OMG: Walk-Up “Shot Bar” Opens At Seattle-Tacoma Airport

Filed Under: Travel

No joke, when I first saw this I assumed it was something from The Onion, but nope. It’s real, and I can’t decide if it’s the best or worst thing to ever happen to an airport.

The Shot Bar at SEA basics

The Shot Bar at SEA has just opened, and it’s a first of its kind walk-up shot bar at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. Specifically, the shot bar is a pop-up at Rel’Lish Burger Lounge in Concourse B at the airport. There’s a walk-up counter, and you can order either a single shot ($7) or a double shot ($10). It’ll be served in a two ounce solo cup, just like you used to have at college parties (I can’t speak to that, because I was busy mileage running at the time).

Chilled liquor choices include Brown Sugar Bourbon, Fireball, Hornitos Crystalino Tequila, Ketel One Botanical Cucumber Vodka, and Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey.

Drinks need to be consumed right there at the counter, since you’re not allowed to roam the terminal with alcohol. Cutting people off is at the discretion of the bartender.

Here’s what Chef Kathy Casey, who is behind this concept, had to say:

“Limited seats are available for passengers to have a cocktail at the airport due to physical distancing protocols, but the interest from travelers for adult libations remains high. SHOT BAR addresses that in a fun and pioneering way! Plus, there’s nothing more fun than a quick shot to kick off vacation.”

Seattle-Tacoma Airport’s Director of Commercial Management also had positive things to say about the concept:

“2020 was difficult for our airport and the businesses here due to the pandemic and its impacts on travel. It is exciting to embrace innovations like Shot Bar to continue to create positive experiences for travelers during their journey.”

The Shot Bar at SEA

Best idea ever, or worst idea ever?

First of all, I think we can all agree that the restaurant business has been hit hard during the pandemic, and especially the airport restaurant business. So this is an innovative concept that should allow a (probably struggling) business to generate a significant amount of revenue.

Beyond that I have a few different thoughts:

  • I love this concept and think it’s so fun; unfortunately I also recognize not everyone is fun after a couple of drinks, and/or knows their limits
  • In theory this is a more coronavirus friendly way to have an adult beverage, since you only remove your mask briefly, rather than potentially sitting at a bar for an extended period of time with your mask off
  • I’m kind of surprised the airport didn’t somehow object to this concept, as something tells me there are going to be some misbehaving passengers as a result of this
  • While this is the first walk-up shot bar, I did always love the distillery at Portland Airport, which had some great drinks
  • Will this place join Priority Pass? I would think that a Priority Pass “swipe” should entitle you to two double shots, no? 😉

There’s a spirits distillery at Portland Airport

Bottom line

The Shot Bar at SEA is now open, so if you’re at least 21 years old and can consume one or two shots without acting like a total fool, then consider checking this out the next time you pass through Seattle-Tacoma Airport. With a double shot of tequila, maybe boarding an American Airlines plane with the “Oasis” configuration will almost seem pleasant?

What do you make of the new walk-up shot bar at Seattle Airport? Best or worst idea ever? I feel like responses will be pretty polarizing here…

(Tip of the hat to @EricaToelle)

  1. “I’m kind of surprised the airport didn’t somehow object to this concept, as something tells me there are going to be some misbehaving passengers as a result of this”

    That was my exact first thought after seeing this title.

  2. The thought of an adult doing shots at an airport is just so fundamentally sad to me that I don’t think I could bring myself to do it. But I suppose there are worse ways to conk yourself out before getting on a redeye…

  3. I have seen many a people take shots while sitting at a bar in an airport, but let’s just all be clear about the general point of taking shots. It’s to consume alcohol in the quickest way to get intoxicated. I don’t think anyone will argue with that, so I don’t think you can see this favorably if you also think that airports should be doing a better job at restricting people so that they don’t become dangerous on a plane due to their drunkenness.

  4. Dim the lights, add the stench of stale beer and a few mechanical hands groping you and they could replicate the club experience.

  5. Really with the endless stories of alcohol related inflight behavior problems and an airport opens a shot bar? Then we have to hear “well maybe airlines should stop serving alcohol inflight.” It’s the damn airport bars where the problems begin and gate agents are often too busy or don’t take the effort to notice someone three sheets to the wind boarding an a/c.

    A shot bar? It’s like opening a bar in the same building as an AA meeting.

  6. the idea of anyone paying $10 to pound a double shot at some walkup airport bar is incredibly bleak

  7. Yes, because what we need is more drunks inside flying metal tubes. Hooray.

    On a March 3rd AS flight last year, I had the utterly delightful opportunity to intervene in an intoxicated young man’s verbal and physical intimidation of a young woman. I can’t wait to do it again. My thanks to airport bars (and airlines’ liberal alcohol dispensing policies) for making this pleasant event possible.

  8. I don’t mean get all Alan Harper about this but; remember you can bring your own 3-oz mini liquor bottles. While you can’t serve yourself on the flight, I don’t think there’s anything against self pour in the terminal??

  9. The American puritanism shows up in the comments just as expected. Get a break folks, and try to judge and moralize over fellow adults less. If somebody wants to get quickly drunk, there are plenty of other opportunities in self serve lounges with unlimited drinks around airports already.

  10. Ben its been too long since your last trip review… this seems like a slam dunk. Give the people what they want and review Shot Bar.

  11. I agree that there are incidents of people being overintoxicated on planes. But, what we don’t see are the millions of people being chill on a flight because they got buzzed at an airport bar. I also like Lucky’s point about people keeping their masks on more. There are more positives than negatives, IMHO.

  12. That liquor selection sounds pretty low end, which might imply something about the clientele they’re expecting.

  13. And that’s different from you trying to drink all the Champagne on any given flight because??????

  14. @West Coast Flyer The time and thought they put into decorating the sneeze guard “might imply something about the clientele they’re expecting.”

  15. This is stupidity. We already know some people can’t handle their alcohol so they are going to let them do shots right before going on the plane? Why is this remotely appropriate?

  16. I’m with @Andre and @George N Romey on this. What could possibly go wrong selling cheap shots at a standup airside bar? I prefer to not increase the risk that my flight be delayed or diverted to offload a drunken fool who quickly and conveniently got tanked up at an airside shot bar any more than I want to be stuck sitting next to one.

  17. In a city where you can commit the crime of your choosing and open shoot heroin in public without any fear of consequences……I support this. What do you have to lose at this point?

  18. My seat mate (a young doctor) on a Delta flight from ATL to SAN came up with the bright idea to see if we could drink them out of red wine in F. When the mission was accomplished, the friendly FA offered to bring some mini’s from the back and she did. I commented that they probably wouldn’t be as good, and sure enough. It was fun and no harm done.

  19. americans and their shot culture….this is an awful idea, the only purpose of taking shots is to get drunk, and the last thing we need is encouragement to do so in a quick way before people get on a metal tube for hours…..aiaiai…..

  20. It’s been two years since I’ve been there, but I recall a shot and beer cart at TPA Airside E across from some Delta gates. My flight was delayed by several hours and the bartender said he had to stay until the last flight left or was cancelled.

  21. @West Coast Flyer

    Yes, but generally, it doesn’t make sense (it’s not worth it) to offer shots of the nice stuff. (Or maybe people do, which is great for them.)

  22. Why do the Euros always feel the need to come and chastise Americans when they themselves are know for their drinking ways? Germans, Italians, Brits…we could keep going for hours. Holier than thou, I tell ya…

  23. Great concept. The Air Line Pilots will appreciate the marked step up in convenience. An unstressed pilot is a safe pilot. Brava!

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