Dive Bar Memories: why I’ll miss The Canterbury when it closes

Canterbury Pirate


There have been rumors for a while, but last month, the Capitol Hill Seattle Blog posted that The Canterbury would be closing at the end of the year for SURE. *sob*

After living for over 10 years in a horrifyingly depressing apartment just south of Everett (where my car got stolen not once, but twice), my roommate and I made a pact to save money and get ourselves the hell out of the ‘burbs and back into the city. Because OHMYGOD THE CITY. We lucked out and found a cheap’ish apartment on 19th & Roy, which just happened to be the perfect stumbling distance from The Canterbury on 15th.

It didn’t take long before The Canterbury was my home as much as my apartment was.  Sticky, dark, and (loosely) Medieval-themed with mismatched chairs and tables, it was the perfect place to drink yourself silly, soak up the booze with a greasy cheeseburger and a giant plate of fries—and then start all over again. For the five years that I lived in that apartment, it was where I planted myself at least 2-3 times a week.

Generous pours, cheap specials, and surly bartenders: I loved everything about it. I could scrounge up $12, buy a couple of PBR tall boys or some vanilla vodka & cokes that were positively CLEAR, and play pool (still coin-operated; none of that fancy pants “charge by the hour” business) or pinball with the change. And after a night of debauchery, I could return to the Canterbury the next morning for a greasy breakfast by the fire, wearing sunglasses the whole time I sipped coffee and tried to actually, uh, be alive.

The Canterbury was the place my friends and I went to drink away our sorrows, celebrate birthdays with homemade Barbie cakes—or occasionally “the moistest cake you’ve ever tasted” from the QFC at the end of the block (the sticker affixed to one of our chests -HAHA), huddle together in a booth to talk about heart breaks, people-watch, sing-along to the juke box, show off our 80s dance moves, and smile at cute boys and girls across the room.

 We went there to talk through things, shake shit off, cry it out, fight, make up, make out, and laugh our entire faces off.

Even though I haven’t lived near it for over 6 years now and my current address makes my trips there infrequent—I’m sad I don’t have that kind of place near me, and I’m sad for all the people in the neighborhood who still call it home.

 I loved you, Canterbury. I still do. You’re were a big part of my life and you helped me find myself after years of unhappiness, helped me find some of my most amazing friends, and were always there for me when I needed you most. You’ll be SO missed when you’re gone.

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