Before opening Bellingham’s newest taphouse, longtime local Randy Young hosted large Christmas parties, music festivals, and beer-tasting events as a way to bring together his disparate groups of friends. It was this love for drawing people together, combined with his desire to create a locally owned, grass-roots business, that spurred the idea for JUXT Taphouse.
Drawing both its name and philosophy from the word juxtapose, JUXT Taphouse fuses divergent concepts to create something unique. (Say the bar’s name fast enough, with a Scottish accent, and you’ll even hear the word juxtapose.) Young wanted an “accommodating, shapeshifting concept” that would defy labels and attract people from all walks of life.
“It’s kind of this elevated aesthetic and menu, but with super laid back, approachable service…feels like a restaurant but it’s definitely a bar,” Young says.
The bar is also clean and modern, but in a brick building more than 100 years old. It’s neither speakeasy nor sports bar nor dive bar, but has elements of each.
JUXT opened this past October and has been met with enthusiasm and rave reviews. The new taphouse is located on Holly Street, in what was formerly The Teriyaki Bar. After a complete remodel — spearheaded by Randy’s brother, David, who also owns stake in the bar – the space is now contemporary and bright, featuring TVs that hide away after game time.
Perhaps the most important element, at least for now, is the drive-thru window, which offers a safe, quick, and convenient way for customers to pick up food and drinks.
The bar’s unique 28-tap draft system allows for a rotating selection of locally sourced beer, wine, cider, cold brew, and cocktails. Because cocktails are mixed and ready on-request, JUXT can deliver something unfound in other bars: cocktail flights. Choose from classics like the Paloma or Old Fashioned, or try the JUXT Press, featuring vodka, grapefruit juice, and elderflower.
The taphouse also offers to-go crowlers. For those new to the word, a crowler is a 32-ounce aluminum can that keeps for longer than regular glass growlers. At JUXT, anything on-tap is available in a to-go crowler, including the cocktails. One crowler contains roughly six cocktails, perfect for a stay-at-home party night.
Fine Dining Meets Pub Favorites
The bar’s food menu is large and varied, with options to satisfy any palate or hunger level. True to the bar’s spirit, it juxtaposes fine dining items with pub-friendly comfort foods.
On the appetizer menu you’ll find both Chicken Poutine ($14), Steak Poutine ($18), and a Mushroom Poutine ($14) featuring Cascadia mushrooms in lieu of meat. All are made with Beecher’s cheese curds and topped with green onions. Other apps include pub classics like Loaded Nachos ($13) and Wings ($14).
JUXT also serves up sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads. The dinner menu offers heartier fare, like the Taco Plate (price varies), featuring barbecue pulled chicken, grilled steak, grilled chicken, or ling cod. Other entrees include a Grilled Flat Iron Steak ($21) and Ling Cod ($19), served with roasted potatoes and a seasonal veggie. 119 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.656.5223, juxttaphouse.com
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