Last night we attended a pre-opening event at The Pine Box, Seattle’s newest beer destination. We have included a gallery of photos below. In its previous life this was The Chapel Bar, a typical Capitol Hill nightclub that closed last July. The new owners have resurrected the space, converting it from a thumpin’ nightclub to a beautiful, state of the art beer bar. Located in an old funeral home at the corner of Melrose Avenue and E. Pine Street, just a stone’s throw over I- 5 from the Paramount Theater, The Pine Box offers a small but thoughtful food menu to accompany a prodigious selection of draft beers. The grand opening is scheduled for next Monday, March 26.
The Pine Box
The focus at the Pine Box is squarely on the beer. The church-like vibe is perfect for worshiping delicious beers from near and far. When you arrive, you will find 32 carefully selected draft beers obediently waiting for you. One of them will always be cask-conditioned. For the hop heads, The Pine Box features a randall built into the wall—a feature dedicated to the late Bruce Lee. Perhaps this was his last stop above ground before his interment at nearby Lakeview Cemetery? For this pre-opening party, they were pushing HUB Noggin Floggin Barleywine through the randall. Hello! No word on what kind of hops they were using in the randall last night. Something very fruity and floral, for sure.
Last night’s beer selection included local favorites like Fremont Brewing’s Brother Imperial IPA and Elysian Brewing’s Idiot Sauvin as well as beers from more distant lands such as Southern Tier’s Gemini Imperial Blended Ale (New York) and Van Eecke’s Poperings Hommel (Belgium). Flat-screen televisions, two above the bar and another upstairs in the choir chamber, provide easy-to-read beer menus. Note that the pictures below of the beer monitors include special, pre-opening prices. As for the food, you’ll find a selection of appetizers, a few pizzas and a few entrées. Good chow to pair with great beer.
Ian Roberts partnered with his friends Dean Hudgins and Mark Eskridge to make The Pine Box a reality. Roberts formerly worked as the manager at Brouwer’s Café in Fremont, which gives him immediate street cred in the beer world. Sourcing great beer is a task to which he is accustomed. In other words, he knows all the important people in the beer world. Roberts is also one of the founders of Seattle Beer Week. The Pine Box will host brewer’s night, beer dinners and other special beer events, especially during Seattle Beer Week, a ten-day celebration taking place citywide each May.
The entrance on Melrose Avenue is not currently marked. It will be. “We have a seven foot tall neon sign on order,” said Roberts. “All it says is beer inside, with a big arrow pointing to the door. It should be visible from the Paramount. If I saw that sign, I would have to go check it out.”
The old funeral home converted nicely into a beer bar. The actual bar, and much of the furniture, was made from huge 100 year-old Douglas fir timbers found in the basement. This is the kind of wood you cannot buy at Home Depot. The timbers were originally used as shelves in the basement of the funeral home. Shelves for what? You might not want to know, especially if you’re afraid of ghosts. The balcony that once held the organ has been converted into the business office. The other balcony, the choir chamber, is now seating that overlooks the rest of the bar.
While The Pine Box is not the only good beer bar in the neighborhood, it is a welcome addition to this densely populated and always-thirsty part of Seattle. The Pine Box is a block north of McMenamin’s Six Arms and just a few blocks south of Stumbling Monk. Further up the hill you’ll find Elysian Brewing Company’s flagship brewpub, Quinn’s Pub, and the DeLuxe Bar and Grill (blog sponsor). Sounds like a Capitol Hill pub crawl to me.