#8 Not-So-Slick City Drinkers: Downtown & Belltown

Despite flagrantly breaching our personal vows to “take it easy” the night before (see the previous post or the video some stranger now owns of us tearing it up on the stage of Seamonster Lounge), Hailey and I managed to wake up relatively hangover-free, attend a Jamaican cooking class where we started drinking rum-hibiscus cocktails at 12pm, spend more money on clothes than we’re willing to admit, have another drink, meet some friends for a quick dinner, and yup, you guessed it, get some more drinks.  

Now skipping right along to the stuff that really matters.  The first drink of the night was at a place called Seattle Beer Co. near Pike Place Market.  Our pal Ian, a Seattleite as effortlessly hip as they come, just started working there so it was the perfect opportunity to pay him a visit and check yet another Seattle watering hole off the list.  As you might imagine, Seattle Beer Co provides a fantastic variety of local brews from Elysian to Redhook.  Expect the $6-$8 range.  I ordered a rich and bold Caboose Oatmeal Stout, while Hailey went with a coffee pale ale.  It’s a casual, split level place with some major PNW Summer vibes; bulb lights, rustic wooden barrels, maps of Washington hiding beneath the glass tabletops.  It’s a great place for a chill pre-dinner drink or for accidentally airdropping videos of Hailey during our cooking class to a guy named Andrew.  Oh yeah I did.  And like a smart man, he accepted.  

Let the record show that on the eve of February 11, 2017, Hailey did the big girl thing, listened to her body, did not succumb to FOMO, and went home while some friends and I continued to bar hop.  She’s been fighting off a cold, so we’re proud of her for doing the mature and responsible thing.  Pete and Allie are two more friends from study abroad who, by some miracle, also decided to make Seattle their home.  Long story short: it’s tax season and our girl Allie works for KPMG.  

We were sticking to downtown, a place that no one in the group is really familiar with.  Pete had been to a place called Suite 410 so we decided to try it out.  It’s a swanky looking place, dark, modern decor.  My favorite detail was a shelf stocked with mini liquor bottles carved out in the ceiling surrounding the chandelier.  The cocktails are good and the service was excellent.  I ordered a Hot Mango Love, spicy, fruity, and scrumptious while Allie ordered a grapefruit cosmo and Pete went with something called the Stockholm Syndrome.  

Pete decided I should actually do what it is that we say we’re gonna do on this site: ask someone for a recommendation of where to go next so I asked one of the bartenders and he suggested we hit up 2nd Ave in Belltown.  He specifically noted Shorty’s, a carnival fun-house themed dive bar.  After some $10 cocktails, $2 Rainier tallboys was music to our ears.fullsizerender

Shorty’s is supremely weird in the best way: strange dolls hanging from the ceiling, tables made of recycled pinball machines, and a whole room of fully functioning pinball machines for the ultimate sensory overload experience.  I’d say it’s a great stop for a Belltown bar crawl, plus they serve hot dogs.

#7 The Ultimate Friday Night: Seamonster in Wallingford

This post is brief, but it’s essentially a love story about our experience at Seamonster Lounge in Wallingford. Every Friday is Funky 2 Death, a night of live funk music by a killer 8-piece band. They play funk, hip hop, and soul to an absolutely packed house every week.

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We graced this place with our sick dance moves this past weekend and will never be the same. The crowd was energetic and absolutely loving it. It was impossible not to dance, the band’s energy was so contagious. We even got on stage for a brief moment, but we’re not going to talk about that disaster.

Cover’s $8 but well drinks are only $5. There was a pretty big line when we got there around 11pm so we recommend getting there earlier. This is our new go-to Friday night – don’t miss it!

#6 Witness, Single Shot, and Summit Pub House on the Hill

It’s Thursday and we’re already desperate for the weekend. Thirsty and longing for a good time, we drag ourselves up the hill to Witness on Broadway. It’s a beautiful and cozy Southern bar – lined with dark wood and straight-back booths. We walk in, a little disheveled and out of breath, and awkwardly sit in a booth that may or may not be open for us.

