When the Virginia Inn closed this winter for a major makeover, it made a few of us diehard fans more than a little nervous. The

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Best Remodel

Virginia Inn

When the Virginia Inn closed this winter for a major makeover, it made a few of us diehard fans more than a little nervous. The classic First Avenue watering hole was expanding into the neighboring space to make room for more seating and a larger kitchen. Considering it's one of the few bars in town with that old-time woody feel—and one of the city's most historic, around since 1903—an update could've been a disaster. But they nailed it, managing not only to keep what's great about the place, but to make it better: more wooden booths, a gorgeous new bar with twice the space, and double the outside seating. The expanded menu includes steak frites and grilled wild salmon, though you can still get the basic snacks and sandwiches. The Virginia Inn is the perfect spot for the downtown denizen who doesn't do Belltown or the Market, but wants a beer or a cocktail with a little style.—Aimee Curl

 
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