The Watering Hole: Feierabend , 422 Yale Avenue North , 340-2528. SOUTH LAKE UNION.

The Atmosphere: Google Translate is at least 7/10ths useless. For example,


South Lake Union's Feierabend: Because You've Worked Enough Today

The Watering Hole: Feierabend, 422 Yale Avenue North, 340-2528. SOUTH LAKE UNION.

The Atmosphere: Google Translate is at least 7/10ths useless. For example, this gem, translating the history of Feierabend from GermanWiki: "...Before the clocks in all houses, even pocket watches were for individuals, this daily celebration evening began with a long time in Catholic areas still used today..." It could be talking about a call to prayer. Possibly about bell ringing. Not sure. Fortunately, my German roommate is somewhat more useful than Google, and informs me that "Feierabend" is a German phrase used to indicate that one has worked enough, and that it is emphatically (as the American colloquial would phrase it) "5 o'clock here, beginning right now."

Much like its sister business, Die Bierstube in the University District, the attitude, "Time for a break! I've earned it!" is evident at Feierabend. Even during work hours, bratwurst and beer flow freely over business lunches. After 5:00, it's a party all the time.

The Barkeep: Kessler Dixon - Alaskan native, trivia-sharing, story-topping, Journey-singing, artistic and artistically-tattooed bartending extraordinaire - is probably responsible for at least half the UW graduates that have actually graduated in the last five years. When I moved to Seattle and started grad school, my cousin (recent UW grad) reassured me about life with, "Meet Kessler." He was right.

The Drink: When I told Kessler to forget everything he knew about my whiskey preferences and make me his favorite drink to make, he made me three drinks... plus one for a friend. I didn't like one of them, so he handed me a glass with a tiny amount of mystery liquid in it. "Here, taste this." Then, as I coughed and gagged, "That's what I figured. Don't order things with Campari in them." Classic Kessler move. Education: check.

The Verdict: Three out of four is a fairly solid ratio. Little tweaks to the bar menu make it just that much better: the Sudseite - made with bar ginger, the "Vodka" Sweet Tea - made with Makers Mark, and (my favorite) the Old Fashioned - incorporating rye and honey liqueur. Kessler shines at his very best, however, once you get to know him. Become a regular and he'll be that bartender who has your drink on the table almost before you're there; the one who notices and correctly interprets a subtle eyebrow from across the room. Everybody needs at least one bartender like that in their life.

Kessler can be found on bar the latter half of the week, and the later half of the day. During the rest of the week, you can stalk him at his other expertise here: Kessler Dixon Art.

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