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Dec 2, 2012 07:58 PM

Viking Tavern--The End is Near

Perhaps few care, but this 62-year-old landmark is on Death Row. The entire half-block facing the East side of 24th Avenue and south of 65th is to be razed for... guess what? The next Stalinesque 45-unit condo in Ballard.

The Viking has never even flirted with noteworthy cuisine, but it is a paragon and archetype of 1950s corner tav, and one of the soul-spots of what used to be the quaint drinking village of Ballard. Its layout is a work of lucky genius, notably its wide, angled mirror above the bar that allows every patron to see amost everything that goes on there without getting caught looking.

Tonight's barkeep says they've been told the dozer will not scrape the place until April of next year, just in time to spoil the Norwegian Independence Day Parade. Until then, you can still experience the odd concept of Nordic Nachos.


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  1. Sad. More corporatisation of the once vibrant Ballard.

    2 Replies
    1. re: firecracker

      I think Ballard is more "vibrant" today than ever before. I think Kaleo's description old Ballard as a "quaint drinking village" is right on the money.

      That having been said, I prefer "quaint drinking village" to "vibrant" and I am also sad to see another condo project displacing one of the few remaining long-established businesses that is steeped in the personality of what the neighborhood used to be all about.

      1. re: Gizmo56

        +1. It's more vibrant, but far more generic as well. We don't seem to be very good at retaining character as our neighborhoods grow.

        if it's been there for 62 years I assume they own the building. So they probably chose to sell rather than they were forced to?

    2. So it will join the Valhalla in Valhalla.

      2 Replies
      1. re: forkit

        ..and hopefully have a stool for me when my longboat crosses over...

        1. re: kaleokahu

          I'll buy you a pint of nectar if so.

      2. Of course, it will be never be the same. But there has been some discussion on the local Ballard blog of the possibility that the Viking would return to occupy space in the new building. I do not know if that will be the case.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BallardFoodie

          Hi, BF:

          The barkeep mentioned that possibility, and, rolling her eyes, described some of the other chin music the developer's given them.

          With the rent explosion going on in Ballard these days, tavs like this just can't make it unless they already own their buildings. I'm sure the new property management will offer them a retail space at "market rate".