Prost West Seattle: A quick interview with the proprietor


Ever since The Bohemian opened next door earlier this month, we’ve heard the question more frequently: When will Prost West Seattle (first mentioned here in May) be open? Proprietor Chris Navarra gave us a peek inside (photo above is the view looking left, south, from the front; we’ve got the bar view later in the story) during a quick interview today, so we’ve got lots more to tell you now about what he’s planning and when he hopes to be open:

Prost West Seattle – yes, that will be its official name – is only one of two new enterprises on which Navarra is embarking; he got married just a few months ago.

Speaking of time … we’ll get the Big Question out of the way … when does he hope to be open (keeping in mind that permits and inspections and other wrinkles can change even the best-intended business owner’s plans, hopes and dreams)? “End of October, first of November. HOPEFULLY,” he adds with emphasis … “IF we’re lucky.”

He currently operates several taverns. Asked which of those establishments Prost West Seattle will most resemble, he says Prost on Phinney Ridge – but with one big difference. Kids WILL be allowed, though he is careful to explain it’s not going to be geared toward families, simply a situation where it won’t be 21-up-only in recognition of the fact that some parents might want to go have a beer and need to bring their kid(s) along. “No booster chairs, crayons, kids’ menu,” he qualifies. This will be the first establishment of his to allow under-21 patrons; he’s not sure yet what time of night might be the cutoff point for 21-up.

Speaking of hours, those will be 3 pm-2 am, seven days a week; no plans for live music. The food? Not a full restaurant menu, but rather “German pub food” — bratwurst, sauerkraut, pretzels, soups. He says the sausages will all come from Bavarian Meats here in Seattle. But food isn’t the main event — he says “German beer is the focus.” He plans to offer 12 imported German beers on draft, “all served in imported German glassware, as they should be, the way fine wine should be served in the proper glassware.” What he describes as a “limited amount of spirits” also will be offered – “in case someone brings along a friend who’s not interested in the beer, and wants, say, a well drink instead” — but the emphasis remains “all about the German beer.” Speaking of the bar, here’s our other interior photo, looking right from the front door (north):


He’s also planning a beer garden out back, with perhaps eight tables. Inside, though, as you can see from the photos, he’s planning what he fondly calls a “dark” motif. The south wall (photo at top of this report) was at one point intended to have windows, till the huge townhouse complex sprung up on that side – so now, no windows.

By the way, he’s doing a lot of the construction work himself – he says he “enjoys building a bar,” and he has “great managers” who keep the other places humming while he takes time out to do this work. He’s excited about West Seattle because he considers it a “great little spot … I like to focus on little neighborhoods. Prost means ‘cheers,’ so it’s really a place where the neighborhood can go hang out. (At Phinney) Prost is having a debate thing tomorrow night, for example, so neighbors can come watch the (presidential) debate and talk about it. … A bar (like this) is for the neighborhood. In Germany, there are small neighborhood pubs where you go to catch up with friends, talk about the issues. A German pub is not just a bar.”

And he knows this firsthand – his family is from a small town in Germany, and he remembers being a “five-year-old,” running around in his family’s favorite hangout(s). He admits that since his other establishments are 21-up only, this will be something of an experiment, but he wants to see how it goes. Same with other aspects of the operation, such as the menu – he says they might add sandwiches, depending on what kind of reception they get from the neighborhood.

We’ll keep you updating on how those hopes of a late October/early November opening are going, in the weeks ahead.
Prost West Seattle is in the 3400 block of California (map), in the space that was previously Leslie’s Country Store, just south of The Bohemian, two doors south of Spiro’s Pizza and Pasta.

34 Replies to "Prost West Seattle: A quick interview with the proprietor"

  • Peter September 25, 2008 (4:03 pm)

    I anticipate Wisconsin girls with boots full of beer. Nice.

  • austin September 25, 2008 (4:06 pm)

    Very interested to see the end result! It’ll be great to have a place to enjoy Bier and Wurst just a quick walk up the hill. Initially skeptical about the all-ages aspect, but then I remember that people bring kids to the elysian without too much of a negative impact on the atmosphere.

  • RS September 25, 2008 (4:20 pm)

    Still skeptical about the all-ages thing. True about Elysian, but that place is HUGE compared to this space. More space for me to hide from the rugrats.

