First Call: Still Liquor's Bartender Favors Bushmills for a Bender

The Watering Hole: Still Liquor, 1524 Minor Ave., Capitol Hill, 467-4075.The Atmosphere: While the two-month-old cocktail bar bills itself as a place in "the spirit of war, peace, and illegal booze" and a "1920s automotive garage restored into your new favorite watering hole," it doesn't exactly fit into the speakeasy mold so prevalent around the city. Comfortably dim with big windows and funky soul music in the background, Still sports the rawness of exposed wood and concrete while matching it with modern comforts like heated seats—a much-appreciated amenity for cold nights on the Hill.The Bartender: George Englestad is a veteran barkeep; before starting at Still when it opened in late January, he'd worked at the Showbox for a decade and put in stints at the War Room and Havana. He now handles Still's Sunday-through-Tuesday crowds solo, with an occasional fill-in on weekends. Best of all, Englestad can keep up a friendly conversation without letting the liquid level in any patron's glass dip too low.The Drink: A plentiful glass of Bushmills Irish Whiskey and a bottle of PBR—very straight and to-the-point. In Engelstad's words, the dynamic duo is "not the most exciting cocktail, but it's pretty basic and it's what I normally drink. I've been stuck on Bushmills forever; it's a little smoother than most whiskeys and a little easier to drink. And I grew up on shitty beer, so there's that. But Bushmills, it's almost too easy to drink."The Verdict: He wasn't kidding: Bushmills is easy to drink, and PBR is what it is. But in a bar like this, if you don't want to drink a cocktail, you have to have a backup plan. So why not whiskey? It's the perfect drink to slowly sip over conversation with friends or during some meditative alone time—and Still Liquor is great for both.nfeldman@seattleweekly.com

 
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