We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Ugh.” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Copper Gate - CLOSED

No photo provided
Got a photo?
Add it.
Copper Gate
6301 24th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Ballard)
206-706-3292
Menu
Improve this listing
Price range: $10 - $15
Cuisines: Scandinavian
Neighborhood: Ballard
Restaurant details
Neighborhood: Ballard
Seattle
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Ugh.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

It will be a long time before I cross Copper Gate's threshold again. On prior visits, the food was good (and to me, unusual) and the service acceptable, so we went back. This time, the stereo was cranked as if it were past midnight in a packed bar, and not handful of diners on a quiet, sunny weekday evening. Our waitress did her best, but it appeared she worked alone. When our food arrived, most of it was cold. The soup was hot enough, but the fish cakes and Swedish meatballs were cold. Not chilled, but room temperature. We took the risk of eating them anyway, because we were hungry, the place was full, and despite being cold, the food tasted good. Hopefully, it won't make us sick. And while it didn't take long for us to get our meals, adjacent tables waited considerably longer. Dirty tables sat uncleared, while the waitress zipped around trying to take orders, deliver food, and clear tables. She might have been the bartender too, but I just wanted to get out of there, so I didn't venture closer to the super-noisy bar to check. The final straw was the new arrivals, hovering 1-2 feet from tables, impatiently looking between diners, even asking if they'd be leaving soon. How rude! There should be some kind of barrier so guests can finish their meal without new customers making them feel as if they're not eating fast enough. We had appetizers, wine, and entrees, but we were there less than 45 minutes. I might return (I do love that cauliflower soup and the fish cakes), but it won't be anytime soon.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

8 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    0
    5
    2
    0
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Unique bar, minimal food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

Yes, it's unique - some of it hasn't changed in decades (my friend's mother remembers drinking there in the 1950's). Somewhat of a dive bar in decor, but generous alcohol list with many imported spirits. The food on the other hand is "small plates" style, but "Big plates" cost! Basically an appetizer menu, most are $9+. Yes, it's typical Scandinavian, and that's what we wanted to try, but have since decided this is a cuisine we'll pass on! Pass on the food and go there for getting drinks and mix with the neighborhood locals, & you'll be happy.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Copper Gate - the lovely local pub with an excellent music venue who thinks they’re Canlis.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

Copper Gate is a great little bar with some interesting drinks, a sexy atmosphere and friendly service. Boasting a fantastic intimate (literally) music venue in the back, and offering creative drink options, it’s a great place to meet with a friend. Be sure to eat in advance. What Copper Gate gains with their other attributes, they lack in the food department – although the options are extremely tasty, they are scant and overpriced. It’s as if they imagine that they’re in competition with Canlis. The beet salad is fantastic, but tiny and unfilling. The poached pear is actually 3 scoops of ice cream with a slice of pear on top. You get the point. As with any bar, it’s worth trying once – but I’ll be sticking to drinks and music from here on out.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
seattle
Top Contributor
109 reviews 109 reviews
35 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
92 helpful votes 92 helpful votes
“Uniquely Ballard”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2011

The Copper Gate is one of the last overtly Scandinavian businesses in Ballard, a traditionally Norwegian neighborhood northwest of downtown Seattle.

The style of the Copper Gate though is like nothing else I have seen ... in Ballard, Seattle or elsewhere. Picture a bar shaped like the hull of a Viking ship, mostly ambient or house music quietly thumping in the background, plates of house cured gravlax, meatballs with lingonberry and mash, pickled herring, and frites, scandinavian and local beers, house made aquavit, brennevin, salmiakki or bitter dram, and wall to wall pinups -- vintage nude photography -- with some velvet paintings added for good measure. It's initially weird but it works!

The Copper Gate also has regular live entertainment in a back room lounge, which recently has included some very decent local singer-songwriters, jazz and (appropriately) burlesque.

The crowd, far from the dive bar sad sacks you might imagine when you first approach the bar, is typically young and local and it is a popular hangout for groups of young women. That being said the old Ballard Scandanavians and fishing crew members still come in for a Carlsberg and an Aquavit. The bar is particularly appealing from the late Spring to early Fall when a few outside terrace tables are useable and they can roll up the garage door- styled front windows.

The service at the CG is attentive and the prices are reasonable -- particularly during their 5-7 happy hour when just about everything is $1-2 off.

If you get to Ballard the Copper Gate is a fun and unique ode to the neighborhood's Scandanavian and salty fishing heritage and there aren't many places in the US (that I have found) with the traditional Scandanavian food and liquors that they have.



    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“homey Scandinavian pub”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2011

It's small, but looks to be very popular with the neighborhood. Careful, because parking is only available on the street, which turns out to be quite crowded. The bar is shaped like the bow of a Viking ship. The food on the menu turns out to be mostly appetizer-size plates, but it's good, especially if you like Scandinavian food. Definitely worth trying out!

Visited October 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Copper Gate also viewed

 

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Copper Gate, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.