King’s Hardware named Washington’s best dive bar by MSN

To most Ballardites, King’s Hardware isn’t typically described as a dive bar,  but it made the list of the country’s best dive bars from the MSN Lifestyle website.

MSN compiled a list of each state’s best dive bar, and King’s came out on top for Washington. The author writes:

As long as you’re good with taxidermy, chances are you’ll love this bar. With a fantastic selection of beer, craft cocktails and a stick-to-your ribs menu, it’s a great place to while away a foggy, rainy Pacific Northwest day.

Some of the criteria they used to define a dive bar include a jukebox, “beer in bottles, but preferably in cans”, a stale beer smell, friendly bartenders, “a spate of regulars, many of whom are old-timers and know each other well”, and no hipsters or tourists.

Thanks Ralph Hammersborg for the tip in the My Ballard Group!


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Ballard Eater
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Ballard Eater

Oh my. I think they got that last part about no hipsters wrong. Regardless, they do make delicious burgers.

Listicle
Guest
Listicle

You have to wonder if the people who make these lists ever even go into these places. I love King’s — all of Linda’s places are solid — but it doesn’t smell like beer and it is definitely populated by the young hip-eoisie. A better choice on Ballard Ave: Hattie’s or Bad Albert’s.

Henry VIII
Guest
Henry VIII

If a bar makes a list, its not a dive!

Dan Halligan
Guest
Dan Halligan

Ha ha ha! What do The Smoke Shop, The Sloop, the Thunderbird Tavern, The Waterwheel, The Stepping Stone, Mike’s Chili Parlor and the Lock & Keel all have in common? They are Ballard dive bars. And King’s isn’t one of them.

Ballard Eater
Guest
Ballard Eater

Agreed. These dive bars that get named ‘tops’ are hardly of the dive variety.

Seattle Logic
Guest
Seattle Logic

A “dive” is anywhere not owned by Ethan Stowell.

Another Mossback
Guest
Another Mossback

Or Linda Derschang, although some of her establishments might qualify – in another 20 years or so…

Listicle
Guest
Listicle

Great list – 100% agreed.

darryl e.
Guest
darryl e.

Tis a fine bar, with excellent burgers, but FFS it’s not even remotely a dive bar.

Hearts of Glass
Guest
Hearts of Glass

Why is there always a crowd in the bathroom? And why does everyone have the sniffles all of a sudden?

Laptop Cooked My Gonads
Guest
Laptop Cooked My Gonads

Haha.
I love it. They’re “moderating the comments” on an article about a dive bar. PEAK SEATTLE

Homeless On the Range
Guest
Homeless On the Range

Hey you’re right! I think we got #metoo’d. #Wetoo’d!

Seattle Logic
Guest
Seattle Logic

“No Smoking Within 25 Feet”
Yep. Don’t worry about the heroin though. City will bust balls about smoking, and cops will bust balls with “underage drinking” setup stings on hapless bartenders yet they all shrug off and shift blame about the the army of junkies.
GENIUSES, ALL

Lampchop
Guest
Lampchop

I think we all know by now that second hand smoke is just a ruse and has been debunked. If that was the reason why don’t they allow electronics. Pure Nanny state garbage.

Another Mossback
Guest
Another Mossback

Not according to the CDC:

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/health_effects/index.htm

But hey, thanks for playing! We’ll send you some fabulous parting gifts, along with a home-version of the game!

Mark
Guest
Mark

Ballard Avenue used to be one dive bar after another until all the hipsters moved into Ballard

M H
Guest
M H

Golden Shitty

Michael Shaffer
Guest
Michael Shaffer

Been there six months and qualifies as a dive bar? Don’t think so. This is just another millennial hipsters Seahawk twelves fake dive bar. Probably opens at four and serves fruity drinks and micro brews. Dive bar is in background of photo by the way. Been there long enough to earn that moniker.

Homeless On the Range
Guest
Homeless On the Range

Either you’re being snarky or you don’t leave the house much. King’s has been in the ‘hood for over a decade now.

Scott
Guest
Scott

Yeah – I love Hattie’s. The bar back in there came ’round the horn in the late 1800’s.

Homeless On the Range
Guest
Homeless On the Range

Hattie’s is definitely one of if not my favorite bar. Weekend brunch is awesome!

Dr.Clipper
Guest
Dr.Clipper

Wow no hipsters and tourist……I am in and never knew a actual American style taveran existed in Ballard

Scott
Guest
Scott

The place may be perfectly fine, but dive bar? Not in a million years.

Mike Seely
Guest
Mike Seely
john
Guest
john

scarf a few burgers while they’re mixing your paint!

Constance Brinkley-Badgett
Guest
Constance Brinkley-Badgett

I made the list. I’ve been to King’s. First, the list isn’t a “best” of at all. Try reading the headline. Second, that’s not the description used for King’s. Third, it wasn’t written by MSN. They don’t create original content.
I will say that I initially wrote the review as King’s being a hipster study in dive bars, but I didn’t want it to sound so douchey. Nice little bar. Great food. Too bad no one seemingly wants the owners have a little free publicity on a national level.

Mike Seely
Guest
Mike Seely

I think the point most people are trying to make is that King’s isn’t a dive bar, and therefore should never have been classified as such. Nothing wrong with giving King’s “a little free publicity on a national level,” but there’s plenty wrong with inaccurately describing it as a dive bar. The commentators here either live or have lived in Ballard. I don’t believe you have. Rather than responding so defensively, maybe you should take their criticism to heart and acknowledge that you missed the mark in your description. Lord knows I’ve messed things up and had to eat some crow before. And speaking of eating crow, King’s could probably make a pretty mean burger out of that bird, as could Hattie’s.

Another Mossback
Guest
Another Mossback

Also, it’s arguable that Linda Darschang really NEEDS “a little free publicity”; she seems to be doing quite well without it, in case you haven’t been paying attention for the last 24 years or so.

Anne
Guest
Anne

Yeah —we are weird that way in Seattle! Lots of real Dive Bars here though.