Bellingham Admin | 12/04/2017 | Insider Blogs |   

Do a Cocktail Crawl in Fairhaven

Bellingham’s Fairhaven Historic District is perfect for a cocktail crawl that won’t do too much harm, depending on how many bars you hit. (This post was originally published by Teresa Schmidt and has been updated.) [caption id="attachment_59135" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Fairhaven / Credit: Peter James Photography[/caption] In our quest for truth and cocktails, we made several stops. And in the name of safety, we sampled lightly. It’s not easy to leave a half-cocktail on the bar, but we were driving home, so there was no question about it. Here are seven options for cocktail stops while you're in Fairhaven. The list can be completed in any order - this is just the route we did. You can do any way you would like. We also recommend overnight accommodations in Fairhaven, or a designated driver, Uber or Taxi afterward.

1) Galloway's Cocktail Bar

[caption id="attachment_59134" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Lavender Blues with house-infused lavender vodka. Photo from Galloway's.[/caption] A good place to start a Fairhaven cocktail crawl is Galloway's Cocktail Bar. Located on 10th Street, next door to the Fairhaven Village Inn.  House cocktails are mixed with care, and specials change often. Their menu is filled with craft cocktails with various infused liquors. When we went, we fell in love with one of their signature cocktails, Galloway's Kilt. It's currently not on the menu, but they can still make it upon request. Another drink we tried, was Lavender Blues and we will be having that one again. With their house-infused lavender vodka, pressed blueberry and a few other mixes, it truly tastes like the Pacific Northwest.

2) Archers Ale House

[caption id="attachment_59136" align="aligncenter" width="500"]A group of tasty whisky drinks. Photo from Archer Ale House.[/caption] We next walked a few paces down 10th Street and down the stairs, to The Archer Ale House. As the name implies, Archer’s has an extensive selection of tap and bottled beer, specializing in European and British ales, but it’s also known for an impressive whiskey list. I swooned over the thought of an 18-year old Macallan or 21-year-old Glenfiddich. And the Rosemary Bourbon Sour, Blood Orange Old Fashioned and Old West Manhattan sounded nice. They also serve the El Duderino (if you’re not into the whole brevity thing) which is, of course, a White Russian. If you have bourbon and beer lovers in your group, be sure to stop in for a whiskey flight or a pint.

3) The Black Cat 

[caption id="attachment_59137" align="aligncenter" width="500"]There are many classics on their menu, but their drink specials are what we love.[/caption] For our third stop, we ventured up the Harris Avenue hill toward Sycamore Square, home of Le Chat Noir—or for our purposes, The Black Cat. Located on the third floor, the Black Cat is another super-dark, romantic place, perfect whether you have a sweetie or just want to hide from the world. The summertime sunset views are usually spectacular, but on this dark winter night, Fairhaven’s white holiday lights were perfectly charming. One of my favorite cocktails is a Moscow Mule, and at The Black Cat, they’re served in the traditional copper mug. Again, with vodka, ginger beer and lime—and the oh-so-cold copper in your hand—it’s a perfect summertime refresher. And yet, here I was in the middle of winter, freezing my insides with it. While it was delicious, I sipped a bit and left the rest. My companion was way smarter than I and ordered a Hot Toddy, which wasn’t quite hot enough.

4) Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse 

[caption id="attachment_59140" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Bartender whips together a tasty Kahlúa drink. Photo by Dirty Dan Steakhouse.[/caption] After descending to street level, we crawled (not really) back down Harris Avenue and turned right on 11th Street, to our final destination, Dirty Dan Harris Steakhouse. Dirty Dan’s is known for its beef, but we had cocktails on our minds, so we headed straight upstairs to the little bar (again, cozy; again, dark.) The cocktail menu featured some creative libations; I chose the Hop Scotch: Dewar’s White Label, Domaine de Canton (ginger liqueur) and a dash of bitters. While I waited for Chris to mix up my drink, I thought about those carefree days of childhood when my biggest worry was picking just the right stone for a game of hopscotch. And once I tasted this Hop Scotch, I knew it would take away all my adult-sized cares. It packed quite a punch, so I sipped slowly while my companion enjoyed a pint of Kulshan IPA.

So ended our Fairhaven cocktail (and beer) crawl. But you must check out these spots too.

5) Jalapeno's 

 Locals would argue that Big Mama's are a classic drink in Bellingham. So we had to add them to the list, because everyone loves a margarita every once in a while.

6) Whiskey's Burger Bistro

 If you're looking for a spot to relax and enjoy a meal with your drink, you have to check out Whiskey's Burger Bistro. The environment is warm, open and inviting. And it's also a wonderful spot to catch a game or two while you sip on a cocktail.

7) FatPie Pizza 

 This spot had to make the list. Their cocktails match their pizzas, which are to-die-for. And their happy hour menus are so tasty, it's making my mouth water just talking about it. A popular favorite is the Martinis or the Manhattans, but I am also a true sucker for their Raspberry Lemon Drop.


The pub crawl has a long and storied past. According to my extensive research (aka, Wikipedia), the term has been in use since the 19th century. The idea is for tourists, ex-pats and others looking for social enrichment to join up at a bar for two purposes: have a drink and decide where to have the next drink. In the north of Spain, tradition calls for groups to gather in a pub, drink a glass of wine, sing traditional songs, move on and repeat. This traditional song thing sounds like a great idea, and I plan to make my friends do this with me. (They will decline.) Some pub crawls center around birthdays, engagements or holidays. Most focus on the drinks—whether they’re pints of beer, or in my recent experience, cocktails. Your choices are many, so start with my recommendations and add-on, if you dare. Just be sure to call a cab to get you home. Or, make it an overnight by making a reservation at the Fairhaven Village Inn—and you can have mimosas for breakfast!

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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