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The place smells incredible and the menu has all the Southern classics you’d expect. The cocktail menu isn’t cheap ($10-12 range) but definitely creative. I order an Aperol cocktail (typical for me) and Sophia gets a warm mezcal and chai drink that’s fantastically comforting.

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In the period of about 20 minutes, two different servers and a bartender grace our table. Impeccable service that us drunk girls definitely don’t deserve. One server (unfortunately we didn’t catch her name) played along with our “where should we go next game” and told us all about her favorite spots nearby. We take her advice and head to Single Shot on Summit Ave. –  just a hop, skip, and a stumble away.

The first thing we notice is how incredibly out of place we are. The place is fucking classy. It’s filled with older, extremely well-dressed couples that seem very much at home. Me, in a t-shirt and ripped jeans, felt just a tad underdressed. The interior was gorgeous – a fun mix of modern and classic. We sat down at the bar and took a look at the menu. Check it out here, it’s pretty unreal. I ordered the Defiant Panda (Tequila, Aveze, Bubbles, Lime, Scrappy’s Celery Bitters) and couldn’t recommend it enough.
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We paid and sheepishly snuck out of there, praying we were seen and judged by as few people as possible. We walked a couple doors down to Summit Pub House, a bar much closer to our personas and societal rank. It’s your typical, corner dive bar with cheap tacos and a big TV above the bar.

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The bartender was less than friendly and attentive, which is just what we were looking for. We had some nice red ales, pretended to watch some D1 college basketball, and eventually strolled back home wonderfully buzzed.

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#5 A binge-worthy weekend: Saturday on the Hill

PART DEUX

Only the coolest Seattle party girls know that the best nights on the town begin with a pile of soft rice noodles drenched in savory Thai peanut sauce.  Well, at least these cool Seattle party girls do.  (Us…I’m referring to us, we are the cool party girls).  This Saturday we transformed into adults – and then proceeded to revert back into adolescence as the night progressed – starting with a fresh mani, cute outfits, and dinner at Jamjuree where we plotted our game plan for the night.

Two mountains of noodles and some Singhas later, we made our way to stop #1: Bar Vacilando on 15th in Cap Hill, a recommendation from our friend Bailey aka Her Majesty, Queen of the Hill.  The place is uber stylish.  We’re talking faux animal pelts, an understated b+w color scheme, and and a hot older bartender who looks like the PNW version of the Trivago guy.  If you’re anything like us, Bar Vacilando is the place you go to pretend you’ve got your shit together.  And that’s exactly what we did.  I ordered the Rosemary’s Baby, a rosemary infused margarita with pineapple.  Hailey ordered the Dionysus, a fruity little concoction with vodka, aperol, peach puree, and bitters.  She loved it so much she “wanted to drink it, throw it up over ice, then drink it again.”  Her words, not mine.

img_0781As we savored our fancy drinks, we made what I’ll argue was one of our most mature decisions yet.  If we really wanted to turn up, we couldn’t do it by spending $10/drink, no matter how luxurious they might be.  We’d have to hit up the best bar in town: our apartment.  Two-maybe three-very stiff drinks later we decided to make our way to Therapy on Pike.  Initially attracted to the fact that Therapy tends to play hip-hop/R&B, we were also intrigued by its close proximity to Neighbours, a gay nightclub that does not disappoint.  We grabbed $5 wells at Therapy and decided to pay the cover to get into Neighbours (normally $8 but Hailey managed to convince the woman to let us in for $5 each).

