Seattle Bars and Clubs - Seattle Live Music Clubs

People who aren’t in the know seem to still be stuck in the mindset that the Seattle live music scene is restricted to grunge and emo. Grunge began about two decades ago and, rain be damned, Seattle has more to offer than whiney emo bands. The Showbox at the Market is one of Seattle’s premier venues for national touring acts. Since 1939 the venue has featured legendary acts including Duke Ellington and the Ramones along with today’s favorites such as Jimmy Eat World, The Pogues and The New Pornographers. The recent addition of the Experience Music Project to Seattle included new venues within—Liquid Lounge and the Sky Church. This venue also books famous national acts along with up and coming Seattle bands. For more local favorites, try Neumo’s, High Dive and Doc Maynard’s. Who knows, you might witness music’s next big thing.
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Bad Juju Lounge

1425 10th Ave., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.709.9951
Seattle's tattooed and pierced set hang at the Bad Juju Lounge, a boozy local bar that's decked out with plenty of eye candy for those that can still focus after downing some of their completely dangerous cocktails. Music at the Bad Juju Lounge, from both live Seattle local musicians and a revolving slate of house DJs, is firmly set in the rock continuum blasting tunes from the indie, alternative and punk set straight through to metal and hard-core all presented with no freakin' cover charges. You could probably travel far and wide and this local Seattle bar would still rank among the best places to get sauced and bang your head in under the protective gazes of herpetological guardians, glass flames, metal monstrosities, freakish artwork and genuinely good people.

Central Saloon

207 First Ave. S, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.622.0209
Good food and stiff drinks have been the staple at the Central Saloon since this local Seattle bar first opened its doors way back in 1892 and having survived all these years and still kicking is just about all you need to know if you're thinking about swilling some booze there, but we'll give you more. The Central Saloon is still on the cutting edge of the raucous Seattle live music scene featuring a slate of up and comers seven nights a week. Also, the food at the Central Saloon is enough to keep their loyal regulars coming back for the hearty smoked plates doused in the Central's signature barbecue sauce or the burgers and sandwiches that virtually dwarf the plate. Heck, if all this wasn't enough, the prices at Seattle's Central Saloon are very reasonable, but sometimes the cover charges for bands can reach the double digits.

Chop Suey

1325 E Madison St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.324.8000
Chop Suey is a stylish Seattle club that caters to a hip crowd with its heavy pours from the bar and its eclectic musical stylings from local Seattle live music acts, some national touring bands and some beat DJs. Chop Suey's interior looks as if someone rolled through a Chinatown garage sale, but had a better eye for style and retro kitsch than when your mom used to birddog one five blocks away and say "we'll just stop for a minute." When popular local bands play or one of Seattle's top spinners mans the decks at Chop Suey, get there early because even though the layout at this Seattle live music club is crowd friendly, it can get a little cramped at sold out shows. Packed or not though, Chop Suey always keeps you fueled with plenty of booze.


11 Roy Street, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.270.4444
A dueling piano bar seems like something out of a Jerry Lee Lewis heyday movie, but the existence of Chopstix piano bar in Seattle dispelled any notions we may have had that our time machine actually worked. Chopstix definitely has its Seattle following evidenced by the hordes of sharp patrons packing into this live music club for a sing along night of revelry, dancing, decent food and some heavy drinks that grease the social wheels. A perennial favorite of the birthday party and bachelorette planners looking for a bar in Seattle that's a guaranteed good time, Chopstix takes reservations that are highly recommended if you want to get a table on the weekends.

Clever Dunne's Irish House

1501 East Olive Way, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.709.8079
Not enough Seattle bars pour you imperial pints, but at Clever Dunne's Irish House that's pretty much what your draft of Guinness is coming in. Besides the beers poured the way beers should be, Clever Dunne's Irish House also has a fine selection of Irish whiskeys to warm your chilled bones and this Seattle Irish bar also serves up heart stopping traditional Irish fare for the decidedly un-health conscious. When DJs aren't manning the decks—usually spinning hip-hop, funk and the like which is a little weird to hear in an Irish bar—live bands take the stage on the weekends with no cover and get the packed in crowds moving. The happy hours rock at Clever Dunne's featuring drink specials nightly and sporting those discounts all day on Sunday.

Crocodile Café

2200 Second Ave. SE, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.441.5611
The slate of local Seattle live music acts and national indie rock tourers often determines the crowds at the Crocodile Café, that has been leading the cutting edge of the Seattle music scene for years so anytime there's a good show get your tickets and seats early. Also, the Crocodile Café serves up some decent food—especially the breakfast—and the drinks flow with a zealot's fervor from the bar. Seriously one of the best places in Seattle to catch live music, c'mon it was the epicenter of the grunge scene in the 90's so you know the Crocodile Café has some clout in Seattle.

