Day 1: A Dive Bar Advent Calendar

In honor of the annual holiday season and resultant Christmas Tension, we thought we'd do our own holiday advent calendar dedicated to that which the holidays drive so many... dive bar drinking. Luckily, Mike Seely wrote a book about it (Seattle's Best Dive Bars, Drinking and Diving in the Emerald City), and all we have to do is follow his instructions.

So for day one of the holiday Dive Bar Advent Calendar, what better place to kick off December, what better time than 8:00am, what better drink than a red beer, what better place than...

The Baranof (8549 Greenwood Ave. N.). The bar opens at 6:00am, and you admittedly feel a little lazy rolling in at 8:00am, like you missed bragging rights by a mile and should have just waited until lunch.

A Seafair drinking tradition, Seely describes the Baranof best, "...the shanty-like decor, low ceilings, and narrow corridor between bar and tables, the Baranof can feel like drinking beneath the deck of a ship at sea..." The staff is seasoned, and sometimes it's refreshing to talk to a bartender who is nice enough, but doesn't pretend to give a shit and is probably only wondering if they'll make it home in time for General Hospital. It strikes me, as I begin December 2009 with a tangy, cold brew, that I've never been here past noon. (photo by Sean Pecknold)

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