The Place:Whisky Bar, 2122 2nd Ave, BELLTOWN, (206)443-4490.
The Digs: The Whisky Bar moved from its original location on the corner of 2nd and Virginia, opening the doors of the new digs back in late October. Known for their vast selection of Scotch whisky and other whiskies from around the world, they unfortunately were not allowed to move their 400+ bottle collection from the old location. They were however allowed to move the booths. The new space is about twice as big as the old one, but has the original booths lining one wall, a dozen tables in the front of the room, and about two dozen stools at the long bar. Stained wood wainscoting covers the walls and soft lighting illuminates bottles of whisky and other libations on high shelves behind the bar--which is now at around 200, and counting. The renewed and relocated Whisky Bar feels more new Belltown than old Belltown (read: classier).
The Deal:Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m. daily. There are $7 martinis and Manhattans, $6 wells, $5 glasses of wine, $1 off drafts beers (25 great selections to choose from), and $3 off small plates of food. The food options skew decidedly British. The plates range from $7 to $15 and include Welsh rarebit, blood sausage, potato fritters, and Scotch eggs. There's also duck confit, pork belly, and the occasional vegetable dish. This is pub grub in it's original form. There are no sliders, wings or truffled popcorn. I'd love to see Scotch eggs become a 2013 trend on bar (or brunch) menus.
The Verdict: The decor may have changed, but the Whisky Bar remains largely the same. The Manhattans are stirred to give them an icy chill, but not muddy the bourbon. The food is meaty, satisfying, and delicious. And service is brisk, but friendly and knowledgeable. Regulars have found their way two blocks north to their favorite watering hole, but groups of urban professionals--who may have passed on the old location--also gather at Whisky Bar for after-work drinks. You could even take your parents here. The walls are still pretty bare, because the owners decided to not just put crap on the walls to fill space. Go to the Whisky Bar for the happy hour deals, but stay for the tasty food, whisky selection and newly polished ambiance.