Bastille in Ballard, the newest ‘in’ place for new-to-Seattle hipsters and California rejects, has just about done away with their happy hour selections. The Happy Hour remains, there are just fewer specials.
Bastille used to offer one of the better happy hours for the first few weeks it was open. Moules and frites, Lamb burgers, Mac&Cheese, etc. Now, just moules, no frites for $6. No frites. Frites are extra, $4 at happy hour. So to get the ‘old’ half price moules and frites, regularly $12, now you pay $6 for the moules, and $4 for the frites, for $10, a discount of two bucks off full price (and a larger portion?)
Same for the half price lamb burger and fries, which used to be $6. Now its $10 with the fries. The mac and cheese is now reduced to a tiny little ramekin of a taste of mac & cheese’lette! Used to be a decent plate of food. And no discounted price anymore, you pig. Removed completely from the happy hour menu is the falafel, and the poutine. And the discounts all around are reduced.
Bastille has had major problems since opening. It severely restricts the number of diners for dinners, leaving most folks stuck with over-priced appetizers in the bar area. Dinner is essentially a reservations only affair, and even then they severely restrict the number of diners “because the kitchen can’t handle it”. (I recently had dinner at Le Gourmand, because Bastille was too hard to get into!) The fancy filtered water system (both still and gaseous) is not hooked up to the bar, so you can’t get that nice sparkling water in your drink. The kitchen frequently runs out of food. Service is mediocre or worse. And of course, prices keep going up and the happy hour specials, which were a good way to entice people to try the food, are essentially gone. And what is with smaller portions?
How long can Bastille keep going like this? When it opened the restaurant was hailed for its reasonable prices, making it an affordable and frequent stop for locals. Bastille has apparently decided that locals filling the place weren’t enough for them, so now they are going after the tourist crowd. In a location way off the beaten path, with no parking, I say good luck. You will need it.