New bar ‘Shelter’ opens on Leary

Friends and family members packed Shelter on Thursday night, a “soft launch” for a new bar on Leary Ave. launched by longtime Ballard resident Kevin Carlson. Located in the space once occupied by The Station Bistro — right across from Bit Saloon — Shelter officially opens to the public this Friday night.

As the name suggests, Shelter features a large, outdoor patio — covered with wood and clear glass — with a unique, circular indoor-outdoor bar. “A lot of people thought I was crazy to do an outdoor area in Seattle,” Carlson said. “It’s unique. It’s different.” The outdoor bar and patio feature heating lamps and a fireplace to help patrons brave the cold winter temperatures. The menu is “sandwich driven,” Carlson said, and there are several entrees, like carne asada, as well as intriguing starters like the jalapeno peanut butter popper.

Carlson wanted Shelter to open in time for the summer months, but he said a “nightmare” issue with city permits delayed the grand opening until this week. “I cried on the way to work,” he told us tonight. “I actually didn’t know it was going to happen. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m just glad the doors are open. I just hope Ballard enjoys it.” (Thanks, Kirk!)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

21 thoughts to “New bar ‘Shelter’ opens on Leary”

  1. This place has serious potential people. Get your butts down here, if only to appreciate all the hard work these guys have done to completely transform this bar. ITS BEAUTIFUL, I hope to spend many more “Backfires” here.

    Good job.

  2. RH, I cant tell if your comment was sarcastic or not. I'm not sure you could either.

    I love the idea. I love the look of the place. Apart from the library, it's the most scandinavian designed building to hit Ballard in a long time.

  3. This bar looks great! I think that it is awesome that businesses are opening in Ballard. Hopefully I will be able to stop by there tonight or tomorrow!

  4. the shelter is rad, great food and drinks super cool staff cant wait for it to snow and sit outside by the fire and have a cold one.

  5. Shelter is awesome. I went last night, and it's going to be a great place any season! The staff is great, and the atmosphere is warm and inviting and the food is great. I am so glad to have a place like this in Ballard.

  6. Because it snows so often here? :P Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to have access to outdoor drinking year round, but I'm not going to overly romanticize it.

  7. I think I may have to go there just to try a jalapeno/peanut butter popper. I don't like jalapenos but I love peanut butter and that's weird enough that I'm intrigued. I think someone should open a pub that serves squirrel kabobs.

  8. Congrats to Kevin and the place looks great. I passed by the construction every day since it started and I can't wait to check it out!! I think the outdoor area is really cool and I'll definitely use it!

  9. LBB is correct.

    I think it's great, and give them serious kudos for putting all that work into that location, which is pretty much not near anything else that people who appreciate 'fashionable' bars frequent at night. (Which is also part of what makes it so promising, if you ask me!)

  10. Stopped by last night for drinks. Gorgeous place. It's not a great beer or wine place, in terms of variety, so I'm guessing it's a cocktail place — I'm not a cocktail person, so I don't know if it's good for cocktails or not.

    The bathroom is beautiful — wood everywhere. I hope it can stand up to some abuse.

    Menu looks good, inventive, and those poppers smelled wonderful. Avocado fries?! I'll have to stop back in for dinner sometime.

  11. “a “nightmare” issue with city permits delayed the grand opening until this week. “I cried on the way to work,” he told us tonight. “I actually didn’t know it was going to happen.”

    Just ramp what's going on now when it comes to working with the constipated elements of Seattle government and business out about 10 years. Won't be nuttin' getting opened.

  12. I went here yesterday to check it out, I LOVE the look and feel of the place, the outside area is beautiful. Can't wait for warmer weather to have drinks outside.

    Does anyone have an email address (or any contact info) for Kevin? I have a wonderful idea of a food item to feature, and would really love to present the idea to him :)

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