Pub Grub and respectability: Echo Lake Tavern is now Woody's

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Woody's - a respectable establishment
Photo by Diane Hettrick
By Diane Hettrick

If you are hungry at 11 pm and want a place to sit down to eat - and especially if you would like a beer with your panini sandwich - there's a new place to go.

The old Echo Lake Tavern, at 19508 Aurora, has been reborn as Woody's.

The interior has been completely redone, all the piping and wiring replaced. The beer is draft, the wine is excellent, and the bar is full service, as the new owners took the time to get a full liquor license.

Full service bar at Woody's
Photo by Diane Hettrick

"We currently have a full bar ranging from top shelf liquor to the more basic beers including our now featured Old Seattle Lager. Pressuring 12 beers on tap our Co2 system is state of the art, creating a perfect pour every time and all the refrigeration and lines are brand new."

And the sandwiches are terrific. 

New owners Elton and Heather "Wood" Roundhill own Rory's in Edmonds and wanted to open a second location. They loved the ship-hull shape of the building and appreciated its historical significance.

Echo Lake Tavern 1937
Photo courtesy of Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch

They knew what they were getting into, Elton said.

"I’ll never forget when we pulled into the lot because it all came back to me and suddenly I remembered the countless times that I drove right by always thinking that I would –never ever step foot in that place if my life depended on it and the look on my wife’s face said she felt the same way. 
"Even though the building had an ice cold feel (probably because the heat had been turned off and it was winter) we saw something that could be made of this old nostalgic building. We envisioned how it would look with its cool ship hull shape all fixed up and how much people might enjoy it more if they could watch the game and order a “real” drink -so with our general managers’ words of wisdom and some elbow grease that’s what we did." 
The interior has been completely redone
Photo by Diane Hettrick

Your Editor and Spouse dropped in one Saturday night. Not a lot of people were there, but everyone was friendly. A few people at the bar were talking about their high school reunion. A couple of guys at tables were watching a sports event on one of the wall-mounted televisions. The bartender looked like a grad student. She said that the kitchen was open until 1am and brought us delicious panini sandwiches. They also have chili and the soup of the day.

Jukebox and classic cars
Photo by Diane Hettrick

I asked Elton the next day if the old clientele still came by. He said that a few had stopped by. "They open the door, look in, and leave." "We envision the place as a neighborhood hang-out, but it's hard to overcome decades of being known as a dive."

"My hope," he continued, "is that Woody’s can be a spot where the residents of Shoreline can come in and enjoy themselves. I have some special deals for antique/classic car enthusiasts daily and we have ideas on hosting some charity events but so far have only managed to donate to the Shoreline School district through a charity basketball event this previous summer."
Woody's is very close to Aurora, which will be widened
The parking lot is to the left in the photo
Photo by Diane Hettrick

"You do know that this section of Aurora will be widened," I said. Elton was upbeat. "People always ask if the highway construction will be bad for our business or if we are worried about it - but quite frankly we are not, because it seems that the project, once finished, will be well worth any pain we experience at the moment."

"So come check out the new old bar in town -- or as we like to call it, the five star dive bar."


Anonymous,  November 13, 2011 at 8:50 AM  

Good for the Roundhills for turning a dive into a potential diamond. Best of luck and I will stop in for some chilli

Anonymous,  November 13, 2011 at 4:05 PM  

Hilarious that shabby people open the door, look in and then leave.

Anonymous,  November 13, 2011 at 8:49 PM  

I'll be checking this out now. I previously would not have.

Anonymous,  November 14, 2011 at 6:34 AM  

Is the new owner's name 'Elwood' or 'Elton'? We'll give this a try sometime this week. Sounds like a nice place. Have driven past this building a million times and always thought it was pretty scuzzy.

DKH November 14, 2011 at 8:46 AM  

His name is Elton - thanks for the catch.
Try the spicy buffalo chicken and pepperjack panini.

Anonymous,  November 16, 2011 at 6:43 AM  

Thanks to social networking and Shoreline Area News' Facebook link, we'll try it out sometime.

Anonymous,  March 23, 2012 at 3:25 AM  

W O O D Y ' S

Great panini's !! Great staff !! Great look !!

Cold Beer !! Stiff drinks !! Great fun !!

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