Trailbend Taproom to open in the middle of Ballard brewery country

The sign has gone up over the Trailbend Taproom, a new restaurant and bar from the owners of The Dray and The Yard.

Located deep in Ballard’s brewery district at 1118 N.W. 50th St., Trailbend is slated to open in March. With 42 taps and a wood-fired oven, the new restaurant and bar aims to capitalize on the growing brewery crowd in the area.

The taproom is the brainchild of Jamie Butler, Travis Eaton and Andy Walls, the founders of The Dray in Ballard and The Yard in Greenwood. The West Woodland location will be the most ambitious of the three.

“We’ve been trying to find a location there for a while,” said Butler, who says his Ballard home is “triangulated” between the three locations. “The food trucks are great, but some people prefer a sit-down restaurant, and the neighborhood is lacking that.”

The taproom takes up the first floor of The Klotski, a new three-story office development. With tall ceilings, concrete floors and custom woodwork and metal, Trailbend looks like a larger Colorado version of The Dray. Pending city approval, they also plan to open an outside patio.

The heart of Trailbend is the 42 taps, stretching 20 feet down the bar. On the wall, a giant sign with movable wooden letters details what’s available at a given moment, “inspired in part by an old train station sign,” Butler says.

The taps will feature “a good representation” of beer from the breweries next door. In fact, Butler says he’s working with Stoup Brewing to create “Stoup Trailbend IPA,” a co-branded beer for the opening. We also spotted Reuben’s, Populuxe and Fremont on the sign. Also on tap: cider, ginger beer, wine, Stumptown cold brew and a cocktail or two. “There will be a little bit of everything for everyone on tap,” he said.

As far as food, Trailbend is designed around its Wood Stone Oven — a popular oven created by a Bellingham company — that will create wood-fired pizza. They’ll also serve entrees, sandwiches and salads to attract folks in the neighborhood, too.

“There are a lot of homes around there,” he said while we talked at The Dray, a few blocks away. “We wanted to create a place that’s good for neighborhood.”

We’ll keep you updated as Trailbend gets closer to launch.

(Bottom two photos courtesy of @trailbendtaproom on Instagram)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

22 thoughts to “Trailbend Taproom to open in the middle of Ballard brewery country”

  1. Nice! They Dray and the Yard are excellent, and they’re 100% correct, the brewery district needs more sit down places. Can’t wait.

  2. With some amount of luck, this place and the new pedestrian signal at 53rd and 15th will be coming in right around the same time, followed not too long after by summer.

    I’m going to be spending a lot more time east of 15th this year than I did last year!

  3. Welcome!! Crossing my fingers for a selection that includes lager and kolsch options. I can’t be the only beer fan who does not like IPAs, can I?

  4. I heard from a *very reliable source* that it’s only going to be IPAs. And you’ll be asked about your favorite IPA at the door. If you can’t answer, you’ll be laughed at and charged a cover.

  5. Haha “brewery district”.
    More like the “Shi*hole RVs and junkies orbiting around McD’s screaming when their fiending” district.

    No disrespect to this place or it’s owners – I do enjoy their other locations hats off etc – but somebody needs to open a pub in “the brewery district” called “Dirty O’Brien’s” (ever seen On The Bowery?) and serve piss beer out of old milk jugs from a murder scene RV. Hell, “food trucks” are a thing, so why not Booze Vans?

  6. FYI Geeky Swedes, please delete comments using stolen handles like the one above. Some typically passive aggressive soy boy is pretending to be me, thanks. Predictable and pathetic.

  7. Ever seen the surroundings of Vaupell on 14th? Gee, thanks for having respect for the neighborhood. How about picking up the trash around your business every now and then?

  8. Geeky Swedes, please delete this person stealing my handle and requesting to delete my real posts, who posted at 9:06 am.


    I took a look and all the postings are coming from the same account. However, I’ll let you know if we see any unusual activity.

  10. My only gripe is it sure would be nice to have something other than the stereo typical American pub grub which is predominantly burgers/sandwiches and pizza. Maybe OK for the 21-30 age group perhaps but some of us oldies like a little more choice.

  11. It’s expensive to run a business in Ballard, old people don’t go patronize these restaurants because they claim:
    1) Poor Service
    2) Food is too “hipster”
    3) Food is too “heavy”

    So why would anyone make a restaurant trying to cater to these people when you can cater to millennials who:
    1) Are not poor like the unable to adapt baby boomers
    2) Aren’t terrified that when they step outside someone will stab them with a needle
    3) Don’t sit in there basements being bitter 24/7.

  12. The Yard is great, cool beer list, fun staff, and interesting Mexico style food. Can’t wait (but I will have to) to see what twist the owners will put on this place. I hope for interesting great beers, interesting food, and interesting friendly people. Yay grimey industrial economically diverse Beer District Ballard!

Leave a Reply