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74th Street Ale House

September 19th, 2008 · Comments

74th St. Ale House (Pub Food)
7401 Greenwood Ave N (map)
(206) 784-2955

The Stranger: “Burgers on baguettes, luscious seafood gumbo, and beer…”
CitySearch: “It’s easy to feel like a regular at this boisterous tavern…”

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (105 votes, average: 3.64 out of 5)

dining · Food & Drink · pubs


  1. Marty says:

    Overrated and overpriced.

  2. PAS915 says:

    Food is pretty good, some of the soups actually excellent, but the service can be downright awful at times. I’ve actually walked out a couple times after sitting for 5-10 minutes with not even a “hi, I’ll be with you in a minute.” Too bad since I live only a couple blocks away and would go there more often if the service was better. Hilltop’s service (in QA) is spot on, so I’m not sure what the problem is here.

  3. Bill says:

    Yeah, I’ll agree that service is kinda bad here, just in terms of being attentive and quick to get you that first good beer. But no one is rude or obnoxious. I can’t say I’ve had a bad meal there though and frequently have had a very good meal. There’s usually one special which is especially intriguing. And amongst the regular items I can’t say enough good things about the Reuben.

  4. Sarah says:

    I agree. The service is not good. Most of the wait staff either have an attitude and seem like they don’t like working there or seem totally overwhelmed. Not good for a neighborhood pub. Once you get served the food is good.

  5. Mo says:

    Most of the staff seem to be self absorbed and miserable. They don’t seem to have a genuine connection with the community. I stopped going all together when I had a child, because unfortunately children are not allowed. Given the neighborhood demographic of young couples, they are turning away a lot of business.

  6. Paul M says:

    No children in a bar is a good thing

  7. Knarly says:

    Go for the beer, stay for the Reuben.

  8. ivoryhalo says:

    very slow service. food was decent. I love trying restaurants, though, so I won’t deny myself a new experience in order to repeat this one unless there are no other options…

  9. Brett says:

    I agree w/ the comments on crabby, uninviting service, however, gumbo is good, the rest is at best average at above-average pricing.

  10. Paul M says:

    the curried cashew nuts rock!

  11. Lindsey says:

    I second that the service could be better. It’s popular and crowded, maybe too crowded. Less tables or more servers maybe? Also, the menu is getting downright boring. Limited selection that never changes.

  12. Lauri in Phinney says:

    Best Reuben sandwich in Seattle…try it with the Diamond Knot IPA. Excellent!

  13. Dan L says:

    You’re all making me laugh with the comments about service. It can be slow occasionally because it’s a popular place, and can have amazingly unpredictable swings in business that will catch any pub short of staff. There are also times when only three of us are there and there are two servers on. This is a place many of us have been going, drinking, eating, chatting for years because we love it (food, beer, people, sense of place, all of it). If you don’t like Deb, Charlie, Amy and Nellie…or think they don’t care or are self absorbed and miserable…it’s likely you are projecting something. See a shrink. Or, better yet, order a Manny’s and some cashews…..mmmm. Another? Sure, and a Ruben/chips please.

  14. margaret b says:

    Hey, all you people who think the 74th servers are terrible…don’t go there! More room for those of us who understand that when a place is really busy – and the staff is running their butts off – you might have to …uh…wait a few minutes for a table or service. OMG, novel idea.
    I’m not a regular by any means, but I go to the 74th often enough to see it crammed to the gills, really slow, and inbetween. EVERY time the servers are nice (even when swamped), the food dependably good, and the beer selection satisfying.
    Frankly, the 74th on a rainy saturday afternoon with a college football or basketball game on the tv…crowded or slow it’s perfect!

  15. PAS915 says:

    Instead of getting angry at the comments about the slow service, why not try to see them as constructive criticism and see if something can possibly be changed? This place has some legitimate service problems, whether you choose to believe it or not (yes, even when it’s slow).

  16. AK says:

    I have been here several times, and have never had bad service – and it has been packed at times. The food is excellent. (there are a couple of other bars around there that will go nameless, that don’t even come close) Ruben, Salmon both good. I wish they would bring back the 9lb porter, but a Guinness does the trick. I disagree with the “legitimate service problems.” No way.

  17. luzma says:

    $12 for a chicken sandwich??? please! completely overpriced!

  18. Sharon says:

    Definitely concur with the service. It isn’t hard to say “I will be right with you” or “Thanks for waiting/Sorry for the wait.” Instead it can be gruff and unapologetic. I was a server for 8 years, so I feel qualified to both be sympathetic to a busy place that is difficult to navigate (the aisles are just too narrow! surprising it’s allowed by fire codes), and also be frustrated at the lack of polite service/ attentiveness.

    That said, it is not like that all the time, when the service is good it’s great (I wish I knew their names so I could shout out some of the great servers I have had the pleasure to be served by), and the food is delicious. Plus Blackthorn on tap, and good veggie options for my veg friends, and you have a winner!

  19. annika says:

    Who puts a hamburger on a french roll? And no fries? Lame. Sorry, but I expect to a bar to have a fryer. So I decided to have the Gumbo. Whoa doggy! The Gumbo was waaay to spicy, and I’m no wimp. Disappointing after hearing that they had such good food. I’m not planning on returning when we have so many better choices in the neighborhood.

