Seattle Weekly: The Top 50 Haunts

October 4th, 2020

There's a certain community of jazz musicians in this town—as in most big towns—who've put down their stakes, who are holding down their jobs, who are never going to New York, and who nightly pour out their heart, soul, and sweat at whatever smoky den has kindly given them refuge. In Seattle, that place is Tula's. As welcoming and no-nonsense as the man who runs it—retired Navy bandleader Mack Waldron—Tula's has low lights, wooden beams, unfussy furnishings, random memorabilia. Meat-and-potatoes jazz musicians take to the raised platform in the middle of the room every night at eight for a crowd that can be wall-to-wall raucous or sparse and sullen, but is always taking deep solace in the music. You can get a serviceable meal here, but even the waitstaff will tell you that "food is not the focus." It's about an easy drink, scruffy atmosphere, and another chorus on "Stella by Starlight."

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