Best Bar Bar

Ballard Smoke Shop

Smoking has been outlawed indoors in Washington for nearly six years now, but the inside of the Ballard Smoke Shop still smells as if somebody just lit up. A patina of smoke clings to the walls of the nautical-themed bar like a fading coat of paint. The leather-skinned waitresses are the don't-take-shit-off-nobody type, and the patrons run the gamut from Hell's Angels to slumming hipsters. The kitchen churns out dirt-cheap comfort food, the drinks are dangerously stiff, and the old-school jukebox blasts classic country and soul tunes. It just feels like the kind of place where you ought to be sucking down a pack of unfiltered cancer sticks and polishing off a bottle of Wild Turkey. In other words: a bar. KEEGAN HAMILTON 5439 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-6611

 
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