The Watering Hole: The Augustus, 3601 Fremont Ave N, 206-588-0891, FREMONT
The Atmosphere: There aren't many respectable places for the 30+ crowd to settle in for a cocktail in Fremont. The new Augustus is a happy exception. On a recent Sunday, Pappy, the owner's large, docile dog roamed the room. He fit in nicely with the space's mellow vibe.
Booths and high tables hug the interior wall, a few stools line the front window, and a small seating area is arranged in the back of the room. A tarnished copper bar counter is one of the only elements carried over from previous tenants Rogue and Peasant. The collection of bottles on the back of the bar is being built slowly and methodically, with all the favorites in stock.
The Barkeep: On a recent weekend afternoon, co-owner and veteran mixologist Robb Sheldon worked the bar. Sheldon completed stints at Grey and Liberty, and before opening The Augustus he spent two years revamping Whiskey Bar. He started The Augustus alongside his wife Sarah and the owners of neighboring restaurant Hunger. Sheldon favors drinks "with a nod to the masters" that are prepared with no more than three or four ingredients. "I try to leave herbs for the kitchen to use, except mint," he says.
The Drink: When asked to prepare a drink of his choice, Sheldon settled on a gin cocktail he recently concocted called the A&A Railroad: Gordon's gin, anise-tinged Amaro CioCiaro, Peychaud's Bitters, and a twist.
The Verdict: Better savored than slammed, the A&A Railroad is refined and heady. Sips start dry and bitter in the best way, then turn slightly sweet in the finish. The bar's hook may be a menu featuring house-stuffed sausages, but Sheldon's clean, classic cocktails equally warrant repeat visits.