First Call: Flow Lounge

Fresh from Maui, Flow's Michael Arreola mixes up some island specialties
The Watering Hole: Flow Lounge, 2 Boston St. QUEEN ANNE

The Atmosphere: Situated on the busy corner where Boston meets Queen Anne Ave., the curtained lounge quietly tends to those on their way home from the office and keeps thirsty bicyclists pedaling the hill hydrated. Inside, intimate seating arrangements accessorized by table candles make for a perfect first date spot where noise from the bar is contained to an upper level area.The lounge's owners also operate the neighboring Thai restaurant, Orrapin, and both contain bustling patios, a hot commodity for afternoon and evening sippers and diners.

The Barkeep: Michael Arreola, who just weeks ago left the sandy beaches of Maui to return to Seattle where his family resides. Arreola takes pride in carrying out the island hospitality by referring to each of his guests as "my friend" and reminisces about the days when he was head bartender at Bellevue's Rock Bottom Brewery and The Golf Club at Newcastle.

While you may not be drinking beneath palm trees, the Mango Margarita transports anyone to a much happier place

The Drink: The Mango Margarita that consists of Puerto Vallarta tequila, triple sec, sweet and sour, lemon juice, muddled lime and mango puree. "I must have sold over 50 of them," Arreola says, looking at a near empty juice container. With a smile, he adds, "I think I have enough for one more."

The Verdict: Refreshing, with subtle hints of lime and mango served in a tall salt-rimmed glass over ice. Although it could use a bit more of an alcoholic punch, the drink rang up at only $5 (as part of the all-day happy hour special Monday-Wednesday, 4-11 p.m.), and cooled me off on one of Seattle's hottest days. On top of the drink specials, Flow also offers a deal on small plates ($3 for pesto fries) during happy hour--although late night snackers beware: The lounge has early closing hours that only hit midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.

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