The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

THURSDAY /2/9

Happy Hours: Where to Pre-Concert

New bars come and go on Capitol Hill, but Linda's Tavern has remained a popular neighborhood standby for 15-plus years. Granted, the once cash-and-beer-only establishment has seen a few changes— most for the good. It now accepts credit cards and houses a full bar and kitchen, and the jukebox plays CDs instead of vinyl. But what has stayed the same is the rare happy hour that complements concertgoers' schedules. From 7 to 9 p.m. nightly, patrons can split $6 pitchers of Olympia (or $10 for any other beer). It's guaranteed that you'll be well-lubricated before your favorite band takes the stage nearby. In fact, you may run into them again enjoying a round at Linda's after the show. Linda's Tavern, 707 E. Pine St., 325-1220, lindastavern.com. ERIKA HOBART

Visual Arts: Paint and Pour

While other worthwhile venues at tonight's Blitz! Capitol Hill Art Walk include Ltd. Gallery, True Love Art Gallery, and Photo Center NW, we prefer Vermillion, because it's equal parts gallery and bar. Elsewhere, stale cheese cubes and white wine served from a box are acceptable art-going incentives, don't get us wrong. But we'd rather have a real drink at the comfortable, grotto-like bar in back before perusing the art in Vermillion's front gallery space. And the daily happy hour (4–7 p.m.) nicely overlaps with the opening of this month's group show, Conversations in Paint (through March 3), featuring Sue Danielson, Laura Hamje, and Marie Gagnon. Washington wines and well drinks are discounted to $3 (or $1 off specialty drinks). Although there's not a full kitchen, the small menu offers cheese and meat plates, mac 'n' cheese, chorizo chili ($7.50 during normal hours, $1 off during happy hour). All three painters work in what might be called an urban impressionist style, with familiar forms semi-abstracted into bright colors. Gagnon has done a recent series on our doomed Alaskan Way Viaduct; Hamje, too, has an eye for roadways cutting across the sky. Come early for the happy hour, and the money you save on drinks could be invested in a new canvas for your living room. Vermillion, 1508 11th Ave., 709-9797, vermillionseattle.com and blitzcapitolhill.com. Opening reception 6– 8 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

FRIDAY 2/10

Indoor Sports: Nice Shot!

Skip the snack cart, windmills, and any concern for general safety. This spring's Smash Putt has opted for a dimly lit SoDo madhouse with a fully stocked bar. Once you've flashed your ID and signed the safety waiver, head straight to the drink line and order a Ginger Zelenka. Having a drink in your system may not help you putt your ball properly, but it will make shooting a golf-ball bazooka at metal plates and cymbals that much more rewarding. The challenging 15-hole course is designed to leave you scratching your head. Or, in the case of the giant wheel that smells like campfire smoke and grape soda, scratching and sniffing. And there's more than just putting: Ever tried golf foosball or golf Skee-Ball? For a premium, there are also various VIP lounges where you can kick back and get away from the golf madness. Not feeling so rich? Try the "living room hole," with two couches, shag carpet, and a lovely oak coffee table. But be aware, people may play around you—or try to get in on the Atari action on the vintage floor-model TV. (Runs Fri.–Sun. through Feb. 26.) 2724 Sixth Ave. S., smashputt.com. $12.50. 8 p.m.–2 a.m. COZELL WILSON

Happy Hours: Bargains Across the Border

Like most of Seattle's Mexican restaurants, Guaymas Cantina serves standard Tex-Mex fare, and its patrons tend to be office drones who come for the sake of convenience. But for finding a good downtown happy hour, this spot perched high above the Harbor Steps is one of your best bets. Twice daily, Guaymas offers $5 margaritas, $4 wells, and $3 beers. (If you really want to get down to business, ask nicely and your server may give you a chilled silver tequila shot in lieu of a margarita.) Better still, the restaurant is relatively empty after the lunch rush, which means drinks are delivered at lightning speed, along with bottomless baskets of free (!) chips and salsa. The only place you'll enjoy a better-priced fiesta is, well, Mexico. Guaymas Cantina, 1303 First Ave., 624-5062, tacosguaymas.com. 2–6 p.m. & 9 p.m.–close. ERIKA HOBART

SATURDAY 2/11

TV/Food: Drinking to the Dark Side

On his long-running Travel Channel show No Reservations, celebuchef Anthony Bourdain drinks as often as he eats—and maybe more. In interviews, he's often said that his favorite cocktail is a good gin Negroni with an orange-slice garnish. But the man who's gamely eaten an entire fresh-killed cobra and a raw seal's eyeball doesn't discriminate. From agave liquor in Mexico to soju in South Korea to a Jäger and Red Bull in Boston to Guinness in Dublin, he sucks it all down with relish. And he deserves the tipple, since the über-busy Bourdain now hosts two TV shows (his new air travel–focused The Layover premiered last fall). He appears tonight with his friend, Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert, on their "Good Vs. Evil" speaking tour to banter about their most interesting and scandalous foodie experiences. After a few Negronis, Bourdain may start spouting some of his juiciest Bourdainisms—comparing vegans to Hezbollah, explaining why fat people should pay more for plane tickets, or slamming butter queen Paula Deen. You know, the good stuff. I think we all know who the Evil one is here. The Paramount, 911 Pine St., 877-784-4849., stgpresents.org. $55. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

 
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