Hazelwood Twins' Unusually Harmonious Clientèle

Owners hope the bar will be Seattle's smallest.

It's an exceptional barkeep that can foster an atmosphere combining the welcoming vibe of a neighborhood watering hole with the elegant aspects of a swankier cocktail lounge. Under the thoughtful gaze and selective palate of local musicians Drew Church and Ben Shepherd, this balance has been perfectly achieved at Hazelwood. Situated just west of the intersection of Ballard Avenue and Market Street, the cozy space (one of Church's stated goals is to have Hazelwood reign as the smallest bar in the city) attracts an unusually harmonious clientele that includes starry-eyed couples (who often escape to the romantic, loft-like lounging area upstairs), blue-collar workers, and a generous sprinkling of local band members; Church's band, the Cops, has made this their unofficial clubhouse, and the proximity of Sonic Boom Records draws in even more music-community cognoscenti. While the kitchen has little more to offer than the legal minimum of TV dinners, the recently expanded cocktail menu is a sprawling study in old-fashioned imbibing, with an eight-item, authentic "pre-Prohibition" list; a handful of flirtatious champagne cocktails; and a beautifully edited beer and wine list. The selection is particularly kind to whiskey devotees, who will be thrilled to find such forgotten classics as the $7 Sazerac (rye whiskey, Peychaud's bitters, and lump sugar, shaken and served in a pastis-lined glass), but are often seduced by the self-titled house specialty. The Hazelwood ($10) combines Irish whiskey, honeyed peppermint tea, and amaretto, all served up with a Nat Sherman cigarette and a truffle. "People actually order that all the time," says Church. "I think they just love that it comes with a Nat Sherman." Happy hour runs daily from 4–6 p.m., with $2 off all specialty drinks and $1 off everything else on the menu. 2311 N.W. Market St., 783-0478. BALLARD

 
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