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Copper Gate, Ballard, SEA

Just looking for anyone's opinion on the newly remodled Copper Gate on 24th in Ballard. I have gone twice and really enjoy the atmosphere and cocktails, but both times it was dead. Once was a Tuesday, so that's understandable, but the other was a Friday night at 10:30 and besides my boyfriend and I, there were just two other tables and one guy at the bar. It seems sad and we are both perplexed as to why they have such little business. Lack of advertising? Too high-end for that end of Ballard? If you have not been, it's a Viking-esque theme, but modern. The cocktails are all Scandinavian themed and include some interesting ingredients (rhubarb bitters, Aquavit) -- not your typical vodka and mixer drinks. Anyway...just wondering what others are thinking of this place...

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  1. It sounds really interesting. I can't believe I've never heard of it.

    1. I went, I had never been to its previous incarnation, but my bf was a regular there (classy, I know) I thought the layout was really nice for privacy with the divider, if you are looking for an intimate setting, but then the environment they create with the ship and such doesn't really say 'intimate' so it is hard to tell what they are going for. The night I went it was pretty busy, not dead, but not jam packed. I just didn't think it look that interesting, and I drank some sort of take on a kir royal that tasted like vodka in cough syrup. And as of when i went, no draught beer????

      1. rumor has it that is ownd by the la carta/tiuku folks. does that sound right, or did i make that up?

        1. Wow, I had no idea that place had been remodeled (I used to run by there all the time and it gave me the creeps just being outside, I guess I haven't run in a while!).

          So, do they have any interesting food on the menu? A happy hour?

          I'll have to check it out!

          1. yes, copper gate is owned by the la carta folks, it's not quite done yet so my guess is when that happens the PR machine will pop into place & it will be busier. they own a few storefronts on that block & i think they purposely made it look like nothing was happening there during construction

            1. I like this place well enough-not as much as Sambar or Oliver's Twist, but well enough to return with my good friend that lives quite close (I probaby wouldn't drive across town to go here, like I would Sambar). I've only had the fries to eat, and they weren't very good, but there's a number of Scandinavian-inspired small plates on the menu-pickled herring, swedish meatballs...I can't remember what else. Most of the seats were taken when I got there at the early hour of 6:30 on a Friday, and when we left a couple hours later some people were standing, but it wasn't packed. The service was good.

              Not that this really matters to the discussion, but I just read that Kathleen Andersen owns La Carta, Senor Moose and Esperanza. So La Carta and Thaiku don't have the same owner.


              3 Replies
              1. re: christy319

                I don't read the linked article to be saying that Andersen owns all 3 of those restaurants, I read it to say that she opened Senor Moose, and Senor Moose is one of 3 notable Mexican restaurants in Ballard.

                  1. re: not the bad Steve

                    My brother owns Copper Gate, Thaiku, and La Carta

                1. Visited the place this past week. The house-made cured salmon (gravlax) is HIGHLY recommended...classic Scandinavian preparation....yet, a cut above, in my opinion..they serve it w. buttered dense pumpernickel slices and dill/honey/mustard.
                  Swedish meatballs 'patties',really... were just okay...they need flavor work and 'gravy' was glue-like. Pork skewers were overcooked but well-seasoned.

                  1. The old copper gate was a sketchy bar when on any given night you would witness a knife being pulled or someone getting hit over the head with a bottle for whatever reason usually over deals gone sour. The crowd there was pretty undesirable and why I have always stayed away unless the Viking Tavern up a block was too crowded. The problem i have with the new and impoved Copper Gate is I don't have a sense of what kind of atomosphere they are trying to create. I am really confused by the different looks. The Viking boat prow is kind of cool but the seating and flooring in painted strark white & white hex tile floor doesn't mesh with rest of the decor. Our waitstaff told us the were going for cool scandanvian look. The problem is you have part of the place trying to be scandie mimimlalist cool but the asthetic seems to clash with the photo collage of vintage burlesque and topless women a display case of various collectibles (some viking related but mostly misc knicknacks) but this also doesn't jibe wtih rest of the decor. My drinks there haven't been that memorable and they close early which is a bummer. I would much rather drink with friends the Viking Tavern up the street which I now avoid on weekend nights since the place has been overun by hipsters but still a great neighborhood tavern with friendly staff, shuffleboard table and crappy jukebox. On the plus side the waitstaff at the Copper Gate was attentive and friendly both times I have been in and it's nice to have the delicts who frequented the old copper gate move to another location therefore making that stretch of 24th ave a bit safer.