West Seattle’s Shipwreck Tavern closing: ‘The ship is wrecked’

November 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm | In West Seattle news, WS beverages | 30 Comments

This weekend marks the end for Shipwreck Tavern in The Admiral District. After getting a tip tonight from Guy (thanks!), we went there to confirm the reported shutdown, and co-owner Scott told WSB it’s true. The Shipwreck also made the announcement via Facebook:

This is Scott and Chris here, telling all yall, this is the end. The ship is wrecked. We will be closing the doors this Sunday the 18th. We want to thank everyone for all their support and especially to all the wonderful musicians who have graced this bar. Also everything is for sale so come in and have one last beer with to celebrate a new beginning and buy some nautical s–t, and grab your stein if you have one. We love you all and thanks again.

It’s been three years since Shipwreck Tavern opened, meant to be a nautical-themed haven for drinks and tunes.


  1. This place has been my second home since I moved into the neighborhood a year ago. This makes me really sad.

    Comment by Bizket — 9:45 pm November 14, 2012 #

  2. Just the shipwreck or Heartland, too. I’m confused

    Comment by bearschick — 9:51 pm November 14, 2012 #

  3. They are not under the same ownership – but they are on the same block. Heartland (and its Benbow Room) is alive and well, so far as we know! – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:56 pm November 14, 2012 #

  4. Our very first bar gig was that that place (3/12/11). Epic night. We’ll miss you.

    Comment by NotDeadYet — 10:23 pm November 14, 2012 #

  5. Anyone else notice that the Shipwreck made a cameo in that (awesome) summer movie, “Safety Not Guaranteed”?

    Comment by bb — 10:28 pm November 14, 2012 #

  6. BB: http://westseattleblog.com/2012/09/filmed-partly-in-west-seattle-now-playing-here-safety-not-guaranteed

    Comment by WSB — 10:50 pm November 14, 2012 #

  7. Boo! So sad to hear. I really like the Shipwreck. :-(

    Comment by Alex — 10:56 pm November 14, 2012 #

  8. Never been to this bar but as a bartender, liquor and food prices are rising and incomes are shrinking…now more important than ever to support your local busineses!! Sorry to hear about another local watering hole that couldn’t continue to hold water!

    Comment by CD — 11:05 pm November 14, 2012 #

  9. shipwreck and benbow are one of the same…shipwreck became the benbow…so please better define what’s closing.

    Comment by bearschick — 11:28 pm November 14, 2012 #

  10. No, they’re not. Heartland Café and Benbow Room are one business – restaurant in front, bar in the back:
    The Shipwreck is east of Heartland/Benbow. And completely separate. A drinking/music establishment only. Its website isn’t up any more. Here’s their page on Facebook. Their owners are Scott and Chris (while Heartland/Benbow is owned by a guy named Jay).
    And as we reported, the Shipwreck Tavern is what is closing. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Comment by WSB — 11:43 pm November 14, 2012 #

  11. Eh…what… The Benbow Room is connected to The Heartland Cafe. The Shipwreck is next door. Neither has anything to do with the other. If Heartland shut down I would wonder about Benbow.

    Comment by Weiss — 11:49 pm November 14, 2012 #

  12. That place will always be the TNT to me.

    Comment by Jen — 5:50 am November 15, 2012 #

  13. Yeah, I also noticed the Shipwreck in the movie “Safety Not Guaranteed”. Available on Redbox now, great movie.

    Comment by Gary — 7:45 am November 15, 2012 #

  14. The Happy Hour.

    Comment by gina — 7:55 am November 15, 2012 #

  15. gina, unless there at some point was an alteration to the “Hour” name, it was actually “Ye Old(e?) Hour”.



    Comment by miws — 8:08 am November 15, 2012 #

  16. Maybe that was part of the issue – I was never certain if the Benbow and Shipwreck were somehow one in the same or two separate places. Sad to see the Shipwreck go.

