Aster Coffee Lounge opened one-and-a-half years ago on 24th Ave. in Ballard as an all-day hangout for the neighborhood. In the morning, it serves coffee (with a Clover machine, FYI), pastries, and a selection of delightfully plump waffles. Later in the day, they offer a ploughman's platter along with beer and wine. Happy hour runs 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. daily, with $3 pints (Maritime on tap, including Old Seattle Lager), $1 off all glasses of wine, and $5 cheese plates.
With most everyone on a tighter budget these days, day-to-night cafes like Aster offer a satellite living room where you can spend a mellow night out that includes booze. "We have installed a Nintendo Wii, partially for our own entertainment," says owner Beth Scribner. "We'd like to see if incorporating the Wii into happy hour, maybe even just on the weekends, could work." Aster will host its first Wii bowling night this Wednesday as part of a Yelp! event.
5615 24th Ave. N.W., open at 6:00 a.m. during the week, 7:00 a.m. on weekends.