This snuck in under my radar: Cinebarre, the national chain of theaters that offer first-run movies and a full dinner and drinks menu, just opened its seventh location this weekend, in Issaquah. (The other Northwest location, just north of Seattle in Mountlake Terrace, has been in business since 2009; nice place to see a movie, drink wine and eat French fries all at the same time.) The Issaquah location offers what looks like the same menu as the Mountlake Terrace one (a variety of sandwiches, pizzas and appetizers, plus wine, beer and cocktails), and has a few special events already scheduled: football on Monday nights (free admission, to watch the game on a big screen), and a brunch menu for Saturday/Sunday screenings before 2 p.m. If you go, do fill out the customer survey online and tell them what you think of the place.
Cinebarre differs from Sundance Cinemas, the newly reopened multiplex in the University District, not so much in its offerings (both offer first-run movies, casual food and a full bar) as in its method of service: At Cinebarre, you can order from your seat during the movie, with discreet servers darting in to pick up and deliver your order; at Sundance, you order at a counter in the lobby and carry the food in yourself. Both have pros and cons; it’s nice to have food delivered to your seat, but it’s also distracting. Comparing the menus, I’d say Sundance looks to be a little less expensive, but Cinebarre maybe more substantial (pizzas are bigger — 8 inches vs. 10 inches — and Sundance doesn’t have fries). Movie-wise, they show a lot of the same movies, but Sundance offers more variety, always booking a few arthouse releases. Anyone out there been to both?