SNOHOMISH — If you want a Manhattan and a slice of banana bourbon cream pie at 10 p.m. on a week night, then belly up to Pie Dive Bar in downtown Snohomish.
Cofounders Alyssa and Hart Kingsbery opened the Twin Peaks-themed dive bar in early May. It marries the woodsy, airy musings of a lodge with the unglamorous, eclectic and homey energy of a dive bar. Also, some light fixtures are made out of old mattress wires.
Pie Dive Bar is nestled inside a nearly 100-year-old building (past Time Out Tavern frequenters will know the bar well). It smells like wood chips and golden flaky pie crusts. When you walk in, there will be a gorgeous pie case straight ahead, a jukebox to your right and a bartender yelling out, “Welcome! Make yourself at home.”
Take a whiff of the newly-installed cedar bar top when you sit down for one of Hart’s cocktails. You won’t look weird, I promise. And if you do look weird, who cares?
“There are a lot of ways to make an Old Fashioned,” Hart said, handing me a glass of bourbon, bitters and oil-expressed orange peel. “This is the best way.”
If you don’t want booze, non-alcoholic drinks are adorably priced at $3.14.
Foodwise, you’ll be greeted by a simple menu that gives you permission to have pie for both dinner and dessert.
Alyssa’s best-selling Thanksgiving provides a mouthful of turkey and all the fixin’s – rosemary potatoes, onions, celery, gravy, stuffing – without any politically hellbent, passive-aggressive family members. Instead, your companions here are good music, Hart’s painting of Agent Dale Cooper and the taxidermied goose that head baker Julie Baltzell shot a few years ago. His name is Honker.
Other savory flavors include chicken (or lamb) curry, enchilada, steak, shepherd’s or classic chicken pot pie. They each come with an arugula beet salad (I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t like beets, but I’m proud to say this salad made me a beatific convert).
For dessert, stay with the Twin Peaks theme and order a slice of sour cherry pie, or keep it Thanksgiving via chocolate bourbon pecan.
I tried Alyssa’s award-winning Humble Crumble pie (which she once made for Cake Boss star Buddy Valastro on Food Network’s “Bake You Rich”).
I’m still thinking about that slice, with its chunks of beautifully firm Granny Smith apples and a stream of marionberries, strawberries and raspberries. Your salivary glands will certainly be activated, but the pie’s tartness is balanced by a Rainier-sized mound of streusel. Add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream for no extra charge.
You won’t find (or taste) tapioca, corn starch or other unnecessary ingredients in the sweet pies. Just fruit and some sugar, as it should be.
You also won’t find butter in the crust. I was initially surprised to learn this until Alyssa told me that leaf lard (meaning pig fat, so vegetarians: Be warned) makes for a far superior crumb. One bite of the tender, flaky and oh so sturdy crust, and I became a lard believer.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the quiche-forward weekend brunch menu: Go meaty with the bacon and gruyere quiche Lorraine or the chilaquiles quiche (chilaquiche?). The veggie quiche has red peppers, kale, tomatoes and feta. They also serve biscuits (homemade, of course) and gravy. Finish it off with a slice of blueberry crumble.
Alyssa and Hart met during the pandemic. As their website sums up: “Hart tried Alyssa’s pie. Alyssa heard Hart sing. The rest was history.” They married last year and now have a baby on the way.
The couple had spotted a “for lease” sign while walking down First Street and immediately knew this was their next business venture. They completely renovated the space while paying homage to their favorite things: the Seattle music scene (Hart is a country rock musician), homemade pies, neurodiversity, craft cocktails, Twin Peaks and of course: dive bars.
The Kingsbery business is situated next to Snohomish Pie Co., but Alyssa isn’t worried about competition. In fact, because their hours of operation mostly differ, customers get up to 14 hours of delicious pie accessibility between the two businesses. Snohomish Pie Co. is also where Alyssa first learned how to bake pies at 15, under the watchful mentorship of founder Pamela Mack.
Pie Dive Bar isn’t Alyssa’s first pie-studded rodeo: She’s opened and sold Seattle Pie Company, The Pie Lady and Pie Wine Bar, to name a few.
“This is my mastery of all the pie bars I’ve built,” she said. “It’s a place for everybody. Blue collared guys, people on a date. It’s a melting pot.”
You could say Pie Dive Bar is a full-circle moment for Alyssa.
A pie-shaped, marionberry-stuffed full circle moment.
Prices: Pot pies are $13 a slice or $42 for a whole unbaked pie, and sweet pies are $9 a slice or $38 for a whole pie.
Pie Dive Bar
921 First St., Snohomish
Hours: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 3 p.m. to midnight on Friday; 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday; closed Monday
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