There's a lot going on in The Parlor (700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 300). The sprawling establishment located inside the Lincoln Square plaza contains a pool hall, comedy club, lounge, dancefloor, a full kitchen, and of course, several bars. And like its neighbor, upperscale bowling alley Lucky Strikes, it has a dress code - no baggy clothes, sweats, or hats. (Only in Bellevue would bowling and billiards require chic clothing.) I'll never understand the reasoning behind that, but The Parlor easily wins my vote for best hangout spot in Bellevue on a Saturday night.
It's no secret that the Eastside's nightlife scene has been sorely lacking for years now. There are only so many times you can visit Joey's for gorgeous cocktail waitresses, overpriced drinks, and shiteous service. (I once got a shot of tequila there that came with a long strand of blond hair. Gross.) The Parlor is a relatively swanky nightclub--but it skips the pretention and douchebaggery that comes with that territory. The doorman checking your I.D. smiles and thanks you by name. The DJ transitions from Jay Sean's "Down" to Miley Cyrus' "Party in the U.S.A." without blinking. And there are as many immaculately groomed 20-somethings flirting over cocktails as there are 40-something Microsoft employees unwinding over a game of pool and a plate of hot wings.Ah, and then there's the restrooms. The women's at least, contains useful amenities like breath mints, tampons, and even deodorant. (I love a bathroom with free goodies.) It puts Venom's bathroom supply of mascara and eye shadow (ew) to shame. Because even if you are a trendy club, you've sometimes got to choose function over