It seems Seattle is at a crossroads of identity. On one side, there are locals who’ve lived here their entire lives hesitant to the change. On the other, 1,100 transplants per week moving to the Seattle metro area eager to leave their mark on the city.
While some Seattle neighbors have taken to the mantra, “Stop envisioning Ballard”, one business owner has received nothing but praise from all sides. Our North Seattle Contributor Tyler Davis Jones recently sat down with Growler Guys co-owner Kelly Dole, a 22 year Maple Leaf resident leading the charge towards positive community growth in North Seattle through delicious craft beer.
Northeast Seattle has always trailed more popular Seattle neighborhoods with infrastructure, establishments and identity. So when looking for a location for Growler Guys, Kelly looked at some of the typical hot spots like Ballard, Fremont, Magnolia and downtown. But something kept him coming back to North Seattle. When the opportunity arose to lease the old Ying’s Drive-In on Lake City Way, Dole knew he’d found his new home.
The Growler Guys building (formerly Ying’s Drive-in) was designed by Roland Terry. One of the Northwest’s most famous architects, Terry is more recognized for designing the Canlis building, his work at Nordstrom downtown and Sun Mountain Lodge.
Built in 1961, the building was virtually original with only one permitted change over the years. In fact, it had fallen off the registry of Roland Terry buildings. Designed as a night-club, the property was used as a drive-in for decades. Likely because Terry demanded it, the materials used for the building were of the highest quality. So when Kelly showed up, the building was in great shape for a property with few changes since 1961.
The hip, circular mid-century building plays well to the vibe and service of Growler Guys. The bar is massive and wraps around multiple sides to accommodate their 60+ tap handles, 300 bottles as well as wine. Kelly is proud of the customer experience at Growler Guys and wants beer lovers and non-beer lovers to enjoy themselves.
When you show up, you’ll definitely get FREE beer. Growler Guys let’s you sample small tastes as much as you want. They want you to love your drink. So if you know what you want, they’ll even encourage you to try other beers to see if you’ll find a new favorite.
Whether you’re a local or new to the area, Growler Guys is truly a place where we can all get along. As Kelly looks forward into the future, he hopes that Growler Guys will encourage other small businesses, restaurants, music venues and more to land in NE Seattle.
You can see what’s on tap at Growler Guys by visiting www.thegrowlerguys.com or you can drop in 8500 Lake City Way Seattle, WA 98115.
This article is by Our North Seattle Contributor Tyler Davis Jones, a North Seattle Real Estate agent. He is a loving dad, husband, and Wedgewood resident who is investing in Seattle through his business, his writing, and his podcast, Rise Seattle.