First Call: Outgrowing Clubs at Targy's

The Watering Hole: Targy's, 600 W. Crockett St., QUEEN ANNE The Atmosphere: Targy's is like if your living room were a bar, only with more and better booze. Located six blocks west of Queen Anne's hilltop commercial district, nestled next to a vintage jewelry store in a mysterious commercial corner in an otherwise entirely residential neighborhood, Targy's is easy to overlook and doesn't get a whole lot of walk-up business. Because of this, Targy's has fostered its own close community of regulars, gathered comfortably around the bar watching sporting events on TV. One corner of Targy's is occupied by a couple of sizeable couches, also within view of a TV. These couches, the kind that completely envelop anything they touch—keep an eye on your cell phone!—become more in-demand on weekends or closer to last call. A few pool tables and dartboards also live on a slightly elevated area near the entrance, keeping them front and center, while still not in the way of anyone getting a drink or going to the bathroom. The Barkeep: Erik Patten has been working at Targy's for around five years in what seems like a match made in heaven. Both he and Targy's are Queen Anne originals—he grew up on Queen Anne and passed Targy's all the time as a kid. He says he worked at a couple of clubs, but never again. "I'd rather work someplace I'd wanna hang out at," he says. The Drink: When I ask Erik what he normally drinks when he's off the clock, he responds that he normally has a beer and a shot of Jameson. These are both things I love, but I ask him what he'd make, if pressed, as a mixed drink. He poured me a Manhattan, and I followed that up with Erik's drinks of choice: the shot and the beer. The Verdict: Keeping with what I have grown to expect and love about Targy's, the Manhattan was no more complicated than it had to be— basically a full glass of whiskey with vermouth training wheels. Nothing was overdone: The bitters were barely noticeable and the only garnish was a thin curl of lemon, making it the least pretentious Manhattan I have ever consumed, while still being ultimately satisfying. Next was the biggest shot of Jameson I have ever even contemplated drinking, next to a bottle of High Life. After taking the shot, we discussed the merits of High Life in a bottle versus on draft, and agreed that the bottle completely makes High Life the champagne of beers. Postscript: The ladies' bathroom has the message "Kevin, will you please marry me?" on one of its doors, and has for quite some time. Kevin, will you please respond?

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