Best Cocktail Bars in Historic Fairhaven

Bellingham’s Fairhaven Historic District is a hotspot for strolling, shopping, and dining. Made up of six square blocks of red-brick buildings and walkways, it’s the perfect place to step back in time by visiting an old-fashioned cocktail bar. We recently took on the tough assignment of rounding up the best cocktail bars in town. From Deco-era digs to 50’s and 60’s throwbacks, here are a few of our personal Fairhaven favorites.

Connected to the Fairhaven Village Inn, Galloway’s bills itself as “Fairhaven’s Deco Era Cocktail Bar”. Here you’ll find an extensive list of Classic, House, and Infusion cocktails, from the Fairhaven Elixir (House Infused Blackberry Bourbon, Giffard Fruit De La Passion, honey syrup, organic lemon) to the Absinthe Minded (St. George Absinthe, Giffard Orgeat, half & half, Orange Blossom Water). 

The food menu features cheese plates and charcuterie, along with a few heartier items like pasta and sandwiches--and don't forget the rotating dessert! Cozy up inside at private, high-backed booth or enjoy your drinks while people-watching on the spacious covered patio. 

During our first visit to Southside Bar, our bartender introduced himself with a handshake. That’s the kind of experience you can expect at Southside: warm, friendly, and downright professional. With an authentically local flair, Southside is a staple in the Fairhaven cocktail scene.

Sister bar to Jack’s in downtown Bellingham, Southside offers a similar vibe and simple, straightforward cocktail list. Both bars were born from the ashes of Daphne’s, a former Fairhaven favorite where you could get your “prescription” filled by the “pharmacist” behind the bar. Southside tips a hat to that cheeky tradition with prescription records hanging from one wall, alongside a black and white photo of a Fairhaven pharmacist. 

Sit inside at the oversized booths and attractive bar, or soak up the afternoon sun on Southside’s welcoming patio. You’ll find a few beers on tap, but classic cocktails are the focus here. Think French 75, Manhattan, Old Fashioned, and more. 

No Fairhaven cocktail roundup would be complete without mention of The Black Cat. Also known as Le Chat Noir, this French-inspired bistro has been serving Bellingham since 1987 from its third-floor perch in the Sycamore Building. Low lights and a full menu make Black Cat a great date spot, but we usually go for happy hour. 

Share an order of Petit Fondue, order a Cat Scratch Lemonade (jalapeño vodka, basil, lemon, simple, sierra mist, soda), and gaze out the windows over historic Fairhaven. Over three decades later, Le Chat Noir is still the cat’s meow.

Calling all video game nerds: the 1-Up Lounge is Fairhaven's one and only video game and cocktail bar. Come for the creative cocktails (try the boozy milkshake or polyjuice potion) but stay for the pinball machines and vintage video games. Super Nintendo ring a bell? 

The bar's food menu offers a range of comfort foods, from classic pub starters like mac & cheese bites to full entrees to keep you fueled all night .

        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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