Start with a tasty beverage and something yummy to nibble on. Add copious amounts of sunshine, rocky beaches, mile-long views and bald eagles, and voila! You have a happy hour well worth the drive to Packers Oyster Bar—no matter where you’re starting from. Packers is located inside the renovated Semiahmoo Resort, on Semiahmoo Spit in Blaine.
While the view from Packers would be beautiful no matter what the weather decides to do, we lucked out with perfect conditions on a recent Friday afternoon. We also got lucky by arriving in time for happy hour, which is every day from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Plan on arriving early if you want in on the deals, which include featured red and white wines and sangria for $6.00, $1.00 off featured Washington craft beer pints, and $1.00 off well mixers. If you need a snack to go with your drink, your happy hour choices include chicken wings, seafood nachos, spinach and artichoke dip, and a three-cheese pizza, plus discounts on the rest of the extensive Packers menu.
For our first round, we consulted the craft cocktail menu, which was an excellent move. Liquor options ranged from Bellewood Acres Brandy to vodka, Campari, Cynar and gin. Each concoction’s name was inspired by the film Top Gun. I went with the “4G Inverted Dive With a MIG-28,” which was a delicious mix of Mezcal Nuestra Soledad, lime, grapefruit, Luxarado, fennel bitters and soda. My happy hour companion ordered the “Jester’s Dead,” also very good, and mixed with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, chai, lemon and Angostura bitters.
Because every good cocktail is better with good food, we ordered the Brie, Pear and Arugula Tartine, as well as the Dungeness Crab Tartine with basil lemon aioli. Both were served on toasted bread and piled high with yummy toppings. For the main course, we ordered the cheese plate (because there’s really no such thing as too much cheese). It was presented beautifully, with a variety of colors, and loaded with different flavors and textures in the three cheeses, plus apples, grapes, berries, a honeycomb and nuts.
Creating new combinations of cheese, fruit, nuts and whatnot occupied a great deal of time, so another round of drinks was in order. I chose a classic Margarita, while my friend switched to a classic Chuckanut Brewery Pilsner. The Margarita was a perfect combination of salty, sweet and sour. I was happy to discover it wasn’t too sweet, like too many margs tend to be. The pilsner was perfect, as usual.
I was impressed by the extensive wine list, which featured a bunch of my personal favorites, including a few from Dusted Valley in Walla Walla and Blaine’s own Dakota Creek Winery (CLOSED). By the glass, you can enjoy Erath Pinot Gris, Dusted Valley’s Boomtown Syrah, and several other whites and reds from Washingon, Oregon, Italy and Argentina, ranging from $7.00 to $11.00. Beers on tap included Boundary Bay Scotch, Fremont IPA and Manny’s Pale Ale, or you can choose from a long list of bottled brews.
Along with excellent cocktails and food, Packers offers a feast for the eyes as well, both inside and out. Big windows on three sides provide drop-dead gorgeous views of Drayton Harbor, with the Peace Arch and White Rock, BC visible on a clear day. Watch the boats, seagulls and herons go by, and if you’re as lucky as we were, two bald eagles will entertain you while they fish for dinner, and then soar directly toward the Packers windows while you stare at them in awe.
Looking around the restaurant, you get a feel for the salmon cannery once located here, but with a thoroughly modern appeal. It’s gorgeous, with high ceilings and exposed rafters, black walnut floors, a fireplace and super cool chairs, tables and light fixtures. There are comfy chairs and couches in the corners if you want to stare out at the water, and very soon the outdoor seating areas will be open for the summer.
I can’t wait to go back to Packers Oyster Bar, and I plan to try Semiahmoo’s Pierside Kitchen restaurant, as well. Great drinks and eats, with killer views and excellent service combine to make lunch with a friend, date night or a casual happy hour something really special.
Packers Oyster Bar, 9565 Semiahmoo Parkway Blaine, WA, 98230, US
Hours: Daily 11:30 a.m. – at least 10:00 p.m.
Late night menu 10:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Happy Hour daily 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Semiahmoo Resort on Facebook