Tommy Gun – Capitol Hill

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WHISKEY • PROHIBITION • SALOON

TOMMY GUN
1703 E Olive Way | Capitol Hill
OPEN: 5-2 daily
HAPPY HOUR: 5-7 M-F, 5-9 Sat

Tommy Gun is a prohibition-era styled whiskey bar that, aside from a dartboard, large windows along their street-facing wall, and a few decorations that fit the bar’s theme, is fairly basic.

For Adam’s birthday, Mandy brought him here to participate in their Mixology 101 course, expertly instructed by Andrew the bartender, which they offer sporadically.

Here are some of the things the course entailed:

  • What spirits are and how they are made
  • The history of whiskey and well-known distillers
  • A sampling and explanation of bourbon, rye, scotch, and white dog (this was our first ever taste of the latter, which is a clear whiskey that hasn’t been barrel aged)
  • How to set up a home bar
  • How to prepare three classic whiskey-based cocktails—an Old Fashioned, Manhattan, and Whiskey Sour

Being the birthday boy, Adam was given the Whiskey Sour, which, of course, he shared with Mandy. Other prizes were awarded to those who correctly answered whiskey trivia questions. We hung around after the class for an Old Fashioned and Prince of Chicago cocktail, and got to talk with Andrew and the bar’s owner Erin.

Later, Andrew taught us how to light an orange peel on fire, and our friend Nicole stopped by to give Adam a b-day swag bag.

HU_orange HEADS UP

Get $1 off all brown booze during Whiskey Wednesdays. They have 105 whiskeys to choose from!

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

In addition to their whiskey and cocktail menu, there are a few choice beers andci ders on tap, and we even got to sample their house-made ginger beer.

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

The private men’s and ladies’ rooms are clean and spacious.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

It’s nice to know that there’s a bar nearby with great drinks and a friendly and knowledgeable bar staff.

***
bar 1 of 1 on 2/25/2014: Tommy Gun

The Saint – Capitol Hill

Tequilaria Bar The Saint

TEQUILA • TACOS • TAPAS

THE SAINT
1416 E Olive Way | Capitol Hill
OPEN: 5-late daily
HAPPY HOUR: 5-7 daily

From a world away in Phinney Ridge, where our previous bar had left us unfulfilled, we headed back to our neighborhood looking for a bar with more sex appeal. The Saint ended up being exactly what we wanted.

Colorful lights and Prince’s Seven greet us as we enter this turquoise-colored, triangle-shaped corner tequileria.

The vibe of this bar was very different to that of our last post. We found this contrast striking:

ART A black and white collage of matador photos, from what one might assume is a 1950s TIME magazine, on an entire wall Local artists’ non-ironic paintings of dogs—and the cost of each painting


MUSIC Dazz Band and Janet Jackson played at a volume loud enough to get into every groove The Black Crowes and ‘70s Rolling Stones played just audible enough to feel out-of-place in a quaint wine bar


SERVICE A staff that’s knowledgeable and visibly passionate about what they do, and comfortable talking to customers


The atmosphere of the left column had Chris feeling loose enough to show off his bar tricks, and the girls feeling sexy enough for a leggy photoshoot at the bar (it was Valentine’s Day-ish people, puh-lease!).

The emcee of this sweet experience was Shane (possibly Shayne?), who satisfactorily answered all of our questions, served us some UH-MAZING tequila-based beverages, and basically hung out with us without being intrusive.

HU_orange HEADS UP

The Saint has pretty good Mexican food—and small portions of it.

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

Can a bar be awesome without awesome drinks? We don’t think so. We each ordered unique 3-drink flights of Shane’s cocktail recommendations before we ordered seconds and thirds.

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

Opening the door to The Saint’s only restroom is like that magical moment when the Wizard of Oz goes from black-and-white to color. This private room is hot pink, beautifully decorated, and almost the size of the bar itself.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

The Saint was just that—a saint. We’ve been to this bar several times before, but clearly we haven’t been coming here often enough.

Barhoppers at The Saint
***
bar 2 of 2 on 2/12/14: In The Red Wine Bar | The Saint

Sun Liquor Distillery – Capitol Hill

Walking into Sun Liquor

COCKTAILS • DISTILLERY • BURGERS

SUN LIQUOR DISTILLERY
512 East Pike Street | Capitol Hill
OPEN: 11-2 daily
HAPPY HOUR: 4-7 daily

Sun Liquor has two locations on the hill: a distillery (this post) and a lounge. While there are some important differences between the two, one thing that remains constant is the quality of their cocktails. We’d put these cocktails up against any in Seattle. All juices are hand squeezed in front of you, and many use spirits made in their backroom distillery—visible from the bar.

