The Rabbit Hole Gets Dark and Stormy on a Sunny Afternoon

Rabbit Hole Bartender.jpg
photo by Keegan Hamilton
Rabbit Hole bartender Bobby Davis and a "Donnie Darko"
The Watering Hole: The Rabbit Hole, 2222 Second Ave., 728-6069, BELLTOWN.

The Atmosphere: Situated next door to Shorty's on the bar-laden stretch of Second between Bell and Blanchard, the Rabbit Hole opened just three months ago. It is a laid-back cocktail lounge that features skeeball games and a killer whiskey selection. The decor is, naturally, rabbit-themed, with various bunny statues, paintings, and, best of all, jackalopes adorning the walls. The bar itself is a beautiful mahogany affair. During happy hour earlier this week on an immaculately warm and sunny afternoon, business was slow inside the dimly lit bar, but tables on the small, sun-drenched sidewalk patio were hard to come by.

The Barkeep:Bobby Davis splits his time between the Rabbit Hole, The Victory Lounge, and Capitol Hill's chicken and waffles emporium Captain Black's. Conveniently enough, he resides in the apartment building across the street from the Rabbit Hole. That building also houses Bathtub Gin, the "speakeasy" from the owners of The Rabbit Hole.

The Drink: The "Donnie Darko" is one of the Rabbit Hole's signature cocktails. It's a twist on the Dark and Stormy, the classic blend of rum and ginger beer. The Rabbit Hole version uses the ultra-dark Cruzan Black Strap Rum, Reed's ginger beer, a splash of sour, and, intriguingly, a touch of Allspice Dram.

Allspice, as the back of the bottle informs us, is a classic spice made from crushing dried berries from a species of tree native to Jamaica and a few other Caribbean islands. The name comes from the fact that it tastes a bit like a combination of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. It's potent stuff, and the liqueur was certainly the dominant flavor in the drink. As Davis put it when referring to the Dram, "A little goes a long way." It actually kind of reminded me of the winter holidays, perhaps because allspice is a key ingredient in most pumpkin pie and fruitcake recipes.

The Verdict: As warm as it was outside, the thought of a snowy, boozy Christmas or Thanksgiving was actually somewhat appealing. (Just so long as it doesn't come around any time soon.)

As for the Rabbit Hole, with a solid happy hour ($2 off most every drink and food item, including the incredible bacon-wrapped cheese-stuffed jalapeño) and 25-cents-per-turn skeeball games, the place should have no trouble attracting customers to its prime Belltown location.

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