Cheap and Easy Everything at The Signature

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The Place: The Signature, 530 1st Ave N, 283-6614, LOWER QUEEN ANNE

The Hours: 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.-12 a.m.

The Deal: $2.75 wells, drafts and appetizers.

The Digs: The Signature is really a hodgepodge of elements from two or three distinct styles of eatery, which works in its favor, I'm guessing, because were the vibe to lean too far to one side of the "pho joint/karaoke ultra-lounge" ledger, it might alienate somebody who has dollars to spend. So it doesn't. The atmosphere is easy to melt into, no matter what age you are. That's why during the early happy hour you'll see well-heeled types downing post-work cocktails sharing real estate at the bar with patrons just fueling up on cheap spring rolls and beer before venturing out to more fertile environs to hunt for a hookup.

The Verdict: Credit the bartenders at the Signature for rekindling my love of Jim Beam and my knowledge of South Asian beers. Sure, there are better crafted alternatives. But for $2.75 per, you'd be hard pressed to find another bar where you could close out the Happy Hour session stinking of mid-shelf bourbon and not have spent more than $20 bucks.

As for the food, it'll leave you fat and happy, if not wowed. There's lots of cheap eats to choose from on the expansive happy hour menu. From the roast pork Vietnamese sandwiches to the marinated beef skewers to the slightly more pedestrian spring rolls--all are pretty tasty, and at $2.75, the price is right. The problem is submitting an order. Happy hours at the Signature, both the early and late session, find the place so packed that it can sometimes be difficult for the waitstaff to keep up. So it's best to order in bulk.

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