Seattle >Arts & Entertainment > Balmar Bar & Lounge
5449 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA | Directions 9810747.668470 -122.386241
Neighborhoods: Ballard, Adams
Cute place, but needs friendly people at the door! – I've been to BalMar a couple of times. It's very cute, and it's great to see that Ballard is finally catching up to the rest of the city in terms of having more classy places to grab a drink. However, both times I have been to BalMar, the person at the door checking ID's has been extremely rude. Ever hear of a first impression? The first encounter I had was with a girl who asked me to fix their door mat AFTER I TRIPPED ON IT BECAUSE IT WAS ALREADY MESSED UP BY SOMEONE ELSE. Excuse me, but I do not work at BalMar. AND I could have seriously injured myself. Instead of asking me, "Um, are you going to FIX that RUG?" after I tripped, it would have been nice if the girl could have extended an expression of concern and then FIXED THE RUG HERSELF SINCE SHE IS THE ONE GETTING PAID TO WORK THERE.
The second time, the guy checking ID's was just rude. That's the best way I have to describe him. I'm SORRY if you don't like standing in the cold. I'm SORRY if you hate being a bouncer. However, the fact that you CHOSE TO HAVE THAT AS YOUR PROFESSION is clearly NOT MY FAULT. Get a new job if you hate it so much, or deal with it and smile, because YOUR JOB is in the HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY and therefore you should be HOSPITABLE. :)
Once you get past the door, the atmosphere inside is classy, and the cocktail waitresses are attentive, quick, and friendly, which is the main reason why I will come back here.
A cool place to get a great drink! – This is still one of my favorite bars in Seattle. I think they have the best drink menu around. Though, I have to say that I will miss my bartender Joe. Good luck cutie. You will be missed!
Very friendly, Great Drinks, Reasonably Priced – I made reservations for my birthday of about 15 people and they reserved a portion of their lounge downstairs for me for free, with no minimums and they even split our tabs up. The service was great, everyone was very friendly, and they made really good mixed drinks. I highly recommend this place.
great venue for gatherings – The BalMar was fantastic. I had a small party for my husband down stairs near the bar. The wait staff was great. My guests were raving about the facility - the comfort of the couches.
We had a great experience and would highly recommend BalMar
Great for Birthday Parties! – Balmar is the perfect place to hold a birthday party! We had a 25 person party at the BalMar, our reservations were right across from the pool table area, this made for great mingling, it felt like we had our own area for just our friends, but still in the middle of everything. Food, drinks, service was EXCELLENT!
Best Bartenders and Excellent Seasonal Food Selections – I am confused by a couple of the bad reviews of one of my favorite spots in Ballard... Not only are the bartenders educated and creative mixologists, but they don't come off as pretentious if you have a question about what they recommend or a new product you don't recognize. Joey and John are well-versed in spirits, wine and beer knowledge and I found them very helpful. The Owner/GM, Dwayne is very gracious and always has a smile on his face. He puts on a great trivia night and other fundraising events for local non-profits. Dwayne takes great pride in working with his chefs to come up with a wide variety of small bites and entrees (as well as desserts) that use ingredients at the peak of their flavor. I have never ordered anything that wasn't delicious and look forward to new selections as the seasons change. On the weekend, the DJ packs the upstairs and there are plenty of young singles to peruse. During the week there are more regulars and locals that frequent the bar/restaurant for a nice quiet lounge environment. I hold Balmar near and dear as I have seen it evolve since its inception (I live just a couple blocks north). If you have had a less than stellar time there long ago, I definitely encourage you to give it another shot!
Poor value, food, rude service, pricey, just not fun – Avoid! Problem with Balmar is there are so many better places to go. Happy hour food and specials are poor, service is rude and unfriendly as others have mentioned.
The upstairs lounge can be fun and has pool, but the downstairs is a waste with terrible service and cold service all around. Only reason to go here is if you are meeting friends upstairs, bad spot for happy hour or food, and not a good singles scene either.
Pretentious Bar with Rude employees – Last weekend I was at the BalMar and I left very unhappy. During last call, the group I was with and I ordered drinks and moments later an employee (not the bartender) grabbed it out of our hands! I asked why he just did that and he said the bar was closed and we had to leave (it was 1:45am on a Friday). I spoke to the bartender and asked why he would sell us drinks when they would take it within seconds and he just shrugged. He voiced no apologies whatsoever.
I could not believe the poor customer service and I have never experienced this mistreatment before. I've been to BalMar a couple of times now, but I can say wholeheartedly that I will never be coming back.
love it – Went there for the first time last weekend and loved it! Out on a date Friday nite and the bar across had a loong wait, so we decided to try it. our waiter was great, gave good suggestions and it was cozy and quiet until it got a bit later and louder. Loved it so much I went back the next night with a friend. Again, good service and a good crowd. It's my new favorite bar!
Good bar menu, friendly staff, nice atmosphere – I love this place. I honestly don't know what the other reviewer was talking about when he said any of the employees were rude. I've never experienced that and in fact, have only had very friendly and fairly quick service there. I love their bar menu - pretty extensive for snacks and portions are generous for everything pretty much being around $8. I love that the cushy area on the main floor in back is almost always open for casual chat w/ your friends if you come w/ a larger group or there's usually somewhere just for 2. The upstairs gets crowded on weekends for sure, but I tend to visit during the week when it's a bit more low-key. The bartenders have always been nice and conversational and everyone I've brought there has loved it. Seriously, one of my favorite bars in Seattle.
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