Doc Maynard's

601 1st Avenue, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.682.3705
Doc Maynard's, a Seattle local bar and live music club, makes the most out of what it's got by dishing out cheap beer, usually in frat house stemware, for a young, rock and roll loving crowd whose palates have stopped developing somewhere between top ramen and spaghetti-os. But, this beer soaked and raucous Seattle party is usually one of the first stops of the night when Pioneer Square does their frequent joint cover nights—and really that's a deal you just can't beat—where you can catch a slew of loud Seattle local bands making the leap from garage to stage. During the day, Doc Maynard's is the meeting spot for the Seattle Underground Tours with, well, tourists crowding the bar while they wait for their hokey guide.

El Corazon

109 Eastlake Ave., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.381.3094
Although this Seattle live music club has changed names a few times, with the current incarnation being El Corazon, it has never lost its hard driving punk rock soul. Some of the best local Seattle punk and rock bands roll through El Corazon (the name we'll use until we're informed otherwise) to play to a mass of beer and whiskey addled moshers who like their music in the traditional punk veins of loud and rowdy. Also, not to worry kids, El Corazon has a goodly mix of all ages shows thrown in with the 21+ gigs so that youngsters can see what a Seattle live music venue parties like and glimpse a window into their futures.

Fenix Underground

109 S. Washington, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.405.4323
The undisputed heavyweight live music and dance club of Seattle's Pioneer Square, Fenix Underground is comprised of three levels for hipsters, clubbers, scenesters, ravers and aural freaks to lounge, booze and party. There're five, yup five, wholly separate bars in Fenix Underground so getting your drink on is never a problem and with plenty of space, this very crowded Seattle club never feels cramped. Also, the live music acts that pound out the tunes from the Fenix stage are some of Seattle's best local talent, not to mention that their line up of resident and international DJs seriously know how to drop beats and are some of the most coveted Seattle spinners. Plus, there's never a shortage of hotties doing their thing on the dance floor—especially on the third, underground level, that houses the illustrious poles and cages—so, drop the canned beer you just opened in your squalid apartment, don some threads and check out Fenix Underground. C'mon, you work hard all week; play hard on the weekends.

High Dive

513 N. 36th St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.632.0212
The High Dive satisfies three of the basic needs of life: stiff drinks, inexpensive grubbin' barbecue and live rock and roll. This Seattle local bar seriously does those three staples extremely well, the drinks are always quick and strong from the unbelievably long bar, the kitchen pumps out food that's a step above most other joints and if you dig some loud ass alternative, indie, punk, pure rock or country, you've found your new hangout in the High Dive. The owner of High Dive's strong booking skills allows live music junkies to see up and coming local bands for a pittance—and like we said, you're not going to spend that much on the tab either—so, give this Seattle live music club and bar major value points across the board.

Howl At The Moon

315 2nd Ave. S, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.839.1300
Self proclaiming to be the "world's most dangerous rock 'n' roll dueling piano show," Howl At The Moon in Seattle does have plenty of drinks for the partying crowd and has piano players doing their shtick, but as far as the world's most dangerous...we haven't been to 'em all so it's hard to corroborate Howl's claim. Also, how exactly are piano bars dangerous? Well, we'll tell you that this Seattle bar does pour the cocktails fast and furious from test tubes shots to jello shots and some huge mixed concoctions while the hokey entertainers pound away at the ivories. Also, the staff and patrons frequently join the fun making for an interactive, but not in the wannabe creepy crooner karaoke way, experience.

Liquid Lounge at EMP

325 5th Ave. N, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.770.2779
The Liquid Lounge at EMP (the Experience Music Project) is starting to draw bigger crowds due to its cool styling and propensity for booking, not only Seattle local bands, but national and international live music acts. Although the EMP is somewhat of a Seattle tourist attraction, the Liquid Lounge is a pretty hip bar that serves a decent drink, in smoke free environs, and never charges a cover—the bonuses of that whole museum thing.

Little Red Hen

7115 Woodlawn Ave. NE, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.522.1168
The only game in town for live country music is the Little Red Hen, an unassuming Seattle bar and restaurant that gets wall to wall with country music fans during a show and wannabe stars during their rocking karaoke nights. The Little Red Hen serves up big platted home style grub for breakfast, lunch and dinner to their down to earth Seattle regulars and if you like a little boozy eye opener in the morning, the Little Red Hen has a breakfast happy hour from 9am to noon.


925 East Pike St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.709.9467
A hard drinking set of rockers fill up Neumo's—the reincarnated Moe's, a Seattle live music club institution, brought gloriously back to life, Lazarus style, by the original owners—to catch up and coming local Seattle indie bands under a booze fueled haze. The space at Neumo's has been revamped along with the sound system to provide a better venue for the boozers and the bands, but on nights when the club's stellar booking agent has lined up some hot band that has sold this Seattle icon out, get there early if you want to snag a seat.

New Orleans Restaurant

114 1st Ave. S, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.622.2563
Good Creole food served hot with live jazz and blues are the staples of Seattle's New Orleans Restaurant that consistently gets high marks for their authentic grub and good service, but ranks decidedly higher with their commitment to providing music junkies a nightly fix. The stage at this Seattle club and restaurant sits in the middle of the room which can make conversation a bit problematic when the bands start to heat up, but really with live music acts this good, your conversation can wait until between sets. Also, New Orleans Restaurant participates in the joint cover gig for Pioneer Square that seriously can't be beat.