Their cocktail menu changes with the seasons, and it’s always exciting to see what new concoctions are featured. One item you can be sure will never disappear is their Libby’s Mai Tai, which is so delicious, we bought our own hand pump juicer and have been attempting to recreate the recipe (we’re getting close!).

The bar itself is 1 part sophistication and 3 parts mod, thanks to a vintage wood-panel television fixed in the wall, retro refrigerator doors, and an old-school world map painted on an entire wall. On busy nights it can be difficult to find an available booth or barstool, but there is a small sidewalk patio that offers extra seating in warm weather.

HU_orange HEADS UP

This location serves food. Their burgers are classic drive-in style and super tasty. Sun also does brunch on weekends and Mondays from 11 till 3.

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

You can’t go wrong with any cocktail here. Prep time for drinks this nice can take a while, so be patient—especially if it’s a full house. There are a few local beer options in bottles and cans, but you can get these anywhere.

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

Both Sun Liquor locations have two very well maintained unisex restrooms.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

In case you couldn’t tell, we absolutely love this bar, and we’re willing to bet you will too. We came back just two days after this visit, following the Seahawks parade, for lunch and cocktails with friends.

***
bar 3 of 3 on 2/3/14: Elysian Brewing Co. | Madison Pub | Sun Liquor Distillery

Madison Pub – Capitol Hill

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SPORTS • TOURNAMENTS • ARCADE

MADISON PUB
1315 East Madison Street | Capitol Hill
OPEN: 12-2 daily
HAPPY HOUR: 5-7 M-Sat

Madison Pub (or “Mad Pub,” as it likes to be called) is a gay sports bar that is a favorite of some of our friends, who we met here for pitchers of cheap beer, popcorn, and to talk about our Super Bowl experiences from the previous night. Everywhere we looked there was something to remind us of the Seahawks: The banner and balloons behind the bar, the logos on most of the bar signs and mirrors that cover every inch of Mad Pub’s walls, and the highlights that dominated the sports shows airing on the many HDTVs.

Mad Pub takes sports seriously: They open early for football games and give away cash prizes every time the Hawks score a touchdown. They also sponsor two local softball teams—the Maulers and the Pilots.

 If you’re bored at this bar, it’s your own fault—Mad Pub boasts two pool tables, three dartboards, three pinball machines, two arcade golf machines, two 8-bit classics, touch screen games like naked photo hunt (and other games, but who cares about those?), NTN trivia, pull-tab lotto, and a state-of-the-art jukebox that fills the bar with a laid-back mix of top 40, classic rock, and country. This is all in addition to weekly events and game-day surprises. We had such a good time here just catching up with our friends; we didn’t even need to take advantage of all the fun activities.

Pool Table at Madison Pub

HU_orange HEADS UP

Events all week: 7PM Tournaments for 9 Ball on Mondays, 8 Ball on Tuesdays, Darts on Wednesdays, and free pool and peanuts on Sundays.

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

Dollar off pitchers of Bud Light and Rolling Rock on Sundays.

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

The men’s room is big and clean. The ladies’ room is also clean, but small and has no door on its single stall.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

A friendly, laid back sports bar with tons to do—what more could you want?

Madison Pub Open Area

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bar 2 of 3 on 2/3/14: Elysian Brewing Co. | Madison Pub | Sun Liquor Distillery

Elysian Brewing Co. – Capitol Hill

Elysian from Outside
BREWPUB • BEER • RESTAURANT

ELYSIAN BREWING CO.
1221 East Pike Street | Capitol Hill
OPEN: 11:30-late M-F, 12-late weekends
HAPPY HOUR: 4:30-6:30 Sun-Th

We were lucky enough to have the day off after the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, so we made plans to meet some friends at Madison Pub and decided to grab some grub beforehand at nearby Elysian. We hadn’t been to this location before, but we had been to the one near Century Link Field, and have enjoyed their brews at many other bars around Seattle.

Elysian is playing heavy metal on the afternoon following the most important Super Bowl ever—not exactly what we preferred. Additionally, the sun was gleaming into our eyes through this brewpub’s large windows, and the biting cold was seeping into this warehouse of a bar with concrete floors.

Thankfully, Elysian’s beers came to the rescue. They have many varieties, each with an interesting name, and seem to be introducing new flavors constantly. We ordered a Split Shot Espresso Milk Stout, Men’s Room Red, Perseus Porter, and The Wise ESB. This first beer mixes in Stumptown Coffee flavors, and we later came to realize that we had ordered this beer at Shadowland just two nights ago.

Flags and pennants hang from the high ceilings, string lights outline the windows, a human skeleton hangs on the wall, and a devilish demon lurks above the exposed air ducts. These decorations are hardly enough to clutter this huge space, or draw attention away from the big silver vats peeking through the windows to the brew room.

