If you can’t decide whether you’re in the mood for loud music and a beer or quiet conversation over a martini, this is the place for you.

The Manette Saloon in east Bremerton, not far from the Bremerton Marina—are two bars in one, a split personality establishment offering two radically different and equally good experiences. On one side is the saloon, which has the vibe of a rock club and offers live and DJ music on weekends. With a full bar and a rotating selection beer on tap, it’s a fine spot to grab a barstool and relax, listen to a live band or shoot some pool.

Walk through the door next to the pool table and you’re in a martini and wine bar, its lushly dark walls and tealights creating a cozy, intimate environment. The saloon’s owners opened the Side Bar about a year and a half ago, walling off part of what was previously a larger pool room.

The two bars share a kitchen and some menu items, but the saloon’s menu tends more toward pub fare such as burgers, wings, fish and chips, and salads. The Side Bar’s menu features more small plates a few items not offered on the saloon side, including sirloin sliders ($9), chicken skewers in peanut sauce ($9) and mushrooms stuffed with fresh crab and parsley ($10).

My husband and I tried the mushrooms, which were covered with an alfredo sauce, tasted deceiving light and were absolutely wonderful. Also good was a hummus plate accompanied by pita wedges, carrots and broccoli ($8), which helped mitigate the decadence of the mushrooms, at least in my mind. On a previous visit we tried the “sexy fries,” deliciously topped with sea salt and cracked pepper and sprinkled with truffle oil, parmesan cheese and garlic ($7).

The Manette Saloon is a short dinghy ride or about a 20-minute walk from the Bremerton Marina over the Manette Bridge. The much-anticipated revitalization of downtown Bremerton hasn’t yet been fully realized and the nation’s economic freefall makes it unlikely to be anytime soon. Aside from a new convention center, a few condo buildings and some new businesses located near the ferry terminal, the downtown streets remain largely deserted, the empty storefronts giving the area an abandoned, depressing feel.

But the Bremerton Marina, reopened in May 2008 after an extensive renovation and expansion, is now one of the nicest on Puget Sound. And Manette, with its handful of antique shops and restaurants (read our feature story on Manette here), is well worth a visit. We’ll definitely be back.
Article from 3 Sheets NW