Editor's Expeditions - Jazz

  • Written by Kristen Hamilton

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again … we love listening to live music!  We enjoy many genres, but gravitate towards jazz, blues and classic rock.  As we have gotten older though, we prefer to find venues that offer some great music with an earlier than 9 p.m. start time.

In our continuous search around the Seattle area for explorations, we discovered that the Latona Pub features live jazz music during their Friday evening happy hours (5 – 7 p.m.).  It was time to check it out. 

Located at the corner of N 65th St and Latona Avenue NE in Greenlake, the Latona Pub has been around for 30+ years.   It is definitely what you would consider a neighborhood pub with a cozy feel. 

We showed up about 15 minutes before the jazz trio started to be sure we got a table.  The place definitely started to fill up, but there was seating upstairs also so I think we would have been fine.  You could tell by many of the people coming in that the Latona Pub was a local’s hangout. We knew right away that this was our kind of place. 

As we settled in and checked out the menu, the band started to play.  The Happy Hour Jazz is touted as one of the oldest happy hours in the city.  It started in 1992 with Boots, Barrie, and Murray who played weekly.  In 2009, bassist and bandleader Phil Sparks took over. He is considered one of the best jazz players in the city.  Two or three other extraordinary musicians join Sparks each week.  It was a real treat listening to these talented musicians and an added bonus was that there was not a cover charge.

Even with the crowd, the staff was attentive and made sure we were taken care throughout the evening.  We started with the house specialty of Latona Steamers (we chose mussels) and roasted jalapeño and cheddar topped with crispy bacon and served with grilled pita.  Later on for our entrees, we enjoyed the Steak & Mushroom Salad and a Latona Burger.  Everything was fresh and delicious (and we later learned locally sourced).  It was also affordable which isn’t always easy in the city!

Overall the night was a hit and the music was really awesome.  We’ll be back!

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