Sam’s Tavern, located on Pike Street in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, is said to serve not only the best Bloody Mary in the city, but according to USA Today, one of the best in the entire country! As with any acclaimed bar or restaurant, seating at Sam’s can sometimes be hard to come by. To help boost capacity and provide the best possible experience for customers, the pub has a patio seating area that can be used rain or shine, thanks to the incorporation of glass-clad hydraulic doors from Schweiss Doors.
Two Schweiss Doors hydraulic doors, both equipped with photo eye sensors, open the pub’s interior to the outside, providing overhead protection from inclement weather in the process. Each of the custom-made hydraulic doors measures 11-feet, 8-3/4 inches wide by 9-feet tall. The hydraulic pumps that drive the doors’ powerful cylinders are mounted inside the building near the doors.
Crawford Door LLC of Lynnwood, WA installed the doors at Sam’s Tavern and has also done other similar installations in the Seattle area. Project manager Jon Bennion oversaw the installation and other aspects of the project. Crawford Door has a subsidiary company, InteriorTech, a specialty contractor that provides architectural specifications, product information and contractor services. InteriorTech had a hand in the door design.
“We worked with the design exterior package with the general contractor, Turner Construction,” Bennion says. “How the doors were going to look and line up and match the exterior, as well as the structural support. They went with our recommendation of hydraulic doors to open up an outside seating area.
“The original plan was to mount the hydraulic pump motors on the ceiling, but there wasn’t enough room, so they were mounted above the brick pillars alongside the doors inside the building. The hydraulic door, with its low headroom clearance, is very useful. The door has a cool industrial look to it with minimal side-room support needed and has an architectural feel that at the same time can be clad anyway you want. A lot of what these doors do is give the architect the freedom to design the appearance. If you want to choose something that is structurally glazed and/or with metal cladding, perforated panels or to create something unique, these doors give the architect freedom to use the bifold or hydraulic as a canvas; it’s a frame for a canvas.”
Bennion says he would recommend Schweiss Doors and commended the company’s design expertise.
Sam’s has been dubbed the Mount Rushmore of Bloody Mary locales by Seattle Weekly...and with good reason. The pub’s most famous Bloody Mary iteration is a monumental concoction called the Bakon Bloody Masterpiece. Mixed with Bakon vodka for a smoky taste, it comes topped with a loaded cheesy slider. For the less adventurous, the restaurant also serves regular drinks, various breakfast selections, a wide assortment of gourmet burgers, sandwiches, salads, chili, Mexican food and more.
Sam’s Tavern is the namesake of an historic establishment that thrived in the same vicinity in the 1940s. The original Sam’s Tavern would later be renamed Sam’s Red Robin, and then simply Red Robin, which ultimately launched the nationwide Red Robin chain. As with each Red Robin location, owner James Snyder promises Sam’s Tavern customers good burgers and energetic environs. His desire to replicate the Red Robin experience is both interesting and understandable. His father and uncle were the original Red Robin franchise founders.