The Sunset Tavern was originally opened in the space that now contains The Ballard Smokeshop by Ballardites Betty and Jim Jones in 1972. Four years later they moved two doors down to the current location which had previously been the home of Ballard’s first Chinese food restaurant, The Chung Sun, owned and operated by Tommy Chin from it’s inception sometime in the forties until 1972. Many an old timer in Ballard will tell you that The Chung Sun was a hopping place to be, especially early in the morning after a night of drinking at one of the many bars in Ballard. After Tommy Chin passed away the The Chung Sun was closed and the building was sold to John Scott who had hopes of opening his own bar in the location after he remodeled. At some point during a long remodel process John decided not to open his own bar but to rent the space to Betty and Jim Jones so they could move the Sunset Tavern into it. Betty ran the Sunset after John passed away until April 2000 when she sold it to the current ownership group led by Max Genereaux and consisting of Heidi Park, Peter Ramberg, Dan Cowan, Matt Genereaux, Jim Cox and Joe Howe.
Over 10 years later the Sunset is still thriving and has greatly excceeded anyone’s expectations as a music venue in the once quiet streets of Ballard. The Sunset stage has been graced by the likes of many amazing acts such as Mudhoney, John Doe, Seattle grunge pioneers Green River, The Fleet Foxes, Camper Van Beethoven, Of Montreal, The Cave Singers, Green River, Bobby Bare Jr., The Presidents of the USA, Visqueen, The Young Fresh Fellows, Monotonix, The Intelligence, Thee Oh Sees and so many more. Over the years The Sunset has proudly provided a stage for everyone, from the legendary bands mentioned above, to the smallest up-start local and touring acts. Not many rock clubs can stake claim to surviving this long, and doing it so well. The Sunset has been a mainstay for live music nearly every night since June of 2000, offering shows of rock n’ roll, alt-country, punk rock, metal, hip-hop, electronica, singer-songwriters, comedy and Kung Fu movies, all while having the cleanest bathrooms in rock n’ roll.