're going to have Quiz Night on Wednesdays. And the bathrooms are nice. And you can play pool and darts. And they have outdoor seating on the front patio and off the back with a view of the fishing boats and water.

AND they're open just in time to start showing all of the 2010 World Cup matches (which begin this Friday). If you are a soccer fan, you may have already peed your pants with excitement. If you're not a soccer follower and fan of all the roudy World Cup revelry, remember to come back in another month or two when the windows are all open, the sun (or moon?) is shining off of the water, the folks at the table next to you have a relaxed card game going, you can hold a pint of beer in your hand...and settle in for the long, lovely haul.