Guide to the best booze mills in the city


Tini Bigs (100 Denny Way) A nice bar with more martinis than Trump has bimbos. If you’re anywhere near Key Arena, it’s a swell place to start things off with a buzz. The room is tall, the booze stiff, and conversation flows more smoothly the longer you’re there.

Cha Cha Lounge (504 E Pine) Next door to Bimbo’s Bitchin’ Burrito Kitchen, this new swank watering hole is part Gilligan’s Island, part Goth night. Aside from too many American Spirits and piercings, this is a pleasant Cap Hill hang-out.

Showbox (1426 First Ave) Though the bartenders are more fast food-helpful than brain surgeon, the line flows, you get a stiff belt, and then you can concentrate on the dancin’ eye candy, great deco columns, and cool tunes (DJs on Saturday, swing Sundays).

The Pink Door (1919 Post Alley) Head through the unmarked door off Post Alley into one of the most unique scenes in town. With Italian food in the restaurant, cabaret in the bar, and a vine-covered patio with views of the Sound, there’s pretty much something for everyone. Beware: Staff can be pretentious. Think odd Parisian eccentric, and you should be fine.

Stars (Pacific Place) Elegant as all get-out, this Sonic-spotting barroom is as sweet as you’ll find in a mall. Have a pen and paper, as these Eastside swingers are ready to dole out the digits. Bring the plastic.


Crocodile Cafe (2200 2nd Ave) One of the owners is in REM. That makes it cool all by itself. If you don’t already know about the Croc, you probably shouldn’t be allowed in.

Cyclops (2421 First Ave) On the hippest corner in Belltown. Artisans, alkies, aficionados, and ambiance all pack into this bohemian wonder night after night—and for good reason.

Sit & Spin (2219 Fourth Ave) Do your laundry, get hammered, play board games, listen to local rock ‘n’ roll, get jacked up on coffee, be seen.

Capitol Club (414 E Pine) One of the most beautifully decorated rooms in town. The seating will send you to the chiropractor, the food to the hospital (hummus, anyone?). The bar is well-stocked, but the staff has grown obnoxious since Michael Neff left as bar manager. Babes (both sexes) aplenty and a fabulous deck overlooking Pine if weather permits. Groovy matchbooks, too. A mixed bag, at best.

Hattie’s Hat (5231 Ballard Ave NW) Yes, very cool shit—in Ballard. Comfortable and accommodating. This avenue has become one of the best party blocks in the region, with the Tractor Tavern, Old Town Ale House, and Conor Byrne all in stumbling distance.

OK Hotel (212 Alaskan Way S) “Under the Viaduct, via-duct, they’ll be having some fun. . . .” Poetry slams, spooky banisters, funky stages, and a great space. Seattle needs more places just like it.


Elysian (1221 E Pike) This pub would be top-notch with a full bar—well, midshelf, anyway. Nice ambiance, sexy clientele, and a fun place to people-watch after seeing Schmeater’s Twilight Zones.

Hart’s Pyramid Brewery (91 S Royal Brougham Way) Ya gotcher beer, ya gotcher root beer, regular beer, amber beer, beer chips, beer nuts, beer tours. Beers. (And a pretty mean T-bone, I must admit.)

The Triangle (3507 Fremont Place N) “Helping ugly people have sex since 1991.” Though the Triangle finally got hard alks, something about this tavern still screams “pint of Hef”—and is even more reason for someone to open something mod in the Republic of Fremont. (Maybe Still Life can get a liquor license!)

Baltic Room (1207 Pine Street) From the owners of Linda’s and the Capitol Club comes a piano bar with elegance and taste. Choose a seat on the old dance floor for an “Unplugged” vibe or head to a more private balcony seat. Again, no hard stuff, and, to be honest, it was better as Kid Mohair.

Big Picture (2505 First Ave) This half-assed beer and wine only “lounge” can’t hold a candle to their upstairs neighbor, El Gaucho. Then again, you can’t watch a flick while getting blasted on the upper floor either (but you can do blow in the bathroom).

Speakeasy (2304 Second Ave) They’ve got it all: a hip crowd, great art, music, theatre, and a pool hall upstairs—but if you want a highball, you better type in www.boozedelivered.com, cause it’s not being served over the counter.


Mecca (526 Queen Anne Ave) “Alcoholics serving alcoholics since 1929.” Need more be said?

Rendezvous (2320 2nd Ave) Ten am on a Saturday—the bar has 30 people drunk on beers. Bloodys are nice, no questions asked.

The Ernie Room (300 Broadway) Sadly now called Ileen’s, this “sports bar” still has its share of old-time dipsomaniacs, plus they’ve kept most of the old-world charm that made Ernie Steele’s a majestic NW watering hole.

Nite Light (1926 Second Ave) Half a block from the Moore Theatre, this kitsch palace is a great place to put the finishing touches on your hangover. (Pay special attention to the Golden Gate bridge diorama—shrooms will help).

The Canterbury (534 15th E) Dark, gothic, and medieval—and that’s only the doorway. A prime hangout for those wanting drunken privacy, the Canterbury has three separate bingeing areas and serves a truly fantastic egg/cheese/bacon/burger. They should toss in a few aspirin. . . .

Gibson’s (116 Stewart) I like this place. Live bands, darts, and serious drunks. It makes me feel like I’m on West 42nd and Broadway in New Yawk City.


The Cloud Room (1619 Ninth Ave) Perched on top of the classic Camlin Hotel, this piano bar has views galore, a friendly staff, and dimly lit, cherry wood decor that’s perfect for a romantic nightcap (even better, have your aperitif in an elegant room below).

Marco’s Supper Club (2510 First Ave) I’ll just say this: Marco’s is a place restaurant staff and bartenders from other bistros go when they want good service and a nice time. A beautiful long bar, perfect lighting, and excellent choice of cocktails, vino, and musica.

Il Bistro (93A Pike Street) Murray, the main bartender, is revered as a god by many and a reason to find parking in the Market, crawl down the alley and have a drink. Though a bit drafty, here’s the room we hope visitors (we like) keep in their minds when they think of Seattle’s night life.

The Fireside Room (900 Madison) The elegant circular lounge in the lobby of the Sorrento Hotel has been serving ’em up in style since 1909. Like a choice single-malt, the room is big, oak-filled, woody, and should be sitting in the Hearst Mansion.

El Gaucho (2505 First Ave) An institution in town, they’re spendy, a bit audacious, and worth every penny. Make sure Joe’s your bartender and you’ll have the time of your life.


Sunset Bowl in Ballard (1420 NW Market) You’re tanked. You’re wired. You’re bored—go bowling! (Added bonus: karaoke.)

Hurricane Cafe (2230 Seventh Ave) Oh, how I do miss the Doghouse; at least they didn’t mow the building.

Neighbours (1509 Broadway) Best dance music in town—they just keep playing that same, bass-line-driven funk, don’t stop till you get enuf. No homophobics allowed.

CatWalk (172 S Washington Street) Down, Kitty! Dress for sex-cess or you’ll never make it inside the door. Leather, lace, and alternative gear only.

Down under (2407 First Ave) Is anybody in the HOOUUUSSEEE? Phat grooves. Get down, get funky.

The Last Supper Club (124 S Washington) Goth, punk, skank, and sweet all congregate in this popular Pioneer Square dance club. Unlike many joints, the owners have done a great job of separating the dance floor upstairs from the comfy, cozy booth-filled lounge below. This is where the cool cats gather late nite—be there, or watch another shitty season of Saturday Night Live.