Elysian Vats

HU_orange HEADS UP

We weren’t terribly impressed with their food. Minors are permitted until 11.

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

Can’t decide? Order a beer flight and sample five diverse flavors. There’s also an attractive specialty cocktail menu… but why?

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

Swinging doors are your entrance to these cold, small, and somewhat stinky restrooms.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

This is a great place to come to when you’re in the mood to drink many different really good beers.

***
bar 1 of 3 on 2/3/14: Elysian Brewing Co. | Madison Pub | Sun Liquor Distillery

Big Mario’s – Capitol Hill

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PIZZA • VHS • LOTTO TICKETS

BIG MARIO’S
1009 E Pike St | Capitol Hill

Open: 11–2  daily
Happy Hour: 3-4 weekdays

Still riled up, and now hungry from watching the Seahawks make it to the Super Bowl, we headed to the Pike-Pine area to grab some New York style slices at Big Mario’s with some of our pals. We high-fived every person (and even a dog) along the way, and whenever a random stranger called out “SEA!” (which was quite often), we responded with the appropriate “HAWKS!” The whole neighborhood was ecstatic.

Big Mario’s is a fun place for pizza and pitchers. When they’re not playing a classic, fun movie from their large selection of VHS tapes (and even sometimes when they are), they’re known to play hard rock, hip hop, and ‘80s pop. A few Christmases ago, they had an impressive mural of characters from Gremlins 2 painted on the horizontal mirrors that span the walls behind the booths.

Other scattered pictures and signs also match this bar’s sense of humor/style. You can even test your luck with an assortment of pull-tab lottery tickets. One thing that’s never a gamble is their pizza (our favorite in Seattle), which is always thin, spicy, greasy, and delicious. Try one with a handful of their unusual toppings, or just a classic pepperoni.

HU_orange HEADS UP  

Big Mario’s delivers, in a painted-up vintage Camaro. They deliver until close, and even until 4AM Thursday through Saturday.

BU_Orange BOTTOMS UP

$1 beer during happy hour—can’t beat that price! Draft selection is limited, but the cheap beers pair best with their pizza anyway.

restrooms_Orange RESTROOMS

There are two, locking unisex rooms decked out in graffiti where extra kegs are stored.

AR_orange ANOTHER ROUND?

We love their pizza and quirkiness. It’s a great place to grab lunch and watch Encino Man.

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bar 2 of 2 on 1/19/14: Clever Dunne’s | Big Mario’s

Clever Dunne’s – Capitol Hill

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IRISH • WINDOWS • BAR FOOD

CLEVER DUNNE’S
1501 E Olive Way | Capitol Hill

Open: 2–2  M-F, 12-2 weekends
Happy Hour: 2-6 M-F

Of all the bars we’ve been to in Seattle, we’ve been to none more often than Dunne’s. Sure, it’s right across the street from our apartment, but so are thirty-some other bars. What makes this Irish pub our second home is its laid-back feel and friendly bartenders that remind us of our favorite Midwest bars. 

Dunne’s has a few framed images of famous Irish people and places on its walls as well as a dartboard, a pool table, Big Buck Hunter, and TVs in every corner for watching sports. It’s large, divey-but-not-too-divey, and serves excellent bar food—which made Dunne’s the perfect choice for a Sunday of NFL championship games featuring our generation’s two best quarterbacks going head-to-head, followed by the home team squaring up against their hated rivals.

We were smart (or lucky) enough to show up just before the first game and claim three tables for our large group right in front of the giant projection screen, which was set up in our usual favorite place to sit—a small round table on a raised platform next to some of Dunne’s many large windows that open up to make this one of our favorite warm-weather bars. On all other days (like today) the bar gets a bit chilly, especially near these windows.

We drank an abundance of bloody marys, mimosas, Irish coffees, and selections from the 10-or-so draft beer options. Mandy and Sam were dressed from head-to-toe (and fingernails) in Seahawks colors.

Between games, the bar pumped us up with sporty classics such as Eye of the Tiger, We Will Rock You, and The Final Countdown before the usual jukebox mix of old-school rap and college rock took over. When it became official that the Seahawks were headed to the Super Bowl (please don’t sue us for using that term), this was the reaction at Dunne’s:

Heads Up Seattle Bar Hoppers HEADS UP  

Free trivia with cash prizes every Tuesday at 9.

Bottoms Up Seattle Bar Hoppers BOTTOMS UP

As much as we love this bar, and booze in general, there’s really nothing special about their drinks. We usually get PBR, Guinness, or generic cocktails like vodka with cranberry or soda.

Restrooms Seattle Bar Hoppers RESTROOMS

Brr! The lady’s room is a freezer. The men’s is a bit nastier (as expected), but is known to occasionally have urinal screens with mini soccer-ball-and-goal attached so you can game while you drain.