    Comment by Westcoastdeb — 8:13 am November 15, 2012 #

  17. From the day we opened our doors on April 2nd 2010, our bar the Benbow Room has been confused as the Shipwreck and vise-versa. Chris chose the name Shipwreck prior to our resurrecting the old nautical ship bar the Benbow Room. Though the Heartland Cafe and the Shipwreck share a Admiral Street storefront, the Benbow Room can be accessed either through the Heartland Cafe or from the bar alley entrance. We will miss the Shipwreck and all the good times we have shared on the block together. Though I assure you the Heartland Cafe and Benbow Room are doing just fine.

    Cheers, Jay

    Comment by Jay Wergin — 8:31 am November 15, 2012 #

  18. The Shipwreck has always confused people thinking they were going to The Benbow, which is designed like a ship. The Benbow and The Heartland Cafe are owned by the same owners Jay and Jeff, while the Shipwreck was/is owned by Scott and Chris.
    The Benbow has live music every weekend and isn’t closing its doors. The Heartland Cafe is open 7 days a week and isn’t closing its doors either.
    Come check them out and support your local busineses!

    Comment by Jenny — 8:40 am November 15, 2012 #

  19. Sorry Mike, Shipwreck was once called “The Happy Hour”. 10 cent happy hour then 15 cent happy hour.
    Same owner as “The Embers”.

    Comment by let them swim — 8:51 am November 15, 2012 #

  20. The Shipwreck via Chris, and recently Chris and Scott, hosted some of the funnest times I ever had due to their awesome live music nights, which were very many indeed, hosting a ton of great players there the past few years – great job Chris! If you’ve ever wondered who are the best Funk drummers in Seattle, the best horn players, bass, keys players, etc, etc. they were there. They had Rock bands for sure. Scott brought in some awesome “indy” hip-hop nights and a lot more good times (salt water fish tank, personalized beer Stein’s, The bike race!). Sad to see them go! Great job guys you were always gracious hosts. Best wishes to each of you. See you tonite!

    Comment by Admiral935 — 10:29 am November 15, 2012 #

  21. Ok I understand what’s closing. Why is it closing? Will there be another business in there?

    Comment by Steve — 1:47 pm November 15, 2012 #

  22. The more I looked into the establishment-It was called “The Happy Hour” in the 1950′s.

    Comment by let them swim — 2:29 pm November 15, 2012 #

  23. Yes, third shout out for Safety Not Guaranteed. So awesome to see a WS business represented in a Hollywood movie–and the Burien Grocery Outlet, if anyone ventures down there, lol.

    Comment by sb2780 — 2:37 pm November 15, 2012 #

  24. The more I looked into the establishment-It was called “The Happy Hour” in the 1950′s.


    That explains why I didn’t recall that itertion of the name, let them swim.


    The “Ye Olde Hour” was one of the regular landing points on and near the California Av corridor, for a buddy of mine and I, as we did our bar-hopping in the early ’80′s.


    I knew it had been known by at least one other name since it was the “Hour”, but had forgotten it was TNT’s until mentioned upthread.



    Comment by miws — 3:49 pm November 15, 2012 #

  25. It was The Happy Hour 50′s, 60′s and 70′s

    Comment by let them swim — 4:42 pm November 15, 2012 #

  26. we had fun at the hour. 10cent beer,peanuts every thur.woodie woodhouse combo on wk ends .frank

    Comment by frank hagen — 4:08 am November 17, 2012 #

  27. The Happy Hour (Admiral district) and The Embers (Harbor Avenue) were owned by Kerry Kenzie – my mother made the bar towels for them both!

    Comment by pjk — 10:19 pm November 17, 2012 #

  28. The Hour and The Jigsaw were good places to sell Girl Scout cookies at.

    Comment by gina — 1:59 pm November 18, 2012 #

  29. Yea I remember when it was TNT.. the bar was on the opposite wall but really about the same in there … Next business should go with a non water theme like a Saloon from that western show called Deadwood . RIP. SHIPWRECK!!!!!!!

    Comment by William — 11:48 pm November 22, 2012 #

  30. We played on last Saturday and will miss this place and the fact that it’s one of the places that has no cover to let anyone see awesome live music ( i have seen a bunch there.) Places like this are vanishing and I hope whoever takes over for this place will continue the free live music option.

    Comment by Djiln Neus — 4:41 pm November 23, 2012 #

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