The Watering Hole: Bus Stop, 1552 East Olive Way, 206-322-9123)
The Atmosphere: Shadowy and red, Bus Stop is small while not being particularly cozy. The bar features two large-scale, intricate stencil pieces--one, a mural featuring a Metro bus--by artist Greg Boudreau. It resides on the strip of boutique bars that line Olive Way in Northwest Capitol Hill; the bar was one of several that were relocated on the 500 Pine block two years ago. This new location is about to celebrate its first anniversary. There are about a dozen people around patronizing Bus Stop's agreeable happy hour: from 4-8 PM, well drinks are $3.50 and PBRs are $1.50. There is a unicorn statue nested above the door.
The Barkeep: Ashley Pickens, from Anderson, Indiana, who started at Bus Stop a few months ago after tending bar at B&O. She enjoys knitting and crocheting scarves, has lived in the French Quarter of New Orleans, and has a tattoo on her lower bicep of a geisha emerging out of the skeletal mouth of a Japanese zombie. In addition, she is a masseuse.
The Drink: A Key Lime Pie Martini. Vanilla Stoli, half and half, triple sec, and muddled lime, served in a martini glass with a sugar rim. The drink is light, creamy; you can taste all the vanilla and lime, but only a slight trace of alcohol. This, of course, is why these dessert-inspired cocktails are called girlie drinks: the sugar masks the insane amount of vodka within (watching Ashley make the drink, I got a very generous pour), seemingly designed to get ladies trashy in half the time. It's pretty cool that this almost-too-sweet confection is Ashley's favorite drink, as she looks like she could easily kick your ass.
She says the drink is better with real whipped cream, which she used to make at B&O. Upon asking her where her favorite place to order it is, she responds, "I kinda don't wanna say this, but I like P.F. Chang's."