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Sam’s Tavern to celebrate New Year’s Eve grand opening in Pike/Pine

DSC_0969, originally uploaded by cactus22minus1.

As part of a legendary burger family, James Snyder isn’t messing around with his new Sam’s Tavern making its grand opening at the corner of 11th and E Pike on one of the biggest party days of the year. The New Year.

The new Pike/Pine burger joint and bar will be ready to serve starting at 11 AM Monday — and will keep the burgers moving through New Year’s Eve and into 2013 in a new space meant to evoke some of Seattle’s food and drink past as well as Snyder’s Yakima-Americana past of dirt bikes and Washington State-style ruggedness. We’re talking Rainier, not Pabst, here, son.

CHS introduced you to Snyder — Son of Red Robin, we called him — this fall when we broke the news of his new venture replacing the stalled-out LA Taiwanese-Mexican mash-up Chino’s. Snyder’s family launched the franchising of the Red Robin chain in the state back in 1979.

The Sam’s Tavern name is an homage to the original Sam’s Tavern on Eastlake that became Sam’s Red Robin before the Snyder family expansion. To cut his teeth in the burger business, James has operated Sonic restaurants across the state.

DSC_1042, originally uploaded by cactus22minus1.

DSC_1068, originally uploaded by cactus22minus1.

DSC_0995, originally uploaded by cactus22minus1.

DSC_1060, originally uploaded by cactus22minus1.

DSC_0999, originally uploaded by cactus22minus1.

The menu at Sam’s Tavern includes a focused set of burger and BBQ specialties as well as a set of $6 “all day happy hour” sides and snacks. The tavern will pick up the Oddfellows cafeteria style of ordering at the counter before staking out your seat. Beer and cocktails — and the rest — are detailed below. “The veggie is not on the menu, however we will carry it. Just ask….” the Facebook page informs.

The opening puts a coveted E Pike space back into motion, further boosts the nightlife capacity of Pike/Pine and caps a busy year in food and drink around the Hill. CHS did what it could to round-up the many openings, closings and trends in our look back at 2012 food+drink. As we understand it, there are more burgers to come in 2013.

Starting Monday, Sam’s will be open 11 AM to 2 AM, every day. You can learn more at

Thanks to Jeffrey Will for sharing these pictures from Sam’s preview in the CHS Flickr Pool. You’ll find more images from the night in the pool.

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24 thoughts on “Sam’s Tavern to celebrate New Year’s Eve grand opening in Pike/Pine

  1. Congrats on the opening, but really…think of your audience. If a bar/tavern/restaurant doesn’t care enough to include options available for vegetarians on their menu, why should vegetarians bother to check the place out (for food, anyway)? Seems a little short sighted or unwelcoming to me.

  2. First off, I’m happy to see a Tavern Bar that is different than the typical bar in C-Hill.
    I hate using labels, but everyone is an arm armchair activist these days.

    All that matters is : good food, clean – great atmosphere, stiff drinks, customer service, and if the bar adds something different to the area. I think Sam’s Tavern hits the mark on all these things.
    It’s not a Cha cha’s, Unicorn or Smith, but it’s not trying to be. I would say it’s a mix between the Loft (in Ballard) and Kings (also in Ballard) with a very different and original take on pub food.

  3. As a small business owner on Pike and another Yakima native, I would like to extend a big welcome to Sam’s Tavern! I’ve been looking forward to Sam’s opening up and providing another good lunch option.

  4. BTW, the Kobe beef ban ended in September. There are still some restrictions but it is no longer banned. I guess Mary didn’t get the memo :)

  5. I think it’s great – it will draw away the bros and broettes who now show up in my favorite Hill spots. Those particular Hill visitors aren’t going to stop flooding Pike/Pine, so Sam’s will perform the valuable service of giving them a safe space where they can be among their kindred without us purists giving them so many side-eyes. Face facts, people who want a bit more Cheesecake Factory in their Cap Hill experience deserve places to go too. Think of it as another form of diversity.

  6. It was weird to walk into an eatery smack dab in the middle of Capitol Hill and feel out of place because I’m gay and have a beard. We stopped by cafe vita after lunch just to ensure that we were still on the hill. Very much a bellevueian simulacrum.

  7. Stopped in today. Reasonable prices and decent food. My only complaints are that even though they take your drink orders at the table, you have to go up to the bar to order your food, and the fries were warm, not hot. I would like to see some veggie options, at least a black bean burger.

  8. If a restaurant serves USA-raised wagyu beef, but calls it “Kobe beef” on the menu, that is being dishonest. I have been to places that at least specify “Kobe-style” beef.

  9. I’m “of a certain age,” and would not go to a hipster place like Cha-Cha’s, but I definitely will be giving Sam’s Tavern a try. Welcome to my neighborhood!

  10. Thanks for the heads up, md. Wasn’t super interested to begin with, but definitely not interested in supporting any right-wing prosperity on the hill.