Cheers! A Look Inside Whiskey by John Howie in Downtown Bellevue
A collection of 600 whiskey bottles is currently on display at one of the most coveted bars in Downtown Bellevue. Most whiskey connoisseurs will recognize the many rare and sought-out brands adorned on the wall – Michters, Willey, Pappy Van Winkle, and Whistle Pig – these are some of the few labels that make Whiskey by John Howie worth visiting.
As the name would suggest, the elegant 1,420 square foot space is run by Chef John Howie, featuring rich, dark woods complemented by brick and gold accents. With the help of Tim Lodahl, Whiskey by John Howie’s in-house curator and general manager, they’ve been able to curate a global selection of whiskies for the Bellevue community in a comfortable space.
“We work directly with whiskey distilleries from Kentucky, Vermont, and New York to procure single barrel selections of our favorite whiskies,” Howie said. “We currently hold over 1000 bottles between Whiskey by John Howie and John Howie Steak.”
Howie’s long-running career in the restaurant and dining industry began decades before the opening of Whiskey by John Howie. While his leadership at John Howie Steak and Seastar Restaurant & Bar proves that he knows his way around the kitchen, Howie’s opening of Wildwood Spirits Co. in partnership with head distiller Erik Liedholm shows he’s serious about the whiskey business. Opened in 2014, the distillery has already brought home numerous awards for their renowned spirits, including recognition from the San Francisco International Spirits Competition, the Berlin International Spirits Competition, the American Distilling Institute, and most recently, the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition for their newly released rye whiskey bottle – Rendition. All bottles from Wildwood Spirits Co. can be found at Whiskey by John Howie.
“Procuring some of the best whiskies has always been a longtime passion of mine,” Howie said. “It’s one of the main reasons I wanted to open a whiskey and craft cocktail destination on the Eastside.”
Besides the hundreds of beautifully distilled whiskey bottles on the shelves, Howie said the food is worth sticking around after a glass or two. Dishes like whiskey glazed Brussels sprouts, crispy buttermilk fried chicken, and Wagyu steak nachos are designed to pair with their drinks.
“When you have a chef-driven food menu like ours, the dishes served are both delicious and unique,” Howie said, “Our vast selection of shared items encourages guests to think of our bar as a gathering place – something we hope others will catch on to.”
Whether it’s an after-work hangout, old friend meetup, or whiskey-themed date night, Whiskey by John Howie is a wonderful place for all the above. Don’t miss their upcoming tasting event on August 17 for an evening of sipping whiskey with William Grant & Sons distillery. Guest will sample bourbon, cask, strengthen bourbon and rye! Ticket information can be found on their website.
This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.
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Whiskey by John Howie
11111 NE 8th Street
Bellevue, WA 98004