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Never in the three years I’ve know Hailey have I seen her in such a state of blissful disbelief as the moment we walked into Neighbours.  Like that scene in Elf when Buddy hears Santa is coming to Gimbels level of excitement.  She was home.  There’s a good-sized dance floor, fun music, and an “observation deck” of sorts where you can look down on all the little people.  But the crown jewel-or should I say jewels-of Neighbours are the scantily clad male dancers who are exponentially more toned and confident than you are.  Seriously, they’re on pedestals for a reason.

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After leaving it all on the dance floor, we decided to meet up with some friends we saw the night before at a Pike St staple, Comet Tavern…and apparently, everyone and their mother decided to do the same thing.  We waited in line for about 15 minutes before meeting our friends inside and getting our hands on some affordable beer at the bar.  I’d say Comet is one of our favorite places as it’s relatively cheap and unassuming.  It’s a go-to recommendation for anyone who’s visiting the city.  Not to mention this Saturday they were playing some major crowd pleasers-from Ignition Remix to Stacy’s Mom.  It was the perfect way to end what started as a fairly classy evening: imbibing beer from plastic cups, butchering A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton and all in the company of friends or people who had no choice but to stand by us because there was no where else to move.

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#4 A binge-worthy weekend: Friday in Ballard

We veni vidi vici’d the hell out of this weekend, so let us break it down:

PART ONE: It’s Friday night and we just, just, just got paid!

We began our night around 10:30pm at Shelter Lounge – a bar attached to the infamous Cedar Room dance club in Ballard. We stroll up the crowded bar and slip into next a 7-foot tall Eastern European man who buys our Rainier tall boys. We somehow are able to sneak onto a bench next to a beautiful gas fireplace and people watch a bit. Sophia noticed that everyone there looked they were there for a Tinder date – young, attractive, a little t00 dressed up, and bristling with excitement.

We had a few friends come meet us and had a good time despite the massive crowd. Drinks weren’t too expensive and the place was packed full by 11:00 or 11:30. Instead of following the Tinder crowd over to Cedar Room, we follow our friends our over to King’s Hardware – a great dive bar/restaurant on the happening Ballard Ave.

The line wasn’t too long and there was no cover charge. The place was busy, but not too hard to get to the bar. At the back of the main bar area there’s some ski ball and other fun games, and off to the right side there’s a more open table area that’s great for groups.

Bar close was looming, and I sit down across from Sophia to take a picture for the blog. I set my beer in front of her, unaware of her highly, highly intoxicated state. As soon as I lift up my phone to take a picture, she picks up my beer and chugs the whole thing like she’s in the Beer Olympics and she’s going for gold. See evidence below:
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We say peace out to the crew and make it home by 2:30 like the respectable, classy ladies we are.

 

#3 Bourbon and bloody dogs in Ballard

After both having frustrating Wednesday afternoons at work, Sophia and I decided to drink after work. While this decision is nothing new, we were joined by some college friends who brought us up to Ballard. While we love Ballard, we haven’t spent too much time at the bars there. Too often we get lazy and stay around Cap Hill, but carpe this Wednesday noctem!

We waltzed into The Sexton on Ballard Ave. and were the only chicks in the place. Normally an empty bar would scare me away but it was a Wednesday and the atmosphere was incredible. As evidenced here:

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The Sexton is loosely Southern, with funky Victorian wallpaper, and vintage movies showing on a projector above the bar. The food and cocktails aren’t too cheap, but reasonable during happy hour. Sophia ordered the Camillia June, which was a refreshing gin, lime, and mint concoction. I ordered the Lord Grey: earl grey vodka, lemon, and other things. We took sips of our drinks, then sips of each others, and realized we preferred the other’s cocktail. And in a testament to friendship everywhere – we traded.

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Given that the news of television legend Mary Tyler Moore passing came out today, the bar was offering a Mary Tyler Moore bourbon cocktail – the specialty liquor at The Sexton. The bar filled up, the service continued to be excellent, and a band set up for live music – but it was time for our exit.

