First Call: Good Lovin'

It's all (Dan) Good at the Hard Rock.

The Watering Hole: Hard Rock Cafe, 116 Pike St., 204-2233, DOWNTOWN.The Atmosphere: The Hard Rock Cafe is all about memorabilia, merchandise, and music. Loud music. If you go after 5 p.m., be prepared to wait for a seat at the bar. Most nights, you'll be lucky to score two seats for you and a friend. And believe us when we say you'll need to sit as close to your friend as possible, as the plasma behind the bar looping music videos plays them at a deafening volume. Regardless of how much of a downer this may be, the bartenders are pleasant and professional. They must make great tips.The Bartender: Dan Good is the man! He's instantly recognizable; if he's not wearing a skullcap covering his surfer-length blond hair, he'll be the dude singing along to the music with a huge grin on his face. Dan also loves high-fives. No celebration is too small for one, in fact. It's kind of charming. He's been working "the Square," as he calls Pioneer Square, for almost a decade, pulling shifts at Tiki Bob's Cantina (which he helped open and where he still bartends part-time) and the J&M. He landed at the Hard Rock after some friends flew him to the Las Vegas affiliate for his bachelor party in August. He fell in love and aced his interview when he applied to work at the Seattle location months later. "I love my job," Dan will tell you repeatedly. He is one of the nicest guys you'll ever have the pleasure of dealing with at a bar.The Drinks: Dan doesn't want to make you his favorite drink. He insists on making your favorite drink, so come prepared at least to tell him your favorite spirit. A request for "gin" and "a little sweet" resulted in a drink Dan calls the Nada Bomb ($7.50): a glass of Red Bull with a shot of Bombay Sapphire gin thrown in and a splash of lemon and grapefruit. As Dan explains, it's called the Nada Bomb, because when you pound it, you won't taste anything—nada. A whiskey-based drink ($7) was a little less fratty, but hell if we know what its name is—Dan's description of the drink was drowned out by Great White's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy." It was either called "Dan's Whiskey Dilemma" or "Dan's Whiskey Lemon," or maybe "Dan's Whiskey D'Lemon." We're not sure, but we did hear Dan say, "It's got four different kinds of whiskeys and bourbons in it, so it's got a little Maker's, Southern, C.C., some Turkey. It's showered with lime, shaken up."The Verdict: Remember those drinks in college that ushered you into the wonderful world of illegal drinking? Those are the drinks you can expect at the Hard Rock Cafe. They're all about the novelty of drinking, not so much about the finesse of mixing or the balance of flavor. They are fun, though. And if you visit the Hard Rock on your 21st birthday, you will be treated to a rousing, dancing-on-the-bar-style "Happy Birthday" number from the bartenders—a la Coyote Ugly, minus the stripper moves.jperry@seattleweekly.com

 
comments powered by Disqus