BECAUSE YOU ASKED: What’s up with The Hydrant, almost three years ‘coming soon’ in West Seattle Junction?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This has continued to be a frequently asked question in the WSB inbox, with an empty space in the heart of The Junction sporting “Coming Soon: The Hydrant” in its window since before Summer Fest in 2015. Our newest WSB contributing reporter reached the proprietor.

Story and photo by Tony Lystra
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

After nearly three years, the West Seattle Junction’s bar for dogs and their owners may finally soon become a reality.

Since 2015, Beya Mark and her husband Cliff have been planning to open a bar called The Hydrant that serves both humans and dogs. The bar would be next door to the Marks’ upscale pet store, Next to Nature, in the 4500 block of California SW.

But the windows at The Hydrant’s proposed location, a prime piece of Junction real estate, have been papered over for all this time. An interim liquor license to serve beer and wine is still posted on the door; it expired Jan. 11, 2016. The mysteriously shuttered storefront has become a neighborhood curiosity.

Beya Mark, who leases the storefront with her husband, said a family emergency delayed the bar’s opening. Now, she tells WSB, preparations for opening are nearly complete.

“The Hydrant is definitely still on,” she said.

Beya Mark said the bar could open this summer, but at this point she’s reluctant to make promises.

She said The Hydrant will serve European and local wines, beer, and high-end coffee. It will be a sort of community hub for dog lovers, she said.

Because businesses that allow dogs can’t serve food under state food safety rules, Beya Mark said she plans to partner with nearby restaurants so people can order a bite to eat and enjoy it at The Hydrant.

“It’s a lifestyle,” she said of being out in the neighborhood with your dog. “We want people to just be able to come in and relax.”

26 Replies to "BECAUSE YOU ASKED: What's up with The Hydrant, almost three years 'coming soon' in West Seattle Junction?"

  • CC May 3, 2018 (1:58 pm)

    As one of the people who has cluttered your inbox with this question, thank you! 

  • m May 3, 2018 (2:27 pm)

    Did they pay rent on that space this entire time? 

  • Jennifer May 3, 2018 (2:32 pm)

    I was just wondering about this yesterday! Thank you for the update.

  • Paul Moyes May 3, 2018 (2:44 pm)

    I go to Next to Nature with my dog just about every day and can’t wait to check out the Hydrant when it opens! Wow, three years without opening for business… Must have been pretty hard on the pocket book. Most restaurants have a pretty short runway to “make or break it” due to high leasing costs.

  • Jort May 3, 2018 (2:49 pm)

    I mean, this will be good and all, but … three years? I can understand why they’re “reluctant to make promises.”

    But, then again, miracles can happen. I was pleasantly surprised to see the family of black and white cats from the cage at the back of Next to Nature finally get adopted after two long years.

  • Seattle Resident May 3, 2018 (4:10 pm)

    Is this really a sustainable business?  Sure you will get people coming in for the first time but the novelty will wear off.  I have a dog and like dogs but have no interest in going to a place to eat and drink with other dogs.  And the population of people without dogs will most likely steer clear.  

    • KM May 3, 2018 (4:41 pm)

      Beveridge Place and Ounces seem to be doing well, and welcome those without dogs as well. Pretty easy to find a dog-free establishment (or kid-free, or sports-on-the-tv-free) if you look on the world wide web.

    • Not the first May 3, 2018 (4:50 pm)

      It hasn’t seemed to be an issue for Beveridge Place.

    • Kevin May 4, 2018 (9:10 am)

      “Is this a sustainable business?”

      People used to ask Howard Schultz “Who in the hell is going to pay $3 for a cup of coffee?”

      the difference between entrepreneurs and regular people is that entrepreneurs find out the answer by doing it, while regular people just wonder.

  • Steph May 3, 2018 (4:50 pm)

    I wonder how Norm’s in Fremont is able to serve food and be dog-friendly? Excited they’re finally opening, glad they were able to keep the dream alive!

  • Karen May 3, 2018 (5:36 pm)

    I don’t even have a dog but I’ll go just to meet the variety of dogs ;-> Hope they are open during the Sunday Farmer’s market. THat’s prime time for dogs. I know they can’t have people food served, but could they serve doggy treats?

  • AJ May 3, 2018 (5:44 pm)

    This sounds great, and I hope they’ll finally get to open, but what I would really love to see in West Seattle is an indoor/outdoor dog park with a bar, similar to Dogwood Play Park in Lake City or House of Ruff in the CD. 

    @Steph: I don’t know how Norm’s is able to serve food, either. Pit Stop Taproom in Burien also has a full menu (even a dog menu) and allows dogs inside. 

  • WS Guy May 3, 2018 (6:03 pm)

    So while we’re on the topic… what’s up with Vine & Spoon?  

    • WSB May 3, 2018 (7:21 pm)

      They’re hiring, so getting closer.

  • Tabbi May 3, 2018 (7:03 pm)

    Our friends are really looking forward meeting us at the Hydrant!

  • NW May 4, 2018 (6:59 am)

    What was the name of the coffee shop there back in the 80s to 90s? Was it Snubby’s?

  • steve May 4, 2018 (9:11 am)

    Snubby’s!!! Sadly, I never went in there. What was it like? I remember the vietnamese restaurant next door, sad that they left.

  • Guy lies May 4, 2018 (2:09 pm)

    Because businesses that allow dogs can’t serve food under state food safety rules,” 
     We live in the dumbest state ever… 

    • WSB May 4, 2018 (2:39 pm)

      If you follow the link in my comment above, we are far from the only state with that rule. But campaign to change it! Our senior state rep. Eileen Cody is in charge of the committee that deals with health matters…

    • Jason May 4, 2018 (3:02 pm)

      I’m allergic to dogs so I welcome the rule that keeps them out of restaurants and keeps people from feeding them at the table when I’m out to eat.  Bars are different because you’re not going to feed your dog a sip of your bourbon.

      • Luke May 5, 2018 (11:06 pm)

        Jason I’m with you. Keep dogs out of restaurants, grocery stores, etc. But if there is a place like this that dog owners can enjoy and I can avoid, I’m all for it. 

  • Kathy May 5, 2018 (1:49 pm)

    These places are great for those rainy  or cold days when sitting in outdoor seating with your dog is not feasible. We could really use a place like this in Alki where there are many dog owners. We have vacant space, former French restaurant next to Cactus, former mini market, former Tully’s (though probably not up for lease yet). This could also bring more winter business to the surrounding restaurants if they were willing to deliver to a dog friendly pub ala Beveridge Place.  When walking a dog the decision whether or not to patronize a business often depends on how dog friendly they are.

  • Jason May 6, 2018 (10:29 am)

    Whatever happened to best of hands brewing?

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