The Watering Hole: Noc Noc, 1516 Second Ave., 223-1333, DOWNTOWN
The Atmosphere: The mood at Noc Noc changes depending on the style of DJ booked on a given evening. As it opens (5 p.m. Mon.–Wed., 3 p.m. Thurs.–Sun.), you'll find a mix of downtown regulars: business folks indulging in happy hour, a tourist or two who've stumbled in, a few semi-funded street folks. The music on this visit—a very Seattle-'90s mix—came courtesy of Pandora. The bar's decor is dark, gargoyled, and enough of a Gothic holdover to suggest that—despite what you heard in that Bauhaus song—Bela Lugosi is not dead, but alive, well, and an interior decorator working downtown.
The Barkeep: Ty Duma has been at the 'Noc for six and a half years. A North Dakota native, Ty relocated to Seattle after his very wise and lovely older sister suggested the move. You can find him behind the bar almost nightly.
The Drink: The Duma—Godiva Liqueur, Pearl Coconut Vodka, Frangelico, Pinnacle Whipped Vodka, coconut cream, a splash of cream, and a chocolate-syrup drizzle—was created in honor of our very Ukrainian grandmother, whose birthday specialty was a triple-layer German chocolate cake roughly the size of an upside-down punch bowl.
The Verdict: You'd think that nepotism alone in this situation would ensure you the perfect cocktail, but it's also a ripe opportunity to work out sibling rivalry/revenge issues. It's not often that the person pouring your drink is the same person you may or may not have dressed as a girl when he was a toddler and forced to be the recipient of an accidental "drop" during a round of "dangle the loogie" in 1985. As it turns out, the Duma was a sweet as Grandma herself, and if Ty returned a spitty favor in my drink, it went undetected.