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!

35 thoughts to “King’s Hardware named Washington’s best dive bar by MSN”

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. “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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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.

    1. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

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