The iconic Viking Tavern (6404 24th Ave NW) is set to close tomorrow after serving locals since 1950. The Viking is being demolished by developer Bill Parks to make way for new apartment complex “Ballard Lofts”. Check out our previous coverage here.
The My Ballard team paid a visit to the tavern on Sunday night to capture a glimpse of the atmosphere before tomorrow’s closure.
Viking regulars have spent the weekend savoring the memories and reminiscing with friends and staff members who have gathered together at the tavern for decades. The atmosphere of the tavern was warm and friendly, a group of friends gathering together to say their goodbyes to a place that has clearly added so much to their lives.
Regulars Hector, Tiffany, Jen and Paul shared their thoughts and feelings on the closure. “This is a place that matters. An epic part of Ballard is being flushed down the toilet,” said regular Hector. Tiffany echoed Hector’s feelings stating that the Viking “means so much to us all” and believes that the closure will disrupt friendships that have been years in the making. Paul added that he understood that there is good and bad with every change but said “I don’t know why we need more condos in Ballard.”
Andy Clark, the first bouncer in the history of The Viking who volunteers his service, observed that the closure was “sad on so many levels.” “It is doubly sad that condos are going here. We don’t need those as much as we need an historic icon,” said Clark. When asked about the next step for Viking regulars, he was unsure as to where they would gather after tomorrow’s closure. “We will have to find a new place,” said Clark.
There were murmurings that The Viking was to re-open in a new space in the “Ballard Lofts” complex once it is built, however, Clark confirmed that “the owners have no interest in that.”
It is evident that The Viking will be mourned by locals and regulars alike and the tavern is sure to remain packed until it closes tomorrow night. To sum it all up, as Viking regular Hector puts it, “if Ballard had a theme song at the moment it would be Another One Bites the Dust.”
Thank you to The Viking staff and regulars for their thoughts and time.