It must be a nesting instinct that makes me equate fall and winter with book events, especially those at the downtown library and Town Hall (short story readings, jazz and, uh, ever heard of Al Gore?) and for now the Elliott Bay Book Company. I love cutting work early and malingering in downtown hotel bars, but it seems a shame to go to the Polar Bar without dressing for it. (Ignore the Doubletree take over. The Polar Bar remains one lush, tasty bar.) Besides, the bar menu is 50% downstairs at JUNO, with a daily $5 cocktail special. The smallish circular bar seats nearly twenty and has additional seating. You can squeek in one last order at 6:00 p.m., and be finished in time for all points cultural.
(JUNO Restaurant, 700 Third Ave. S., happy hour daily 3:00-6:00 p.m.)