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Tamari Bar rises where World of Beers and the ghosts of old Pike/Pine once reigned

The Tamari Bar crew (left to right)
General Manager Kan Terao, Owner Makoto Kimoto, Chef Nobu Watanabe

One by one, the “20+ Capitol Hill bars and restaurants to look forward to in 2018” are becoming the “20+ places you can enjoy tonight.” Friday, we celebrated the landing of one of those new arrivals as Rocket Taco touched down on 19th Ave E. Another from the roster also quietly debuted this weekend.

Tamari Bar, the American-born sibling of British Columbia import Suika, is now open across the street in the space left empty when 500 East — born World of Beers — shuttered in 2016.

Makoto Kimoto has put the beer bar back to work with a recipe that will be familiar to fans of what he’s been up to at Suika where you can find a variant of almost every type of Japanese bar food. Like Suika, Tamari’s menu includes pressed battera box sushi, grilled aburi sushi, and omakase, plus street foods, and noodles, noodles, noodles. You can wash it down with Japanese beers and cocktails made with Japanese whiskeys, sake, and Sho-chu. Kimoto describes Tamari as a Japanese tavern — we’ll go with that.

Picking Tamari Bar over Suika might be a function of which space you prefer — or which one is less ridiculously crowded. Or maybe you’ll choose Tamari for the ghosts of the Pike/Pine of old — the block was once home to the Cha Cha, Manray, and Kincora Pub. But specialties like dan dan noodles and big screen anime also might help you make up your mind.

Speaking of old Pike/Pine, Suika arrived on Capitol Hill in late 2014, transforming the old 611 Supreme into an expansion of its Canadian-born izakaya-style bar and restaurants. “I don’t want to do any marketing or anything, just let people talk, if they like it,” Kimoto told us back then. If you’re wondering if things have changed, try getting ahold of him on the phone sometime.

Tamari Bar is located at 500 E Pine. There’s no website or Facebook page yet so stay tuned to Suika’s Facebook for updates.

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