  • FullTilt September 25, 2008 (4:20 pm)

    When I was in Germany, kids were in every beer hall I went to. I think it helps remind people that just because they are drinking, they don’t need to act like jerks.

  • austin September 25, 2008 (4:40 pm)

    When I was in Germany, I was one of the kids in every beer hall you went to! :D
    Which is why I’m open to the concept. However I’m more concerned about 1.) tripping over rugrats on my multiple trips to the WC (will this place have toilettenfraus?), 1.5.) noisy kids ruin atmosphere quicker than jerky adults, and 2.) people driving home from a place that is specifically geared towards drinking with their kids in the car.

  • RS September 25, 2008 (4:58 pm)

    And to add to austin, me + European soccer + giant stein of bier = lots of swearing. If you chose to bring your kid to a german beer bar, don’t judge me when I swear like a sailor.

  • Cleveland Ken September 25, 2008 (6:11 pm)

    GREAT! I go drink beer to forget about kids not be around them. Count this place out of the places where I’m going to hang. Was waiting for it to open, not anymore. Don’t need another place like Elliot Bay Brewery (the Chuck E Cheese of WS) where I’m trying to relax with a beer and have babies crying and little booger pickers all over the place. Remember when you have kids you quit life and raise them and not around me. I’ll teach them a few words if you to hang with your kids at any drinking establishment I hang out at.

  • bark September 25, 2008 (7:03 pm)

    Thank goodness the kids will keep all the drunks away! Way to go, another family place in West Seattle.

  • JenV September 25, 2008 (9:18 pm)

    I’ll still go there if there’s good beer and sauerkraut…

  • villagegreen September 25, 2008 (9:19 pm)

    The Bohemian right next door allows kids as well – and families are really taking advantage of it. Let’s hope the majority of kids stay on that side of the wall. I don’t mind a few, but when a bar gets taken over my them it really does tend to ruin the atmosphere (and I have one myself).

  • M. September 25, 2008 (9:56 pm)

    there’s a ghost in the picture…

  • Angela September 26, 2008 (10:32 am)

    Where’s the ghost? First or second pic? And I wouldn’t worry that this place will turn into a haven for kids – without a kid’s menu, booster seats and crayons I doubt there will be a lot of rugrats hanging around. Well, maybe just my 10 year old, who really isn’t into temper tantrums anymore. :o)

  • Rich September 26, 2008 (10:45 am)

    I want to go drink with cleveland ken in some depressing dive bar and complain about things.

  • chris the owner September 26, 2008 (11:48 am)

    just a note from the owner….for those of you worried about kids running around at Prost!, do not worry…it will not be that kind of place. The focus is on German Bier, German tradition and becoming a neighborhood pub.
    The allowing kids policy is just to make it more European. Like I said in the interview, we will allow kids…but it will not really be “family friendly”.
    Looking forward to meeting you all!

  • JumboJim September 26, 2008 (1:11 pm)

    This sounds great (although I’m staying out of the kids/no kids arguement). Any chance of a few Czech beers sneaking in the door?? If memeory serves me correctly the Czechs are the greatest beer drinkers in the world per capita. I imagine there are a LOT of great pilsners, etc the American beer drinker needs to know about.

  • Cleveland Ken September 26, 2008 (5:08 pm)

    Now you’re talking, a kid’s menu, booster seats and crayons. That’s how I like to drink. I won’t fall off the stool. I can eat small portions so I don’t ruin my buzz. Crayons so I have something to do while I’m drinking. Thanks for the idea Angela.

  • Eddie September 26, 2008 (9:51 pm)

    Hard wood walls = Noisy!

    Why is that all the trend these days? Stopped into the Bohemian tonight – had good food, and it was busy, but very noisy! Hardwood floors, solid ceiling, hard walls (nice art on the walls) – but noisy.

    Stopped by Spring Hill on the way home – same thing (although not quite as busy – was everyone watching the debate?) hard walls, hard ceilings, cement floor = noisy.

  • Cleveland Ken September 27, 2008 (3:45 pm)

    Hey Rich come with me to the 5-Point or the Mecca. We can complain in the 2 best dive bars in town. After an hour or 2 I’ll guarantee all you’ll complain about is your hangover the next day and little kids in bars.

