First look — Taps flow at Capitol Hill’s new beer hall, The Pine Box

(Images: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

Where once was a moody cocktail bar — and before that, a mortuary — now rises foamy heads of hoppy goodness. With 30 and then some beers on tap, The Pine Box debuted for industry types and those adventurous enough to pretend they were invited Tuesday night on Melrose Ave. Partners Ian Roberts, Dean Hudgins and Mark Eskridge held court — you’ll find the happy trio in the pictures below — as friends and associates put the new beer hall to work. Hard work, that is. 

“I’m not sure people know how much work goes into this,” Roberts said to CHS about the effort to transform the space the Chapel called home for eight years into a public house. The work was, apparently, worth it — the transformation is complete.


Eskridge, Hudgins and Roberts (L to R) (Images: Suzi Pratt for CHS)

In the Chapel’s place, you’ll find a long bar with an equally long set of tap pulls. A line of old church pews provide table space as does the seating provided above in the still-utilized mezzanine. The kitchen is new, however. The Pine Box provides a selection of pizzas to go along with the beer and “brown liquor” it serves.

We can’t tell you much about the liquor and we can barely begin to tell you much about the beer. When the selection includes eight different IPAs listed on the roster (displayed on digital screens above the bar), you know you’re operating in a higher league of beer consumption. Best to turn things over to the experts. You can learn more about the beer and when, exactly, the new place will be open to the public on The Pine Box’s Facebook page. The official opening is next week — but watch for a quiet-er opening any day now.

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24 thoughts on “First look — Taps flow at Capitol Hill’s new beer hall, The Pine Box

  1. Beer – soccer = $$$$$, too.

    If you want to hang out with screaming soccer hooligans, Clever Dunne’s is right around the corner. I’m looking forward to being able to hear the conversation with my friends when we go there to enjoy the variety of craft beers you can’t get just anywhere.

  2. I am so happy a comfortable bar opened on the hill. I am tired of all the trendy/micro/hipster/LA inspired (add your own adjective) bars recently. A nice normal place where you can get good beer, good food, and actually talk without techno blasting or standing room only.

  3. I usually go to the Summit, but the Pine Box is closer, plus an obviously better beer selection. Craft beer and NW soccer go together so well (Big Al’s has the Brougham Bitter for a reason ;) )! Clever Dunn’s? Yuck. No thank you.

    One night/One day between 1-3pm a week with people enjoying good beer and “the beautiful game” isn’t too bad, yeah?

  4. Ever been to the Stumbling Monk? The music is non-existent. The beers are fantastic and always rotating. The owner is a cool guy. The ambience is more laid back and yes, dare I say it, it reminds me of bars in Belgium. If you want quiet and quality, you’d do best to check it out.

  5. 8 IPAs?

    IPA is an abomination, and the craze has gone on for far too long. Hopefully they won’t clog their selection with too much of that crap.

    The rest is…awesome.

  6. No stake in the company…yet :-P

    Stumbling Monk is OK (and its likes) but always crowded and hot inside. I’m not saying there’s no good bars on cap hill, just happy there are more options now.

    PS. Six Arms is still my favorite

  7. I’m quite happy at the Monk and Hopvine myself (their respective beer lists tend to compliment each other nicely), but I always feel compelled to take out of town visitors over to Fremont to hit Brouwer’s for the gazzilion-great-taps experience. Having something like this within stumbling distance is a definite improvement.

  8. You paint such a lovely picture, but inviting sports fans into a pub is a slippery slope, my friend.

    I don’t really care one way or the other, I’m just thrilled to have what looks to be a fantastic brew pub opening up a couple blocks away!

  9. I have to agree with AbstractMonkeys that adding sports to a bar is a slippery slope. I would love to be able to go for a run with friends and end up in a chill pub for a pint, good food, and good conversation (that I can hear!). The hill has way too many hip places and not enough ‘i live here’ places to hang your hat after playing outside. I look forward to stopping in by myself to grab food, a good pint and many a conversation with the person next to me about the wonderful beer selection!

  10. …with the unreal complaining.

    how about a, “right on”, to the guys who are putting their time and money on the line to bring this place to cap hill instead of ballard or fremont?

    and a tv in a bar? it’s a slippery slope, a gateway drug. once you go there, you never go back. the HORROR…a tv in a bar.

    here are some suggestions. first, just go. don’t complain. don’t whine. just go. see what they have on draft, what the place is like, before you spend ungodly hours whining to people you don’t know. and if there are 8 IPAs, that means 75% of the beers are other varieties. jesus.

    second, if you want to watch MLS games, which are pretty much minor league soccer games, then find a bar with the games and go watch. there are plenty, and you can find them by looking for the hordes of dudes wearing bright green scarves inside.

  11. I live in Munich now, but moving back to Cap Hill this fall. Beer and friendly atmosphere (“gemütlichkeit”) — I’ll be stopping by for sure!

  12. “One night/One day between 1-3pm a week with people enjoying good beer and ‘the beautiful game’…”

    I also love good beer & watching sports – usually it’s the pre-world-champion Ms – but I’m curious as to the ‘1-3pm’ …what does that mean?

    And as much as I love good beer bars where u can watch sports (Hopvine, Bigtime, Hilltop…), I also am wary about turning the Pine Box into a soccer hooligan bar. Is there a middle ground? That would be cool.

  13. “Come on, get off the IPA horse. Please get a palate for beer that doesn’t taste like cat piss, like every IPA ever made.”

    lol, that’s an understandable analogy …but all seriousness aside, have u really ever tasted cat piss? The range of flavors & aromas of IPAs is enormous …from bitter to herbal to piney to citrusy to tropical-fruity. And we are really lucky here on the west coast to have access to a veritable plethora of wonderful, world-class IPAs. Many of them are worth trying. Give ’em a try – you may be surprised. I might also point out that hops are a close biological relative of ganga …those of us who enjoy partaking of the latter often also love a good bracing IPA …cheers!

  14. so you know when they run out of something– the screens are apparently updated in real time, since they only print out beer menus every once in a while. or at least that’s what the bartender told me when i asked. :)

    this place is awesome.