A North Seattle Entrepreneur Revitalizes a Corner Market into a Craft Beer Haven
By Keith Lockwood
Tucked away in the sleepy borough of North Seattle, at the corner of 85th and 8th, lies an unassuming little piece of craft beer heaven.
When I walked in after the store re-opened two years ago I couldn’t help notice the unbelievable metamorphoses it had gone through. Usually, the re-opening of the neighborhood corner market is a small event consisting of a splash of paint and dusting of the same old shelves. But gone was that which defined the previous establishment; bars in the windows, the adult entertainment section, knives, cheap wines, and assorted “other” paraphernalia. Replacing it was a well-lit and inviting environment featuring Dreyer’s ice cream by the scoop, fresh pizza by the slice, and beer… really good beer.
An extremely polite gentleman still working on building the new shelves came over to greet us as we sauntered in. We had to ask what happened and who had performed such a miraculous resurrection? He introduced himself as the new owner, Chuck. His explanation was simple: “Well, I like beer, ice cream, and pizza.”
Chuck’s 85th Street Market, or Chuck’s Hop Shop as it is affectionately known, has since that day become one of Seattle’s premier gathering places for beer enthusiasts. It boasts hundreds micros from around the world, a superb selection of more than 20 beers on tap, kegs to go, a big screen television, and IPA-boiled bratwursts on the grill. Chuck’s also offers t-shirts, pint glasses, specialty bottles and coozies.
Friday evenings at Chuck’s are usually reserved for beer tastings from Port Townsend, Iron Horse, and Sierra Nevada, to name a few. Chuck has also held wine, mead, barley wine, and even homebrew tastings.
Chuck has provided a setting where you can sample, drink, purchase, and discuss great beers at length, with the game on in the background and with a brat in hand. It doesn’t get much better than that.