Center Public House
Author: Krista Quinby | Photographer: Jake Campbell
It’s well known that a day in Snohomish, just 30 miles north of Seattle, is the perfect quiet escape for anyone who enjoys antiquing and small-town charm. There’s more to this downtown than meets the eye, though, as a new generation puts a little shine on the historic and brings out that vintage cool with a modern twist.
One such place shaking up the “old-school” vibe with a whole new school of thought is the Center Public House, the first non profit pub in Washington. You read that right; a non profit pub. The Center partners with local charities who reap the benefits from every glass raised and every to-die-for grilled cheese sandwich consumed. Visitors are invited to choose a favorite cause from a list on the menu and then toast to that cause with a pint of the finest local beer available.
Think Global, Act Local
The Center Public House walks the walk when it comes to thinking globally but acting locally. Seattle NorthCountry boasts some of the best breweries and wineries in the nation and, for those who aren’t up to the task of visiting each one of them, the Center offers a fine showcase of hidden gems and unique selections. Their rotating taps feature local craft breweries, offering delicious brews from pilsners to sours for those with a more adventurous palette. Whether you’re craving a rich, dark stout on an overcast day, or something a little lighter and fruitier to celebrate a sun break, the Center is there to provide. For the beer averse (or gluten intolerant), they also feature locally crafted cider and select wines from the area. Founder, Loni Wetzel even concocts clever wine and vermouth cocktails to pair with her goat cheese stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates. For the designated drivers, and the under-21 crowd, housemade sodas and an “espresso old-fashioned” that’ll curl your toes ensure no one is left out of the craft -beverage revolution.
With low key fun events like “Wax Wednesday” for record buffs, The Center Public House is family friendly in every sense of the world. They are committed to community building, both at the pub itself and in the greater Seattle NorthCountry area. That means that every person who walks through those doors, or sits on the wisteria draped patio, will be made to feel welcome. Built in a cozy, renovated Victorian building dating back to the very early 20th century, the Center retains a feeling of home, although the grilled cheese sandwich is a cut above what mom used to make. Experimenting with flavors, like caramelized bacon and habanero jack cheese, Wetzel gives a fresh take on a comfort food favorite. There’s no better way to warm up on a crisp autumn day.
Seattle NorthCountry really shines in the fall, when people come from all over to visit the pumpkin patches and pose with scarecrows on picturesque farms. If you’re headed towards Snohomish, The Center Public House is a stop worth making, whether you’re in for a quick pint or a round of tapas before your next adventure. This little pub, with its unique menu and mission of philanthropy, is poised to make big waves.