libbrat.jpg

Photos by Adriana Grant

To get to the Bookstore, you'll be ushered through the grand double-door entrance of the Alexis Hotel . Yes, it's a

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Monday Morning Football: A Quiet Game at The Bookstore Bar

libbrat.jpg

Photos by Adriana Grant

To get to the Bookstore, you'll be ushered through the grand double-door entrance of the Alexis Hotel. Yes, it's a hotel bar, but with an easy atmosphere, its perhaps one of the best in town. Just blocks away from the stadiums, with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a great view of First Ave. foot traffic, the Bookstore Bar might be the perfect spot for a non-fan to compromise with a more diehard game aficionado.

TVs: Two, hanging high enough above the bar to provide good sightlines from any seat. On mute. Mellow pop music emanating from the sound system made for a moody people-watching soundtrack. The place really used to be a bookstore, and though the selection of titles covering the walls is highly eclectic, all books are for sale. Early in the game, the one guy seated at the bar was holding his head, puzzling away at the New York Times crossword. Bookish, indeed.

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MVP: The deals: $5 beers, burgers, brats, and Bloody Marys. But you'll have to know to ask for this quadruple special, as there was no signage whatsoever, and the bartender didn't mention it. The burger, served with shoestring fries, was resoundingly all right. The brat was the better choice, falling out of its roll, spilling a pile of sautéed bell peppers. The Bookstore's all day happy hour is served on Sunday game days, 11 a.m.- 10 p.m., which means the game doesn't even have to be on to eat like a fan.

Beers: The special $5 pint price (which is not so special, really) applies not to the Stella and the Guinness on tap, but to local brews like Skagit River Brewery's Washington Wheat Ale. From Mount Vernon, this pale beer is cloudy like other Hefeweizens, but a bit lighter in body than most. Perfect for afternoon drinking. The Bloody Mary was a good, strong one, with an unusually complex kick of spice.

Memorable moment: The cook comes out in his whites and says, "Is Arizona about to score again?" The reply, from the skinny-jeaned bartender, "I guess." The cook was the only one watching the game.

The game: Seattle Seahawks 20, Arizona Cardinals 26. This loss was registered only when streams of jersey-wearing fans swarmed past the tall windows. The spectacle was outside, not in, and with a strong drink and a mellow soundtrack, the parade of fans was the best part of the game.

A bit of advice: If you can, bike to the bar. Traffic was an unsurprising snarl, before and after, and an attempted bus ride home had me off the stuck coach, and walking.

The Bookstore - A Bar & Cafe

1007 First Ave., DOWNTOWN

(206) 382-1506

 
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