My Edmonds Restaurant News: ChurchKey Pub taking shape, holiday fun at Gallaghers’ Friday

ChurchKey Pub has no religious affiliation, but the former Jack Murphy’s will sport some reclaimed church pews. (Photo by Brian Soergel)

Updated with Bar Dojo anniversary event Dec. 19.

Will Edmonds’ newest bar, the ChurchKey Pub, have happy hour? Well, duh.

“We’ve heard rumors that this is a strong happy hour town,” says Dave Yoder, who of course knows this and much more about Edmonds’ dining habits. Yoder, along with Trevor Miller and his wife, Amy Nyberg, are the new owners of the establishment at 109 Fourth Ave. N, the former home of Brian Taylor and Louise Favier’s short-lived Jack Murphys Irish pub.

Yoder and Miller, speaking this week at the bar still shaping up inside, say the plan is for a soft opening about a week before New Year’s Eve. The former owner of the Brown Lantern Ale House in Anacortes says Edmonds is his sole focus – he sold his house in Anacortes and lives with Miller and Nyberg in Everett while searching for a new Edmonds Bowl home.

“I see ChurchKey as a classic American ale house,” says Yoder. “A warm, inviting woody pub with a European feeling.The bars in town seem like they’re doing well and have their niches. We don’t want to compete with Rory’s or other restaurants directly. We don’t need the whole pig. We just want a pork chop.”

The bar’s name comes from Yoder’s memory of an English pub of the same name he visited overseas while in the Army. The name also refers to an old-style bottle or can opener, which Miller says the bar will use as a marketing too. The plan is to have the ChurchKey pub name of numbered, modern bottle openers and offer them to pint-club members.

So there’s no religious affiliation, but customers may be interested to know where the bar’s four wooden pews came from. “We wanted to have some bench seating,” says Miller, “and we found this architectural salvage company that had old pews from a Catholic church in Baltimore.”

The pews date from 1857, Miller says, but the first shipment was damaged in the move to Edmonds. Those damaged portions weren’t discarded, however. They were used to build deep cabinets for storage near the bar. The bar received four other pews, and three will be located in the main bar and one in the front snug room. Another old-tyme touch: Hand-painted signs will guide patrons inside.

The bar will sport dart boards, new lighting, a center leaner bar where customers can stand (stools available, too) and, in a switch from Jack Murphys, four large-screen TVs.

“We don’t want to be a sports bar by any means,” says Miller. “But one day we came in here and saw about 20 people in Sounders gear, as the team was playing Real Salt Lake. They looked around, saw there were no TVs, and left. We don’t want the TVs to be eyesores, so they are inside cabinets. If there are no sporting events, they will be off. We don’t want them to take away from the aesthetics.”

The bar will rotate a mixture of beers, with no permanent handles. So you can have a Murphy’s or a Guinness (both stouts), but not at the same time, and a selection of IPAs, ESBs, ambers, pilsners, and even cider. Imports will be rotated, as will locally made beer, possibly from American Brewing Company, Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew, and Salish Sea Brewing Company. ChurchKey will also support small breweries without distributors.

Customers will be able to imbibe in a selection of food, and spirits, too. “We won’t have the back bar filled with every flavor of vodka, but we’ll have a really good spirits,” says Miller. “We’ll have a drink menu, and hopefully introduce people to cocktails maybe they haven’t had before.”

(Could there be live entertainment at ChurchKey? Possibly, Yoder says, especially if actor Will Ferrell and rapper Macklemore want to return. It was at the old Jack Murphys where both made a much-heralded appearance at the piano a few months back.)

Yoder, who has friends in Edmonds and frequently would visit, says he wants to become involved in the community, including becoming a part of the Third Thursday Art Walk. “I love the feel of this community. I want to live in the Bowl, walk to work, and get to know my neighbors. We’re here by choice; this is where we absolutely want to be.”

Follow the Churchkey Pub on Facebook, on Twitter @TheChurchKeyPub and on its official website.

Give, and receive: Donate a toy at the Edmonds Theater and get a free tapas small dish at Demetris Woodstone Taverna. That sounds like a win-win.

Party at Gallaghers’: Gallaghers’ Where-U-Brew, celebrating its 19th anniversary, will have its annual Christmas party today, Dec. 13, at 5 p.m. Owner Dennis Gallagher will be tapping a keg of Cole Train Irish Coffee Stout that he says has been aging on Jameson-infused French oak chips. That sounds really good, man! Gallaghers’ will be open on Christmas Eve, but closing at 4 p.m. It will be closed Christmas Day, Dec. 26, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

Photo courtesy Channel Marker Facebook page
Photo courtesy Channel Marker Facebook page

Win a free TV at Channel Marker: The Channel Marker Pub and Grill is certainly a hot spot for sporting events, especially for the Seahawks and Huskies. Opened six years ago, Channel Marker makes sure its customers (more than 180 on a recent Seahawk game day) come back for Seahawks games. For four years now, owner Brent Minster has handed out raffle tickets to customers at halftime. At season’s end, Minster will pick a random ticket and award the winner a big-screen TV. This year, it’s a 42-incher. The winner will be announced on Dec. 29 during the season finale game against the St. Louis Rams.

Even if you aren’t the grand-prize winner, there will be plenty of other items given to raffle ticket holders.

And here’s a tip – Arrive early on Sunday at the Channel Marker for a prime rib breakfast. Saturday night’s special is prime rib, and there’s always some left over – and it’s good!

Salish Sea Brewery Founders club: Want $1 off each pint of beer you purchase at the new Salish Sea Brewing Co.? For life? The brewery, while was spotlighted in the last column, is offering a founders club. Here are the details:

$100 – founders club shirt and $1 off pints for a year
$150 – founders club shirt and ball cap, as well as $1 off pints for a year
$300 – founders club shirt and hat, a special founders Club growler full of beer, $1 off pints for life and $10 growler fills for life (in the founders club growler only)

The $1-off pints special does not apply during happy hour. Founders will also be invited to special events, beer release parties, and other special events.

Happy anniversary, Bar Dojo!: Bar Dojo at Five Corners is having its one-year-anniversary celebration Dec. 19 from 9 p.m.-midnight. There will be complimentary appetizers and drink specials, says Shubert Ho. Enrique Henao will be playing the guitar.

Restaurant owners: Got a new menu? Plan a remodel? Doing something good in the community? Any news, thoughts, or tips on the restaurant scene in Edmonds, from restaurateurs and eaters alike, are appreciated. Shoot an email to

Brian Soergel
Brian Soergel

— By Brian Soergel

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