  20. Laura says:

    It would be easy to put up a demarcation so kids could come in (like Chupacabras or Barking Dog), so it seems that they don’t really want kids or don’t need the business. So, I take my business elsewhere…which sounds like that works out fine since this place does have a fan base. But I hope you fans never have kids, because then you’ll need to stop going, like I did.

  21. Hervon Ruten Schtuen says:

    Elderly Seattleites seem to love this place for the same reason old people loved Bishop’s Buffet in the Midwest when I was a kid — the food is bland but predictable. Unlike Bishop’s, the food here is not a good value. Still, the gumbo is reliable, and the beers are pretty good — especially the cask and nitro pours. This is another Phinney institution that is riding on a reputation it no longer deserves. But who can resist that neon on a rainy night?

  22. daveg says:

    I’m torn about the 74th Street Alehouse – this is one of my favorite burgers in town. The pasta salad side is also something I crave. I wish they would rotate their tap list a little bit more often but there is always something there I can enjoy.

    The downside is the price. I don’t like calling anything overpriced (I am willing to pay for quality) but $20 for a burger and a beer? $20! This is the reason I’m not a bigger fan than I would like to be.

  23. MadChops says:

    Fuller’s ESB on tap. Goat cheese salad. That’s just about a perfect dose of delicious.

    Their sister joint, Hilltop Ale House, is highly recommended too, with perhaps even more of an English pub feel and top-notch service.

  24. Carlyn says:

    I’ve found the food to be unfailingly good… although for some options you have to like it hot! I like the atmosphere and don’t find the prices out of line. Can be busy, but I’ve usually felt the wait staff like working there and are friendly and attentive enough. Love the goat cheese salad, soups, and the salmon.

  25. TOM W. says:

    the alehouse rocks! food is great and the beer is good. and the atmosphere… always nice. mostly because the parents that have no control over their kids can’t go there! people with kids can be so incredibly inconsiderate to staff and other patrons, it’s really a shame.

    keep up the good work 74th St.!

  26. Been dropping in for 5 years. The service has always been good and the food consistent. One of the best neighborhood pubs in Seattle.

  27. John says:

    Great neighborhood pub with overworked servers but with a wink and smile they will take very good care of you. $$$$$$ hamburgers and no happy hour is a drag. Try happy hour at Oliver Twist three blocks north (rated top 5 or 10 happy hours in Seattle) and top it off with a beer at 74th for a cheap night out!

  28. regular says:

    after going to the ale house about 40 times a year almost since it opened I can count the times I’ve had slow service on one hand. And even if it takes the busy staff a while to get to you the food comes quickly from a well run kitchen. Seafood specials are always great as are the soups. Ruben is fantastic too. Now if they only had a good burger.

  29. Alison says:

    Great ruban sandwiches! I loved the atmosphere- feels like a cozy neighborhood spot. Our server recommended the ruben and a beer that I forget the name of and it was the perfect choice. I will definetly be back and recommend 74th Street Ale House to others!

  30. Aaaarrrggh says:

    I’ve been living in the area for 7 years now – before that lived in Queen Anne, so the Hilltop was my local!

    I love this pub and have probably eaten there on average 1/week over the last seven years, but I also feel it is less “competitive” than it used to be. With places like the Dray and Naked City opening up and the food prices increasing while the potions get smaller (serious, the chicken sandwich is shrinking with each year) and with the relatively slow rotation of the beer taps…well, I tend to go there less now than when I first moved into the area.

    I find the service good – I agree with John/regular: have had the very occasional bad night and some servers are better than others (and I miss Beau!) but that is bound to happen when you visit a place as often as I do the 74th!

  31. Ladybird says:

    When I first moved to the neighborhood, I popped in and notice a few women dining solo at the bar. Always a measure of a restaurant’s comfort level for me. I love the chicken sandwich, and the goat cheese salad.

  32. Karen says:

    Love that there’s no kids. Love their specials, they always rock. Glad that they shew away the people who are not tolerant.

    I love their beer and their food. Best place for a brew and some chow.

  33. Penny says:

    Wow – my review of the awful service we got yesterday got deleted. Nice.

  34. Doree says:

    Hi Penny – Actually, we moved the site to a new server yesterday, so anything posted between late Friday (when we moved data over) and late Saturday (when we actually hit the button to officially move it) doesn’t show up on the new site. Feel free to repost, and sorry about the confusion.

  35. Penny says:

    I’ll just summarize: 10 minutes after we arrived, still sitting there, no interaction from staff. I walked up to the bar to get menues; 10 minutes later came back and took our order and brought our drinks efficiently; 30 minutes later still no food, and no interaction from staff the entire time; I again walked up to the bar and asked if they could check on our food as it had been awhile; 15 more minutes, no response from staff, and the people around us that had arrived AFTER us are now paying their bill. We left. No apology, just “there must have been a mixup in the kitchen.” I’ve been a server, I know how it works, and there’s no way you leave a table unattended for 30 minutes, and then when you realize there’s a problem with their order, ignore them again for another 15 minutes. We kept looking back at the kitchen and they were just standing around. Unbelievable! I’ll never be back.

  36. Clifton says:

    I’ve never had a problem with the service here. A good happy hour deal and they always have two great IPAs on tap (Boundary Bay and Laurelwood). The food is pretty bad and overpriced, so we only go here for beer and a bowl of potato chips.

  37. Emily says:

    Best gumbo ever! And the nicest servers too 🙂