The Bit Saloon is closing November 1st

One of Ballard’s oldest bars, The Bit Saloon is closing its doors on November 1st, two employees confirmed to My Ballard. “We’re closing November 1st! Come have a drink or four with us!” exclaims the bar’s MySpace page.

“It’s complicated,” an employee told us, explaining that an effort is already underway to save the bar. Another employee said “The Bit” will close on November 1st, but there’s a chance it will reopen soon thereafter.

The Bit Saloon has been in Ballard since 1947 — originally called John’s Offshore Tavern — and its edgy, dive bar atmosphere is a local favorite. Located in the shadow of the Ballard Bridge, the bar is also home to some of the best local punk/metal acts in Seattle. We’ll post an update as soon as we learn more. (Thanks nuthatch for the tip in the forum!)

17 comments on “The Bit Saloon is closing November 1st”

  1. nothing about the place interests me, but then again, it is just a piece of diverse ballard that i wish could survive.

    lets not get in an argument of what ballard should be… but let's agree that it is better with a greater diverse group of people.

    it is sad to see a bit of an institution have to shut down

  2. Backfire isn't going anywhere, it'll be there… rain or shine on the 3rd Wednesday of the month. The Shelter (formerly The Station) will be hosting, so it's still on the same corner.

  3. Sad. So sad. I hadn't been in there in years and years but always thought it'd be there.

  4. I hear they're splitting the space into two store fronts: one will be a sushi restaurant and the other a boutique selling skinny jeans. ;)

  5. Thank goodness this place is going away. I've been a neighbor for seven years and have seen the clientele grow progressively worse, and the wanton vandalism and fighting from drunken patrons increase.
    I can't count how many times I've seen people leave the bar so drunk that they couldn't walk a straight line, and if I see them heading towards a parked auto with keys in their hands I call the police with the license plate number.
    The Bit looks like a classic dive bar, and I love historic dive bars. Keep the neon, but change the “theme” of the joint to something more responsible. The Maritime Ale House used to do it quite well.

  6. Um, yeah, but, in case you didn't notice… that place SUCKS. WTF were they thinking? This city doesn't need one more splinter of hollow, rootless modern architecture. They could've saved their money by renovating it in a way that preserved the retro vibe (really the location's only selling point). That spot is now better suited to tapping the rivers of easy-fit spectator lard spilling out of Safeco field, certainly not the Backfire night.

  7. What a shame! It was always packed. I can't imagine they weren't making money. On the Backfire nights alone, hundreds of people would show up.

  8. No need to worry. New ownership is in the works. There should be no or little downtime as ownership changes. Our neighborhood watering hole will continue serving us for years to come. Thanks to all the great folks that make this place the warm, welcoming place that it is!

  9. Maybe, but give it a chance. I don't plan to frequent the place, but they have been gracious enough to the Backfire people, and I will go to Backfire nights there. I liked the fact the Bit was there to balance out the “upscale” vibe of the Station/Shelter, but I am sure they will return.

  10. What? the Shelter is classic Scando design. How does this not fit in Ballard?

  11. This is a crying shame. Though not one of my more frequented bars, I have spent some time here. It will be missed, as will it's recently deceased neighbor, The Station. Best of luck to all of you…

  12. I get where you are coming from — most bar patrons drive and most will have been previously drinking to some extent — but all bars don't have fighting in the streets or patrons committing vandalism. All bars also don't have live punk or metal … or live music at all in fact. Some bars are definitely rowdier than others. That was bscowler's point I think. It's ok to have an opinion that living near The Bit was a negative.

    I personally hope to see The Bit back in some form or another for local color and their contribution to the music scene. I regret I didn't make it down there during Reverb this year. I also liked their old slogan:

    Kicking Ass and People
    Taking Notice

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