Paragon Restaurant & Bar

2125 Queen Anne Ave. N, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.283.4548
Well heeled 30-somethings crowd into this chic Seattle restaurant and lounge for some cool jazz or blues stylings from live music acts that sometimes break away from their down tempo norms. Paragon Restaurant and Bar does some excellent cuisine for their "dressed for a night on the town" patrons in a decidedly American rooted culinary vein and the drinks are poured expertly, if not particularly heavy from the stylish bar. Paragon is a Seattle bar for a romantic date over a let's booze it up and see where the night takes us sort of one.

Patti Summers Lounge

94 Pike St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.621.8555
Patti Summers Lounge is a cool little underground Seattle live music club where the owner—ex-Broadway diva Patti—croons to the crowd nightly. When Patti isn't gracing the stage with her intimate renditions, local acts take center stage while Patti and her husband man the bar with a heavy hand. You can always count on them for a warm smile, some kitschy music and some homemade pizza.

SeaMonster Lounge

2202 N 45th St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.633.1824
The SeaMonster Lounge is a hip little Seattle bar that tries, and succeeds, at being more than just your average drinking establishment. The intimate space is made to feel more open and airy thanks to the SeaMonster Lounge's no smoking policy and the sheer friendliness of the staff. Also the cocktails are poured pretty stiff which probably lends to the amicable vibe and the eclectic lineup of Seattle local live music acts always delivers. Plus the tapas style menu at the SeaMonster Lounge is created using fresh organic ingredients so they're tasty and the menu aims to satisfy both carnivores and vegetarians.

Sky Church

325 5th Ave. N, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.770.2777
Sky Church is a live music club buried deep within Seattle's EMP so it's a little touristy for die hard local live music fans, but even they cannot deny that Sky Church is able to book some excellent local and national acts and present them in an intimate setting. However, the vibe at Sky Church is a little on the sterile side because most of shows presented are 18 and over so imbibers have to keep their spirits in check and drinks in the bar.

Studio Seven

110 S. Horton St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.628.0888
This all-ages Seattle live music club caters to young and old rockers for Studio Seven's top billing of good local and national talent. Boozers, however, aren't going to find a huge selection at Studio Seven, but the live music acts usually outweigh the lack of cocktail selections.

Sunset Tavern

5433 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.784.4880
The Sunset Tavern is making a name for itself in the Seattle live music scene by booking strong rock shows with up and coming local talent. The ambiance at this local Seattle bar is both hip and old school with a decided nod to its past incarnation as a Chinese restaurant and dive bar. The beer selection is decent at the Sunset Tavern and their weekly events like movie nights and karaoke, along with the live music, are huge draws for hipsters seeking a toned down alternative to other Seattle clubs.

The Green Room

1426 First Ave., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.628.3151
The Green Room, the loungier area attached to Seattle's live music mainstay, the Showbox, is a great spot for a little swank pre-show imbibing. The Green Room serves premium liquor with a good selection of beers that gets packed with hipsters even when there's no band playing the Showbox that night because the vibe is laid back and unpretentious, welcoming everyone at one of Seattle's best venues. The Green Room even offers food nightly for a good price and has a basement lair with plenty of intimate seating for when the rush of the bar crowds gets to be a little much.

The Showbox Lounge

1700 First Ave. S, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.382.7877
Showbox added to its family in 2007 with the addition of the larger Showbox SoDo, a converted-warehouse-turned-concert venue located just south of the sports stadiums in the SoDo district.

The Showbox at the Market

1426 First Ave., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.628.3151
An impressive slate of national touring acts spanning genres always rolls through The Showbox when they're hitting Seattle and want a live music club with great acoustics and a rocking crowd. The Showbox has three bars in the club itself to make sure concertgoers don't go thirsty and, for a great pre-show cocktail, you can hit the adjacent Green Room for a comfortable nip and expedited entry into this Seattle live music club. The Showbox has a large dance floor where the more adventurous hang while patrons more into the music than dancing snag one of the tables or booths that overlook the action.

Tractor Tavern

5213 Ballard Ave. NW, Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.789.3599
The Tractor tavern is the live music club in Seattle to get your alt-country, rockabilly, roots and Americana fix featuring local acts and national tourers no less than five nights a week. Everything from the drinks to the barbecue fare to the crowds and bands at the Tractor Tavern seriously lacks pretension, and dang it that's exactly what a bar like this is supposed to be like. So grab your pearl buttoned shirt and extra liver, leave your attitude at home and check out this packed house Seattle live music club for a rocking good time.

White Rabbit

513 N 36th St., Seattle, Washington; Tel. 206.588.0155
In the afternoons, we are a fully functioning and comfortable Cafe. In the evenings, we transition into one of Seattle's hottest Live Music and Entertainment venues.
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