Kenmore’s Cozy Inn, where everyone still knows your name

"Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name," is the famous chorus to the Cheers theme song and as the Northshore continues to grow, finding that place can be harder than ever.

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name,” is the famous chorus to the Cheers theme song and as the Northshore continues to grow, finding that place can be harder than ever.

Luckily for Kenmore residents that friendly atmosphere can be found any night of the week at the Cozy Inn tavern.

Tina Alexander has worked at the bar since 1988 as a bartender.

“It’s just an old Cheers style bar, everybody likes it,” she said on a sunny afternoon sitting on the taverns deck overlooking Lake Washington.

The Cozy Inn has been serving beer and wine since the end of prohibition, back when it was Henry’s Hamburgers and Watermelons, as the name implies it used to be a hamburger joint and fruit stand.

On a recent Thursday evening the tavern was filling up. Walls laden with posters, articles and pictures of American icons house a growing number of locals ordering beers, smokes and conversing with friends.

John Brown has worked here for 13 years and said the people keep him coming back.

“It’s a lot of fun actually,” he said. “There’s a good sense of community in the Cozy.”

A regular stepped up to the bar as Brown greeted him by name and asked him if he’d have his usual Coors Lite.

In a region with so many faces passing by, personal service can be hard to find, but Brown said it’s all part of the allure.

“The phrase that we like to use is ‘oldschool,'” he said.

In a recent Seattle Times piece, the reporter documents the slow death of neighborhood dive bars. Places with history that locals can grab a drink at.

Brown said he thinks it’s important for the community to have a gathering place.

“To me, it’s very important to maintain some of the community roots,” he said. “I wouldn’t exactly call it a lynch pin, but I would say it’s a vital part of the community.”

Rock music plays in the background as a man in his young 20s walks up to the bar as he and Brown launch into a conversation like old friends about when he was in last, settling for between nine days to two weeks.

Both Brown and Alexander mentioned the comfortable and welcoming atmosphere the bar exudes.

Newcomers are greeted with a warm welcome from the old-timers, Brown said.

“I think it’s a little more inclusive, a little more welcoming than a lot of places,” he said.

The Cozy Inn is also looking to attract new patrons. Construction along State Route 522 has put a damper on business since last fall, Alexander said.

They recently started an open mic comedy night on Tuesdays starting around 8 p.m.

But for the regulars, construction hasn’t been a problem.

“They will always manage to get here,” she said.

The Cozy Inn is located at 6215 Bothell Way Northeast in Kenmore.

More in News

118 unit townhouse project coming to Canyon Park

MJS Investors are working to build out a townhouse development in Bothell’s… Continue reading

Greg McClellan of Kirkland completes his 48-hour long concept album after almost 20 years. Madison Miller/staff photo.
Kirkland man creates 48-hour long concept album

Greg McClellan finishes what may be the world’s longest album in dedication to his lifelong friend.

Bothell man pleads guilty to sex crimes involving 14-year-old

Defendant met and groomed victim online, traveled to California for sex and produced child porn.

Photo of Community Transit. Reporter file photo courtesy of Lizz Giordano, The Herald
Sound Transit to host local meetings on bus rapid transit

Sound Transit invites locals to attend SR 522/Northeast 145th Street corridor project meetings.

FEMA Region 10 Headquarters, Regional Response Coordination Center (RRCC) staff monitor flood activities in Washington and Oregon during heavy rains in November 2006 that flooded many Western Washington rivers, homes, communities and towns. Photo courtesy of Marvin Nauman, FEMA
FEMA encourages year-round disaster preparedness

National Preparedness Month, on the tail end of hurricane season, encourages locals to be mindful.

Police investigate the scene of the shooting. Photo courtesy of the city of Bothell
Bothell police investigate shooting

Police received a 911 call reporting a man with a gun shot wound. He’s still in critical condition.

Suspect steals iPad from stroller during wedding | Police blotter

The Bothell police blotter for Aug. 31 through Sept. 5.

Photos courtesy of Trooper Rick Johnson
Troopers seek hit and run suspect, call on public for help

The Washington State Patrol asked locals for any information to identify the vehicle and suspect.

The amended ordinance will allocate $135 million in lodging tax revenues for Safeco Field upkeep over the next two decades. Photo by Cacophony/Wikipedia Commons
King County Council approves $135 million public investment in Safeco Field

A council committee voted to advance a last-minute “compromise” plan to fund stadium maintenance.

Most Read