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The Watering Hole: Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack and Watering Hole , 5606 First Ave. So., 206-762-7900. GEORGETOWN.

The Atmosphere: Celeste and Michael Lucas' punk

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Slim's Last Chance Finally Hits Its Stride

ALYslims.jpg
The Watering Hole: Slim's Last Chance Chili Shack and Watering Hole, 5606 First Ave. So., 206-762-7900. GEORGETOWN.

The Atmosphere: Celeste and Michael Lucas' punk rock roadhouse fit neatly into Georgetown's cantankerous, outlaw-friendly landscape when it opened four years ago, but now feels suitably lived-in. Thanks to consistent comfort food in the kitchen and a steadily increasing caliber of live music bookings, it's now a destination-worthy institution. The spacious, south-of-SODO outpost has the energy and aesthetic of an abandoned Deadwood set, re-dressed by old school rockers brandishing impeccable vintage taste. The rustic wood floors have been softened by the heavy footfalls of steel-toed boots, and the backyard patio feels homey and party-primed, thanks to a scattering of sun-bleached wooden picnic benches and a flatbed truck occasionally utilized as an auxiliary outdoor stage. The brightly colored booths, chicly covered with vinyl-encased images of Elvis, the Virgin Mary, and the ever-present dogs-playing-poker scene (all taken from meticulously preserved velvet paintings) are the unmistakable work of former Seattleite Libby Knudson, whose signature look has popped up in countless Seattle clubs over the years, as well as in the homes of high-profile admirers like Eddie Vedder (she outfitted the nursery for his daughter). The giant, log-framed mirror hanging over the pool table was culled from the Sunset's Ballard basement, and many of the chairs scattered throughout the room are relics rescued from a pre-remodel Hattie's Hat. It's no wonder that hometown hero Duff McKagan has chosen Slim's as the venue in which to stage this Friday's showcase for his new band, The Walking Papers.

The Barkeep: Aly Hellcat is a breezy, sweet-natured brunette with a flash of scarlet lipstick that matches the flower in her hair. She ditched more corporate-minded establishments in favor of Michael and Celeste's close-knit crew about a year ago. "They really have a little family here," she remarks with plausible affection while doting on a post-happy hour crowd that includes bassist Jeff Rouse, McKagan's bandmate in his other band, Loaded. She enjoys the rockabilly and country nights Slim's books regularly, but is a bigger fan of Skeletor and Witchburn, metal bands that played the club's Hillbilly Headbanger's Ball a few weeks ago.

The Drink: "This is the 'Mother's Milk.' It's very simple, but I chose it because it has horchata [a Spanish beverage made from ground almonds], something you don't usually see [in cocktails]. It's Stoli Vanillia vodka, Frangelico, and horchata. You'd think there was more going on in there, but that's it. Simplicity. It's hard to get people to try, but once they do, they're really into it. It's not too sweet."

The Verdict: Beloved by Georgetown locals, but welcoming to outside visitors, Slim's has evolved into a genuine neighborhood watering hole with the potential to draw sizable crowds, especially this Friday. The Walking Papers' dinnertime show starts at 6 p.m., and if the feverish enthusiasm of fans on Facebook is any indication, selling out is a given.

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