Monday, December 8th, 2014
Bellingham’s Bars Serve Nicely Priced Cocktails
Teresa Schmidt

“Jingle, jingle, jingle, you can hear my sleigh bells ring.
I am old Kris Kringle, now go buy all the things!”

Fountain Bistro,Bellingham, cocktails, happy hour

I know, I know, that’s not how the song goes, but I’m pretty sure that’s what Kris really means. This time of year, your wallet is probably getting tapped out quicker than a keg of Melvin 2×4. So take heed: I have prepared for you a wrap-up of Bellingham’s “bargain” cocktails, which might just help you keep both your sanity and your budget in check through this season of giving (a/k/a “spending”).

My goal was to find quality cocktails at friendly prices. And I think I way succeeded! So whether you’re out shopping (locally, of course), meeting long-lost friends, or simply need to have a lovely bartender or server set a delicious concoction in front of you, I’ve got just the place(s).

Downtown Bellingham Cocktails

The Temple Bar

Everyone I know loves the Temple Bar. I have been known to pen love letters to it—it’s that kind of place. Not only does it serve amazing food and inspired cocktails, but Temple Bar is kind enough to give us a real deal, just when we need it. Their happy hour is unbeatable, with a bottle of wine and a little cheese plate for $18, or a growler of Kulshan brew and a little cheese plate for $15—but how about $5 for a lovely Paloma, Whiskey Ginger, or Gin or Vodka Tonic? Unbelievable!

Temple Bar,Bellingham, cocktails, happy hour

$5 Paloma and a delicious snack.

My Paloma hit the spot nicely, combining tequila and grapefruit soda. Simply delicious. My mates shared in the fun with $1 off their house cocktails:

  • Apple Ginger Toddy: Cloud Mountain cider, bourbon, allspice dram, ginger ($7 during happy hour and only available while the Cloud Mountain cider holds out).
  • Borealis: Sun Liquor rum, ginger, lime, cilantro, coconut syrup, ginger beer. So exotic! This one definitely takes you out of Bellingham for a bit and it’s only $8 during happy hour.

Temple Bar,Bellingham, cocktails, happy hour
Temple Bar, 306 W. Champion St., Bellingham, WA 98225   360-676-8660
Happy Hour: 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., 7 days a week

The Real McCoy

Everyone I know also loves The Real McCoy. Last evening, we came in from the chilly pouring rain and instantly felt warmer. Brandon was behind the bar, as always, making it all look easy.

The Real McCoy,Bellingham, cocktails, happy hour

Old Fashioned with a real maraschino cherry

We three imbibed with a few happy hour specials:

  • House Old Fashioned – always on tap and served on a big rock ($7 happy hour).
  • King Hops – Big Gin, lemon, Domaine de Canton, rosemary syrup, cardamom bitters, IPA.
  • Giant Awakening: Coffee-infused Mezcal, Averna, Pur Blood Orange Spice Liqueur, Maple.

Each of Brandon’s superbly conceived and created drinks are $8 during happy hour, $9 the rest of the day. (Side note: in Seattle, they would probably be $11 or $12.) And a little bird tells me there will probably be a $7 eggnog special coming right up to warm your holidays. I’m swooning already, just imagining how delicious The Real McCoy’s eggnog will be.

King Hops, Giant Awakening

King Hops, Giant Awakening

The Real McCoy, 114 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 360-392-8051
Happy Hour: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Wednesday – Sunday

Rock and Rye Oyster House

Rock and Rye Oyster House,Bellingham, cocktails, happy hour

The Spiced and Stormy

Read all about my super-fun visit to Rock and Rye Oyster House here. And to whet your appetite a bit more, here’s a reminder of their delicious happy hour specials that are definitely priced to please:

  • $6 Lemon Pepper Rickey – Peppercorn infused vodka, lemon, soda.
  • $6 Spiced and Stormy – Spiced infused rum, lime, ginger beer.
  • $5 House Manhattan – Bourbon, sweet vermouth, aromatic bitters.
  • $5 House Martini – Gin, dry vermouth, twist.

Rock and Rye Oyster House, 1145 N. State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225 360-746-6130
Happy Hour: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m. – close, Tuesday – Sunday

Cocktails in Fairhaven

The Archer Ale House

There’s more than just beer here! Archer’s is known for its huge selection of whiskies—over 130 to choose from, for all you bourbon, scotch and whiskey lovers.


Here’s what’s happening in the below-street-level pub:

  • Whiskey Wednesday: 20% off whiskeys, $3 benchmark Kentucky Bourbon, $5 scratch whiskey ginger, lots of seasonal cocktail specials.
  • Well drinks made with premium liquors range from $4.50 to $6.00 during happy hour.

The Archer Ale House, 1212 10th St, Bellingham, WA 98225 360-647-7002
Happy Hour: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Tuesday – Friday

Skylark’s Cafe

Skylark's, Fairhaven,Bellingham, cocktails, happy hour
Skylark’s bar will fix you up with a $3 well drink during happy hour. Or, get $1 off house cocktails. Popular selections include the Hershey’s Kiss martini ($7 during happy hour) and the Bloody Mary ($5 at happy hour), which you can have with house-made garlic-infused vodka for a mere dollar more. And all you mimosa lovers will love this one: Katie’s Killer Mimosa is made with champagne, orange vodka and a splash of Grand Marnier, muddled with fresh orange slices, orange juice and a dash of pineapple juice. Instead of a fancy flute, this masterpiece is served in a pint glass, and for only $7!

Skylark’s, 1308 11th St, Bellingham WA 98225 360-715-3642
Happy Hour: 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. to midnight, Sunday – Thursday

While I can’t say I hit every single one of these fine establishments this week (a girl’s gotta eat, too!), I have been to each of them more than once over the years. Trust me when I say you—and your wallet—are in good hands, no matter where you choose to take a break this crazy season!

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About the Author:

Teresa Schmidt, a copywriter who owns and operates Sprout Creative, comes from a long line of brewers, bootleggers and saloonkeepers. She moved to Bellingham 13 years ago to write, hike, ski and paddle—but it was the beer that really sold her. She also loves wine. And cocktails. And good food. To work it all off, she runs around in the woods at every opportunity.

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