Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Pacific Northwest >
Dec 2, 2011 04:29 PM

Television-free Bar in Bellingham?

Does anyone know any place one can go for a drink without facing a wall or two of big screen televisions? You know, some place where you can actually have an intimate, undistracted conversation?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We don't get out for drinks often (we're so boring) but these come to mind:

    Fireside Martini:
    Honey Moon:
    Blue Horse Gallery:
    The Fountain Bistro (kind of more like a restaurant, but has cocktails, too):

    I'm sure there are more. Guess it depends on what atmosphere you're after.

    8 Replies
    1. re: laurachow

      As far as atmosphere, I want my old Tivoli back. Yes I know there was a TV behind the bar, but it only played black and white silent films. Second to that, Nimbus had a decent bar with a grand view. Not that it has to be upscale. Beer, wine, and cocktails would be ideal, for different people's preferences. Fireside is OK if you sit far from the TV at the bar. Last I was in there that TV still managed to capture my companion's undivided attention. It's hypnotic for some people, especially if it's sports! On the other hand, we went to the Fireside once specifically for the TV, to watch election results. Pretty pleasant for that purpose.
      I haven't been in the Fountain, will have to give that a try. Restaurant with a bar is fine!
      I will look into your other suggestions also. Thanks Laura!

      1. re: L.Nightshade

        Oh, geez. I didn't even realize that Fireside had a TV. I don't think The Fountain has a bar, but I usually go just for food so maybe I've just overlooked it. Good table service and outdoor seating in the summer, and they were hosting live music sometimes, too. Hopefully, any place that has live music, doesn't have a TV competing with the musicians. What about the Green Frog? Haven't been in there but I'd hope it is TV-free.

        1. re: laurachow

          Thanks again Laura! Mr. NS is eager to learn of the Green Frog. I don't drink beer, so it looks more like his kind of place. We'll check out the Fountain too.

      2. re: laurachow

        Good Lord.

        Today, I decided to try Blue Horse Gallery Cafe for happy hour. I checked the website and it didn't really clearly state what the hours were for the cafe, but the gallery is open all day. We arrived at 3:00 and it was completely empty of customers. There was a girl on her computer that greeted us......."Hi".

        That's it. Nothing more.

        I said, are you open?

        " Ummmmm, let me check"....

        She was looking at her computer, then she said "we are a little behind, late in opening, but go ahead and sit down". We looked for tables by the windows, but every one of them had someones bag, briefcase, paperwork, or jacket on them. Every. one. of . them.

        We started to leave, when another woman and her little dog came out of the office and said "we are open", "did you want food"? We told her it was okay, we will come back another time.

        Really weird. Really unprofessional. We really felt like we were intruding. Is this unusual?

        1. re: sedimental

          I should add, that we walked across the street and went to Bayou and sat in the bar. We had already emptied our change in the meter.

          Ordered some sweet potato fries and BBQ chicken wings. The wings sucked, but the fries were good.

          1. re: sedimental

            Thanks for the heads-up re: Blue Horse. Are they new ? Teething issues ? Either way, you prolly saved us some frustration and eye-rolling if we ever wandered in for patronage, like a couple of naive gullible (& polite) Vancouverite tourists would do ;-)

            On a slightly different (and lighthearted) note, here's a fun (local) blog thread, on resto casualness:


            Mijune is our local darling :-)

            1. re: LotusRapper

              That is EXACTLY like this place!!!!! Too Funny!

              No, Blue Horse is not new at all! I have no idea what the deal was today. Someone told me they went to a wine party there and the food was good, so I wanted to try it. I think I might go to one of their wine tastings or weekend be sure they are *really* open.

              1. re: sedimental

                And when we were down at Pine State Biscuits (Portland) during Spring break, we actually ordered our food from "tattoo dude" himself :-D

      3. What about the Bellwether Hotel bar? I go there for Happy Hour sometimes (and try to sit by the fireplace). I don't think there is a t.v. there- or at least, I never noticed it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: sedimental

          Good idea, I've never been to the Bellwether. Heard bad things about the food, but we'll check out the bar. Thanks sedimental!

          1. re: L.Nightshade

            Had lunch at the Bellwether recently. Food was OK, service was glacial. We sat on the patio (lovely) then moved into the bar, which was cozy and pleasant with a great view, but definitely did have a TV. I would go here for drinks and make sure to sit either by the fire or right by a window.

        2. We're both the sort of people who are easily distracted by moving pictures, so I feel your pain. The Bayou Oyster Bar (next door to Bayou on Bay) has the best cocktails in Bellingham, an absinthe drip, and no television. The Temple Bar is a fun place for a glass of wine or a cocktail, and while the waitress' clothing can be a little distracting (and the wallpaper is rather loud), also no TV.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Freida

            Thanks Freida! Two more spots to check out. All hope is not lost here in Bham!

            1. re: Freida

              I always forget about the Temple Bar. I just got back from there a few hours ago- after a movie at the Pickford. They have a good deal on a bottle of wine and a small cheese plate for 15 bucks. Nice. Even got a window seat :)

            2. This is an old thread, but such a worthy topic, I had to revive it! Another one to add to the list: Daphne's in Fairhaven. Fabulous cocktails, done well with good booze, and it's small and quiet. Such a nice place.

              1. Skylark's Hidden Cafe in Fairhaven has a well-stocked "bar", and no TV the last time I checked: