Best Place to Drown Your Sorrows

The Smoke Shop

A smoke, a shot, and a beer. There was a time not so long ago when that trifecta was the equivalent of antidepressants. Although it's no longer legal to light up inside The Smoke Shop, the Ballard dive still has the cure for the blues: stiff drinks, friendly company, and a well-stocked jukebox. Traditionally a fisherman's hangout, with pictures of boats and nautical maps adorning the walls, the place is dimly lit with a horseshoe-shaped bar, worn vinyl booths, and an atmosphere that allows for both solitary stewing and wild carousing. Grizzled regulars can commiserate (the commercial-fishing industry ain't what it used to be) or regale one another with tales of good times gone by. If your story is sob enough, one might even buy you a shot and a beer. But you'll have to step outside for that smoke. KEEGAN HAMILTON 5439 Ballard Ave. N.W., 784-6611

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