824 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98115
Date of visit: January 2014
The Roosevelt Ale House is a sweet neighborhood pub with a little something for everyone: a patio area for hot summer days, big screen TVs playing the best game available, pool tables in the pool-table area, tall chairs next to tall tables and the tall bar, and a handful of regular tables in the regular-table area. The restaurant serves creative mixed drinks and lots of beers on tap. The food is not fancy but always delicious. Hamburgers, chicken strips, the house aioli, French fries, a great selection of sandwiches and fresh salads—whatever you order, you will be glad you did. There are vegetarian and gluten free options, and the staff are gracious about requests for slight shifts in the menu. The bartender and the wait staff are cheery, attentive, and accommodating.
The Roosevelt Ale House is a great place for happy hour or a late lunch and a wonderful spot for a quiet, no-big-deal dinner. It’s one of those places where you soon know the menu and the names of the staff, a place where you soon feel as though it belongs to you and you to it. In other words, it is exactly what a neighborhood pub should be, and, with a few little snags, it is a fine experience for both wheelchair diners and their pushers, if they have them.
Parking: There is street parking in front and near the restaurant with ramped curbs at the crosswalks. Roosevelt is a busy street, though, and getting busier as the area continues to increase in density, so getting out of the car on Roosevelt can be a challenge. There’s a big parking lot right next to the restaurant with spaces for disabled drivers and friends. The sidewalk path from the parking area to the door, however, is broken up and bumpy, so take care once you come out of the parking lot.
Entrances: There are no stairs at the wide front entrance. The doors are double, but one of them offers plenty of room to accommodate wheelchairs. Doorway thresholds are low and easy to roll over.
Tables: Inside the restaurant, the tables nearest the door are all tall tables with tall chairs. A pool table area is on your left as you enter, and there are a few regular-height tables in that area with a little ramp up into it, so it is easy to access if you are a pool player or a pool peeping-Tom. Roll past the tall tables and the ramp in a straight shot from the door to a clutch of regular-height tables for two and four near the back of the pub. These tables and chairs are moveable, so a number of walkers accompanying the wheelchair rider can be seated together easily. Wheelchairs work fine with the table legs and the seating. Although this area feels as though it is a little far away from the bartender and the action, the service in this area—as elsewhere in the pub—is great.
Restrooms: Seated in the regular-height table area, you are already close to the hallway that houses the men’s and women’s bathrooms. That hallway is a bit of a problem to navigate. There’s a sharp right turn just after you enter it, and then another turn to your left to get to the restrooms. This little area serves as both passage to the bathrooms and storage for high chairs, booster seats, and kegs, so you may need to have someone move those things out of the way for you so you can get to the restroom.
Both bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. The women’s restroom has two stalls; one is large with a grab bar on the right side of the toilet and toilet paper within easy reach. The bathroom area is dark (as is the hallway), so it’s hard to see if there’s water on the floor—one of the great terrors for anyone needing a cane to navigate a bathroom.
Photos of interior space online: Yes, in a slide show. Others on Google Images.
Photos of entrances online: No, but check Google Images.
Reservations taken: Not really necessary, but it is always a good idea to call ahead to let them know that you will be coming in with a wheelchair. Tell them Spoken Wheel recommended them!
What the wheelchair pusher has to say: Easy to get around. The bathroom hallway is a little cramped, but manageable. Getting through the doorway was no problem, but the sidewalks out front were irregular and made for tricky pushing.
Overall: Four wheels for good accessibility except for getting to and from the bathroom.
Photo credit: www.mapleleaflife.com