Stuff Yer Face: The Shakedown

The Shakedown

By Aaron Kayser and Aaron Apple


Food might not be one of the first things that come to mind when thinking about visiting Bellingham’s most prominent rock ‘n’ roll venue, The Shakedown, but the bar is set to change that with their brand new menu. The bar will now feature both falafel and philly cheesesteak sandwiches, alongside “Shakedown Classics” like spicy thai fries, cheesy bacon tots and beer-battered onion rings.


Since its opening in March 2011, The Shakedown has established itself as the premier venue for local and touring bands of the heavy variety. The food menu has changed often since it opened, but this new, smaller menu will allow them to focus their efforts on a few signature items that should appeal to music fans and foodies alike.


Kayser had “The Mushroomer,” which is a philly with thin cut, tender rib-eye steak, grilled pepper, mushroom, onion and a choice of cheese (he went with the classic Cheez Whiz). The menu proudly points out that the Amoroso hoagies these sandwiches are built with are imported from Philadelphia. The bread is one of the most important variables in a philly cheesesteak since it needs to be able to hold up under the weight of the filling. Because of the juicy meat and the generous amount of melted cheese, it must also be dense enough to avoid falling apart. The hoagie held up all the way through and made us thankful they bothered to keep it as authentic as possible. Remember to roll your sleeves up and grab plenty of napkins because this sandwich is sloppy!


The philly cheesesteak is not only an improvement to the food previously coming out of The Shakedown, but changed our perception of what bar food should be here in Bellingham. The house-made falafel pita was also no exception. Apple ordered the classic hummus and feta falafel pita, which included tahini sauce, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce. The falafel, about the size of ping-pong balls, was lightly deep-fried to be crisp on the outside, moist on the inside, and was tinted green from the cilantro and Egyptian spices. A little bird even told us about a secret menu, where customers can order a special item combining the pita with the cheesesteak… but you didn’t read that here!


The full menu is available from 6 – 10 PM, with a late night menu from 10 until close, including fries, tots and onion rings. An excellent happy hour is also available from 6 – 8 every night and all day Sundays, which includes a philly and a pint of any craft beer for $10, or a falafel and a pint for $9. Fries can be added to either item for only $1.50 more.


The Shakedown has done a great job bringing two highly sought out items that were previously hard to find in Bellingham. Not only are they set at a reasonable price, but they are both delicious and come in generous portion sizes as well. The Shakedown should now be considered a destination for good food and great music alike – a welcome change in our vibrant city.


The Shakedown is located at 1212 N. State St. in downtown Bellingham. They are open from 6 PM to 2 AM Monday through Saturday, and 4 PM to 2 AM on Sundays. For more information, please visit