Expansive Beer Star finds its crowds in White Center

From the people behind bars like Rhein Haus and Bastille comes this huge tap room in White Center, with 48 taps and two adjoining restaurants.

They come, young professionals and young families, spread out around the back deck or along the bar. They are drinking gose and pilsner, listening to Public Image or watching the Mariners on the flatscreen. Nearby, their kids are slurping root-beer floats and wolfing down fries by the train set. Or petting the retriever by the door.

Beer Star is kid-friendly, dog-friendly and definitely beer-friendly.

Five weeks into its run, this beer hall already feels like the center of White Center.

The bar man in baseball cap peeked up while pouring and pondered how even busier this place may get “once the Seahawks season starts.”

In a neighborhood brimming with pho houses and $1.50 taco stands, Beer Star signals a new kind of era for White Center, as many with pedigrees from Capitol Hill and Ballard are popping up.

Drunky’s Two Shoes BBQ in Frelard expanded here in the spring.

The Lumber Yard Bar, which is opening in October, is staking the claim that it will be White Center’s “First LGBTQ bar.”

After that, Ian Roberts, co-owner of the popular Pine Box on Capitol Hill and co-founder of Seattle Beer Week, is opening Unified Brewing Company nearby.

For the moment, the buzz belongs to Beer Star, run by the same folks behind some of Seattle’s biggest bars, Rhein Haus and Poquitos on Capitol Hill; Bastille and Stoneburner in Ballard.

Beer Star isn’t as slick as any of those, but it unmistakably comes from the same lineage — the giant industrial-like space, the vaulted ceiling, the plated windows. The place is divided into zones of sorts: built-in seating in one corner, a children’s play area in another, walls lined with 200 different bottles and cans of craft beer in coolers. Also, under the same roof, two restaurants: Lil’s Woody’s and CTO, the latter an homage to Chinese-American greasy spoons.

At this moment, most eyes were glued to pitcher Erasmo Ramírez warming up, or to the four LCD screens showing the menu of the 48 rotating taps.

The beer roster reads like a roll call of favorites you would find at another hipster bar — Reuben’s and Holy Mountain Brewing, Bellingham breweries Aslan and Wander.

One beer geek shelled out 12 bucks for a pint of Lost Abbey’s Bourbon Barrel Aged Serpents Stout. “Mmm, it’s good,” he nodded, to justify the price tag…

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