Seahawks Stadium is a unique venue in the sense that is located in the heart of downtown and not surrounded by a sea of concrete parking lots. If you aren’t interested in trying to find a tailgate lot, don’t worry, there are plenty of bars and restaurants that should suit all your pre-game needs. By no means is this list all-inclusive, but here are some of the great spots for “bar”gating before a game. At the end of this post, you will find a map with the locations highlighted.
1. Hawks Nest Bar and Grill –1028 1st Avenue South
Hawks Nest is a die-hard bar for 12s to gather and warm up their vocal chords before the game. It is located adjacent to the tailgating lots near Occidental Avenue and close to Seahawks Stadium. It is a small bar with some great Seahawks photos and memorabilia on the walls. There is a decent beer selection on tap, including one of my favorite pre-game beers, Manny’s Pale Ale. If you aren’t into craft beer, you can get buckets of Corona or some PBR and Rainier tall boys. Flat screen televisions hang around the bar and you will have no problem checking the action of the early games. There is a food available, but I have never ate at the establishment. Show up early if you want a booth or table, if not there is standing room only. As the booze is flowing and the clock is ticking closer to kick-off, several chants of “SEA-HAWKS” will resonate in the building.
2. Pyramid Brewery – 1201 1st Avenue South
Pyramid Brewery has an indoor and outdoor option for your pre-game funk. The parking lot in front of the alehouse is converted into a beer garden. This is a micro-brewery so you won’t find Bud Light on tap. They do have some good brews and their Haywire Hefeweizen is the best one on the market. There are tents with pub tables, so if it starts to rain you can seek some shelter. There are no televisions in the beer garden so you can’t see what is going on around the NFL. Game day grub is available outside. They do have music playing, and every once in awhile Blue Thunder and the Seattle Firefighters bagpipe band will march into the garden and put on a show.
If you want to sit inside they have plenty of seating and you can grab a bite, a brew, and watch all of the NFL action on the flat screens located throughout the restaurant.
3. Jimmy’s on First in the Silver Cloud – 1046 1st Avenue South
Jimmy’s on First is the restaurant inside the Silver Cloud Inn Stadium hotel located between Seahawks Stadium and SafeCo Field. The food is good and this is the place to go if you want to get a good breakfast with a Bloody Mary or Mimosa. I always order the corned beef hash. The restaurant is also a great place to watch all the 10 a.m. games. There are large flat screens throughout the bar and restaurant. The bar is small in size, but has a solid selection of pacific northwest micro-brews on tap. The staff is efficient in getting 12’s in and out of the restaurant before the game, but once again give yourself a little cushion of time. The good news is you can walk right out of the door and you are standing at entrance to the CenturyLink event center.
4. Elysian Fields – 542 1st Avenue South
Elysian Fields sits along Occidental Avenue and is right next to Seahawks Stadium. I would categorize the establishment as a high-end micro-brew pub with 40 beers on tap. They brew one of my favorite beer’s, Men’s Room Original Red. There is an oval bar in the center of the business along with ample tables and booths for seating. Once again get here early if you want to eat lunch because I have seen lines of 12’s waiting to get inside.
5. Sluggers – 538 1st Avenue South
Sluggers is an old school bar that is narrow and long. Some people may even classify it as a dive bar, but this is a good place to drink lots of beer and watch the morning games. It sits right next to Elysian Fields so you are close Seahawks Stadium. Try to get there early because seating is limited and space is tight.
6. The Lodge – 166 South King Street
This place is brand new and wasn’t around last season (2012). It is located just north of Seahawks Stadium. With a name like the Lodge, it is obviously set in a rustic log cabin motif, resembling a place you would find in the heart of the Rocky Mountains in Montana. The food is good and they have probably over 100 micro-brews on tap. Seating is limited, so show up and early and give yourself plenty of time before kick-off. Flat screens are located throughout the restaurant, so you won’t miss any of the other games.
7. Cowgirls – 421 1st Avenue
If you want to drink cold beer and watch hot women dance to rap, country, and rock music before the game; then Cowgirls is the spot for you. The staff of Cowgirls dress in sexy football related garb and dance on the bar. The location of this honky tonk is just northwest of Seahawks Stadium. There are some flat screens located throughout the joint so you can check the scores of the other games whenever you take your eyes of the lovely ladies. They do have a menu, but I have never ordered any food. You can snack on free shelled peanuts as you drink your beer and partake in the pre-game festivities. The beer selection on tap is decent for micro-brews, but not extensive. If you don’t like loud music and hot women, this is not the place for you.