We walked two blocks to Hazlewood, another beautiful and hip cocktail bar, but much cozier. The bar is rustic-chic and features an intimate loft space above the bar – perfect for a date. But us un-chic girls were not thankfully not kicked out.

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The cocktail menu was crazy – split into “themes” like “blood”, “saints”, and “horses.” Besides the oddly satanic menu, the bartender was totally friendly and the cocktails were incredible. Again, not cheap, so expect around $10-12 each. Overall, great place for a date, not so great of a place to get wasted at. For once, we acted like respectable women and even made it home by bedtime.

#2 Boozy milkshakes and pirate’s booty on the Hill

When it’s a friday night and you want to get drunk AND fall into a sugar coma – run over to Hot Cakes for a kickass boozy milkshake. You might have to elbow a group of 6 teenage girls sharing ONE dessert out of the way to get a seat – but hey – it’s worth it.

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As we sucked down the last of our melty booze, we looked around the bar for a cool-looking stranger to ask about our next move. Unfortunately we were mostly surrounded by families and judgemental teens. But we did overhear someone mention Captain Blacks – a bar basically across the street. Like the eavesdropping, easily-influenced people we are, we decide to go there without any extra information or context.

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The lowdown of Captain Blacks: the ultimate place to meet your alternative friends. It’s a hip, pirate-themed bar that feels like you’re simultaneously in the hull of a pirate ship and also your best friend’s basement. The crowd was mostly early 30s, diverse, and very chill. It’s dive, dirty, and homey – comfortable except that Saving Private Ryan was playing on the TV. We basked in the red light of neon Rainier sign, just like the blood of the soldiers dying on screen. What fun! Not knowing what to order, I ask the bartender what he would recommend given my preferences. This bartender, Robert, whips me up a the freshest Tom Collins I’ve ever had. Big shoutout to Robert, who (little did we know) would also be our bartender the next night at Lo-Fi. I guess Seattle is a small world for heavy drinkers such as ourselves. Overall, not a hugely eventful night but 10/10 will go back to Hot Cakes and Captain Black’s.

 

#1 Margaritas and make-shift art on the Hill

Over the previous weekend, I met a man named Niall who’s a native Seattleite. He struck me as a “man about town” but about 10 years too young. This week I agreed to meet up with him for a bit of bar exploration. Actually, I (probably quite aggressively) told him he had to take me out because he knew so much about the Seattle bar scene. After a tromp through rainy Cap Hill, we began the night a Fogón, a ~Cocina Mexicana~ on East Pine. After a quick walk, we enter into the most happening place I have ever seen on a Wednesday.

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A tight and sexy male host seats us at a typical half-booth, half-table. I don’t even glance at the food menu, I just dive straight into the happy hour tiny A-frame menu (which reminds of every drunk IHOP experience I’ve ever had). I order the cheapest appealing drink, the bartender’s margarita. It’s cranberry infused, so it’s like the best combo of a margarita and a vodka cran – a couple of my faves. It’s a Wednesday so I’m “taking it easy.”

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Fast forward 30 minutes and I’m drunk, spilling my darkest personal secrets to this man. Meanwhile, the waiter was routinely attentive, especially when my date and I realized the roof was leaking onto our skin and it wasn’t just me excitedly spitting through my life stories.

As we decide to leave, I realize I’m not done yet. I ask my friend, “where else is there to be on a Wednesday night?” And he simply replies, “follow me.” We head East to a bar/obscure amateur art gallery called Vermillion. My date makes it out to be a cool hip art gallery, but it is more of a hodgepodge of recycled sculptures and unique lighting.

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The place smells slightly of Euro hostel, and the bar in the back looks just that. However, the vibe is chill as fuck and I genuinely enjoy viewing the art pieces, and mostly, reading the dramatized and ethereal descriptions. At this point, I see the night fork into two distinct paths: follow this boy into the night and enjoy the void that is mid-week midnight on the Hill, or take myself home to reflect. Luckily, I choose the latter.

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