Local boys, they don’t bother me.The Watering Hole: Local 360, 2234 First Ave., 441-9360, BELLTOWN.The Atmosphere: The place took over the old Flying Fish spot in February, quickly transforming the Seattle relic into a hip, minimalistic, loft-like space that locavores worship. Everything at Local 360–from the building materials to the food to the booze–is locally sourced, including our bartender that afternoon. The Barkeep:
Joshua Jay Hall. Before getting hired in January, Hall was actively familiarizing himself with the industry. “I worked, actually, at the men’s underwear store on Capitol Hill. I also own an online shop (Be Choice) where we sell hand-screened T-shirts to raise money for non-government subsidized nonprofits.” Say what?”I went to school for non-profit management. And take a look at me now!” Hall laughs.That’s all fine and good, but non-profit managment training doesn’t make you a good bartender. But then Hall tells me he spent five years at Broadway Grill and a stint at Brasa. I’m starting to feel good about his cocktail-making skills. I feel even better when he tells me he’s the one (at least partly) responsible for the booze behind the Local 360 bar. “When we first decided to open, I just researched every single possibility of local spirits, primarily in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho,” Hall tells me. “The only thing from Idaho we have is the 44 North vodka, which is really, really good. Washington has only been able to distill for about two years, so we have a few young whiskeys, a lot of vodka, a lot of gin, and a few tequilas that are kind of loopholes, you know, like they import and make half of it here. We have a lot of liquor from Oregon because Oregon has been [distilling] for four or five years, so they have a little more stuff.”The world revolves around this drink. The Drink: Hall hands me a list nine cocktails deep–all $10 and all named after a Seattle neighborhood, like The Pioneer Square and the Greenlake Margarita. Out of all the ‘hoods, Hall choses to make me his favorite: The Fremont. It’s made with Sub Rosa saffron vodka, muddled lime, mint, a splash of simple syrup, and an all-cane sugar ginger ale. As Hall explains, it will make you feel like you’re the (say it with me) center of the universe. “I like it because it’s on the rocks and it’s refreshing.” The Verdict: The drink is everything Hall says it is. It reminds me of a Moscow Mule, but not quite as sweet. The saffron jumps out at you in a “What is that taste?” sort of way, after you take your first sip and forget what the ingredients in your cocktail are. The ginger ale tastes natural and sweet, not at all like Canada Dry. It’s got a classic flavor.Hall is behind the bar Sunday through Wednesday. “I get three days off a week. I’m a quality-of-life kind of guy.” Follow Voracious on Twitter and Facebook.