The University District neighborhood of Seattle is home to many old and funky bars. On the southwest corner of University Way NE and Ravenna sits an unassuming bar that is your typical watering hole, as well as, all that which “dive” bars are known for. They are funky and the patrons are usually more like part-time residents than business patrons. The Knarr Shipwreck Lounge is more than a place where one can go to wet his or her whistle.
Most Seattle area dive bars lack one glaring thing when you walk-in. Diversity. Walking into the Knarr on any evening is like seeing a mini United Nations. Whether packed for Seattle area sporting events viewing or just a hand full of regulars, one will see individuals or groups from places as diverse as Ethiopia, Jamaica, Mexico,Asia, Gambia and more – mingling with down-home Seattleites. The Knarr is a bar wherein whether you are a Rastafarian, Muslim, Christian or just don’t give a damn – you can find a friend with whom to shoot pool, play shuffleboard, darts, pinball, or share libations.
With such diversity of patrons, The Knarr’s biggest attribute is perhaps the music that pumps out of their jukebox. The selections are varied and the folks there create an eclectic musical experience unlike any other venue in Seattle. It is not unusual to experience music by artists like Nirvana, Lucky Dube, Beastie Boys, King Sunny Ade, Paul Simon, Billie Holiday, Quiet Riot, Cameo, Kendrick Lamar, Daddy Yankee, Peter Tosh, and Garth Brooks, just to name a few. The Knarr, like all bars, has those who love it and those who have issues — but overall, it is well worth your “Dive” bar experience. The libations are well portioned and the service is friendly and refreshing. But FYI – don’t expect gourmet meals or a spotless atmosphere. It is after all – a Dive bar!
The Knarr is owned by Mike and Shelly Hall. It is located at 5633 University Way NE, in Seattle. It opens seven days a week from 4:00 PM until 2:00 AM; however, call in advance for Seattle teams games as the doors are known to open for their regulars and guests.