Go Eat! A pub with a sports problem

Go Eat! A pub with a sports problem

SEATTLE -- When you walk into Buckley's on lower Queen Anne, the first thing you'll notice is about 10 TVs, sports banners hanging from the rafters, and guys sitting at the bar watching their favorite game. Buckley's, however, is no sports bar.

"We're your friendly neighborhood pub with a sports problem," says owner Tim Buckley.

"I've never been a fan of sports bars in particular because usually the food's really not that good and the service is kind of lousy and not the cleanest place, but I take pride in our establishment."

It's true. Buckley's is a comfortable, warm and friendly pub that caters to everyone in the neighborhood.

"Traditionally, that's what a pub is for, it's short for 'public house' and that goes back to the 1600s when people would get out of their houses and they'd all meet at a community meeting place and beer happened to be there and food. That same tradition carries on today; people just want to get out and socialize and come to a friendly spot."

Buckley's food is fabulous.

"I think out hamburgers are one of the best in town; our fish and chips are phenomenal; our blackened salmon sandwich is incredible. I think the best sandwich in town would have to be the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich -- incredible!"

And the crowd couldn't be friendlier.

"We have 86'ed some people from here. We don't like troublemakers or idiots, we send them on their way, and that's where I think we also do a great job."

Tim knows a thing or two about pubs - he started bartending when he was 19.

"And I'm now 42-years-old so, this is all I do."

He moved to Seattle from Minnesota in 1986, got a degree in business administration, and quickly landed a job at the now defunct Belltown Pub.

"I was the General Manager down there. I'd watch the owners do it and I'd go, 'Well, I can do this,' and sure enough I did, but given the chance here, we've made a lot of mistakes, but we learn from our mistakes. That's what I always tell guys, it's okay to make mistakes, just don't make the same mistake twice."

Tim is getting ready to open another much larger Buckley's back in his old Belltown hood (next to Tavolata), and eventually wants to open two more.

"I'm always in a great mood because I love this; I can do this until the day I die. This is what I love to do, I love being here, I love this business and I don't consider it work."

The secret to his success is simple, but unfortunately, not practiced by enough restaurants.

"We try to do what the customer wants to the best of our ability. Fulfill their needs and you will be successful."

Places Tim likes to Go Eat!: Il Fornaio, Village Pizzeria, Sport

For more information: