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The Watering Hole: The Angry Beaver , 8412 Greenwood Ave N., 206-782-6044, GREENWOOD

The Atmosphere: It's a crying shame that not one of The Angry


Starting the Year with The Angry Beaver's Bloody Caesar

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The Watering Hole: The Angry Beaver, 8412 Greenwood Ave N., 206-782-6044, GREENWOOD

The Atmosphere: It's a crying shame that not one of The Angry Beaver's six flat screens show live hockey matches (thanks, lockout) but the Canadian-themed hockey bar is biding its time playing Seahawks games and vintage matches on the NHL Network.

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Canadian flags and jerseys are pinned to the wall, dorm-room style. It's no surprise that, if you look closer, the bar's decor is accented with representations of its chuckle-inducing namesake. There's a trucker cap printed with a beaver resting on a shelf above the bar. A ceramic beaver statuette sits nearby. And no less than five stuffed beavers are positioned in nooks and crannies around the room.

There's a separate seating area where kids are welcome until 7 (luckily the stuffed animals are all out of arm's reach) and every table has a perfect view of whatever game's playing. On a recent afternoon, the TVs were on mute while staff and patrons were unselfconsciously mouthing along to Aretha Franklin's "Think".

The Barkeep: Rene Hayashi is not Canadian. He's a true hockey fan, but doesn't seem to be a diehard. And he's nothing if not loyal. The Angry Beaver's amicable bartender has poured drinks behind the same counter for a long time: Hayashi worked at Pig 'n Whistle, the space's previous resident, for more than 15 years.

A former construction worker and bank employee, Hayashi wanted a career change in his 30's and settled on bartending. "I love my job. I'm a people person," he says.

The Drink: Hayashi chose to make a Bloody Caesar, because it's the drink he's currently trying to master. Invented in Calgary in 1969, the Bloody Mary variation also happens to be beloved by Canucks. Hayashi uses a scratch mix, adding clam and tomato juice, house vodka, Worcestershire, and Tabasco. He proceeds to pile a mini-salad on top, complete with a pickled green bean, an onion, a pair of fat olives, and a requisite celery stalk.

The Verdict: With a healthy pour of vodka, the Bloody Caesar is kicky and bright. Sipping from the rim gives the right draw of salt and there's a good, slow burn. Hayashi might not have mastered the Caesar, but he's damn close. And for $6 at happy hour (which happens to last all day Sunday) you'll be hard-pressed to find a stiffer drink that's fit for the weekend. If you're a beer drinker, The Angry Beaver serves Canadian brews on tap, including Kokanee from B.C., alongside domestic microbrew pours from Full Sail and Two Beers.

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