  • Planet B September 30, 2008 (3:39 pm)

    For all our you complaining about the “kid factor” at Prost! West Seattle, go open your own bar then and set your own rules. Geez, at least something Mr. Navarra is opening a unique establishment in West Seattle. Congrats from a fan of Prost! Phinney Ridge.

  • Bob Dobbs October 9, 2008 (6:27 pm)

    Dear Mr. Navarra,

    A couple things:
    1. Really like Feierabend. So very pleased you are opening one of your pubs for us Westies.
    2. Would you consider expanding the food menu to that similar to Feierabend? We love German food and beer.
    3. Do please find someway to limit the kids…West seattle is a place cool people retire from life to raise kids and/or dogs. Those few of us who have no kids need a place to escape them. Dogs, however, are cool to have in a bar and I’m all for that! How about a no kids, dogs welcome policy?

  • Keith Golder October 11, 2008 (4:55 pm)

    I’ve been anxiously waiting for the W. Seattle Prost to open up. My move from Ballard a couple of years ago kept me from dropping into Prost on Phinney ridge on a regular basis like I used to. I just hope that the dark atmosphere will discourage families from bringing their munchkins around.

  • Thomas October 22, 2008 (4:31 pm)

    I certainly hope the floor will be carpeted with children, down whose throats beer will be forcibly funnelled. That’s clearly the only plausible outcome of allowing children into the place.

  • Aaron November 10, 2008 (3:45 pm)

    I love kids, I’m very happy that it is kid friendly. Thank you!

    No kids, but dogs please? Seriously? Did someone really ask that question?

  • WSB November 10, 2008 (4:01 pm)

    Dogs are not legal in such establishments unless they are service animals. However, there do seem to be a few establishments around WS and elsewhere that allow them under what seems to be something of a don’t ask/don’t tell policy.

  • Barbara November 14, 2008 (4:39 pm)

    Does anyone know if prost is open yet?

  • KD November 16, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    According to recent media reports, only 19 percent of Seattle families have kids, after Frisco it’s the lowest ratio of any major western city. It may be even lower in West Seattle – it’s not easy to afford kids AND housing here. Let the kids in until 9:30pm- but if they get too rowdy, toss them out along with their parents just as you would disruptive child-free patrons.

  • alkidude November 16, 2008 (3:42 pm)

    This type of establishment will naturally tend to discourage kids, and so this issue will be unlikely to affect one’s ability to enjoy their stein of delicious german bier. It only takes a trip to the other three establishments to realize that low wood benches, no children’s food or activities, and a focus on bier will not create a child-friendly environment. There might be the occasional kid who accompanies their dad while he knocks back a quick one on the way home, but i do not think families will be lining up to make birthday reservations for their children’s parties. If you cannot handle the sight of a child anywhere near you then sit at home with a six-pack and your sensitivity as company. I think the rest of us will have no problem enjoying this fantastic addition to our West Seattle community.

  • Daves November 21, 2008 (9:38 am)

    I’d rather drink with a dog than a baby.

  • aaron November 26, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    open yet?

  • WSB November 26, 2008 (5:10 pm)

    we published a followup the other day. the website
    says December.

  • Dan November 27, 2008 (1:00 pm)

    Kinderfreundlich! (Pro-kid)!

    My wife was raised in Germany and there are no age restrictions in bars/pubs there. Our son (now 13yrs) visits his grandparents each year in Germany and when they go to a beer hall or festival the whole family goes. As far as we are concerned this is the right way to do things as it models good behavior in regards to alcohol consumption to kids (think about the bingeing you did in your early 20’s – this does not occur in Germany nearly as much).

    Though we live in Alki, we go to People’s Pub in Ballard 2-4 times a month and eat and play ‘Mensch ärgere Dich Nicht’ there because it’s the only German restaurant that accepts all ages.

    We’ve been to Feierbend a few times as a couple and enjoyed the beer selection and food. We were very happy to hear that Prost in West Seattle will be all ages as it’s so much closer to home.

    So before you ixnay kids remember that there will be one kid there that can pronounce the beer your drinking better than you can!

    If you see the three of us come say hello and we’ll help you read the menu :o)

  • orig November 29, 2008 (1:15 am)

    a little bird told me that this coming tuesday may signal the beginning of a beautiful thing

  • WSB November 29, 2008 (1:31 am)

    thanks for the tip!

  • Brian December 13, 2008 (4:48 pm)

    I’m stoked to have a new pub right across the street! Saweet!

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