Ballard VOX Venue Spotlight: Tim's Tavern

Andy Perkovich for Ballard VOX

photos by Andy Perkovich

Tim’s Tavern needs our help. Like so many other venues across the state, they have been struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. Tim’s was originally opened in 1937 as Jack's Tavern and over the years has had several name changes and owners. Donning the name Tim’s Tavern in 2011 and changing owners again in 2016, it is currently owned by Mason Reed & Matthew O’Toole. As a testament to the tavern's longevity, it remains one of the best places around to catch killer local music while enjoying your favorite beer-and-a-shot. 

Normally, just spending an afternoon at the bar whilst socializing, having fun, and unwinding with some drinks would be a perfect way to help the cause. Sadly, for obvious reasons, that is not an option this year. The current pandemic has forced the crew at Tim’s to try something new. On October 17th, Tim’s Tavern plans to hold its first ever live-stream fundraiser. The “Save Tim’s Fundraising Fest” is an all-day streaming event planned to host a variety of local, national, and even international acts. 

Although this might be the first time they have participated in this format, they are no strangers to trying new things. Says O’Toole, “There have been a lot of firsts at Tim’s: first shows, wedding proposals, first drinks, first album release shows, etc. We are truly a place that welcomes newcomers to their musical journey and rarely turns down acts because they might not be ready.” Tim’s has set a loose goal of $10,000 dollars; however, any and all donations will greatly help with costs at the tavern. This would allow them to continue to pay rent, insurance, and other maintenance costs for the next 2 months or so. 

One would hope that a local venue with such passion and respect for our local music scene should easily be able to reach that benchmark. With smaller venues closing across the nation, it's truly important for our local community to rally together and support the places we love and hold dear. 

The fundraiser plans to showcase over 50 different bands ranging from indie rock acts Racoma to the obnoxious jazz stylings of The Suffering Fuckheads. Many of the scheduled artists are not new to playing on Tim’s stage but there are several who are experiencing it for the first time. 

One of the highlights for O’Toole is the chance to showcase these new groups. “It’s really cool to see these acts in their infancy cut their teeth and then go on to do bigger and brighter things with their careers. Local act Bear Axe is one of them; they played one of their first shows at Tim’s and graciously came in and played for our upcoming fundraiser.”

Speaking of Bear Axe, we were fortunate enough to be in attendance during their fundraiser recording session. As always, they are a force to be reckoned with. Check out the full gallery HERE!

Andy Perkovich


Andy has lived his whole life in the Puget Sound region. Although he began photographing live music just a few years ago, he is a long-time local music aficionado. Andy’s passion is concert photography because he can capture a completely unique moment. When not at shows, he can be found with a crossword or comic in hand, and spending time with his cat, Hank.

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