Another Round? Seattle Bar HoppersANOTHER ROUND?

We came back the very next night to eat their sandwiches, drink some beer, and play some darts. Dunne’s is where we head to if we’re too lazy to make dinner or decide on somewhere out-of-the-norm to go. This will be our second home for as long as we live on this block.

***
bar 1 of 2 on 1/19/14: Clever Dunne’s | Big Mario’s

Still Liquor – Capitol Hill

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HIP • DJ • HIDDEN

STILL LIQUOR
1524 Minor Ave | Capitol Hill

Open: 5-2  daily
Happy Hour: 5-7 daily

Tucked away in a residential triangle near Pine and I-5 is one of the coolest bars you’ll ever walk into. Despite being only two blocks away from where we live, we’ve only visited Still twice (out of sight, out of mind, I suppose).

We first discovered this bar on Halloween, and now we find ourselves here again on Christmas Eve, after walking up the hill following our show at The Triple Door and seeing all other bars we passed along the way closed for the holiday.

It’s hard to judge what’s cooler—the bar’s wood and red-neon décor; the hip, ambient soul music that we kept Soundhounding; or our bartender Daniel, who concocted personalized cocktails for us. Still Liquor is quite versatile, in that it’s vibe and appearance is somehow retro and current at the same time—that’s what’s called sophistication. This hidden gem is a great place for a romantic date, and it was apparent that we weren’t the only couple siting at the long, L-shaped bar who thought so.

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Heads Up Seattle Bar Hoppers HEADS UP  

On the 2nd and 4th Fridays of every month, Still brings in DJs that match the bar’s aesthetic. There’s no cover for these nights that promise a unique mix of new and old mind grooves.

Bottoms Up Seattle Bar Hoppers BOTTOMS UP

The cocktails, like the bar, are a mix of classic and fresh, and are impressive. This is good news because there are only two beers on tap, which at this time were both from the very-local Big Al’s brewery.

Restrooms Seattle Bar Hoppers RESTROOMS

The private men’s and ladies’ rooms are clean and spacious, but have frosted, semi-transparent doors that allow you to see movement inside… yup.

Another Round? Seattle Bar HoppersANOTHER ROUND?

Still Liquor is a great bar to start or end a night, and it’s location prevents it from getting too crowded—which is good for us. We’re eager to check out their live DJ nights: “Mood Swing” and “The Funk–tion.”

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bar 2 of 2 on 12/24/13: The Triple Door | Still Liquor

Pie Bar – Capitol Hill

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DESSERT PIE • SAVORY PIE • PIE DRINKS

PIE BAR
1361 East Olive Way | Capitol Hill

Open: 5-2 Tuesday-Sunday
Happy Hour: nope

While sitting at Knee High, we were faced with two options—order one of their deep fried slices of pie, or hop across Olive Way for the best dessert pies in Seattle at Pie Bar. We chose the latter, sat at a table by the window, and looked over Pie Bar’s pie-themed cocktail menu, from which we ordered a hot Cinnamon Toast and a Pumpkin White Russian to go with our slices of strawberry-rhubarb and cranberry-peach pie.

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Behind us, burning logs in a looped video of a fireplace provided romantic lighting to this quaint diner. By quaint, I mean there’s not a lot of elbowroom—its dimensions are approximately 70’ x 7’ (our estimations). Mandy impatiently waits for this place to implement her “dessert pie sampler” idea so that we are never again faced with the difficult task of choosing between their rotating varieties.

Heads Up Seattle Bar Hoppers HEADS UP  

Pie Bar offers sweet (dessert) and savory (pot) pies. The savory are underwhelming, but you simply must try the dessert pies! Mandy’s fav is the strawb-rhub.

Bottoms Up Seattle Bar Hoppers BOTTOMS UP

As mentioned above, much of the drink menu is pie themed; we would love to spend the time and money figuring out which cocktails pair best with each desert pie. Thankfully, Pie Bar’s staff has already done that leg work and have their recommended pairings menu.

Restrooms Seattle Bar Hoppers RESTROOMS

Be forewarned, this establishment is cramped; the lone restroom is right in the thick of everything and—despite their best efforts to make the sink fancy with polished rocks and individual cloth hand towels—everyone in the bar will be able to hear and smell your business.

Another Round? Seattle Bar HoppersANOTHER ROUND?

Neither of us have dominant sweet tooths, but on rare occasions when we pine for pie, we’ll rush across our street to Pie Bar.

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bar 2 of 2 on 12/23/13: Knee High Stocking Co. | Pie Bar

Knee High Stocking Company – Capitol Hill

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SPEAKEASY • COCKTAILS • OLD TIMEY

KNEE HIGH STOCKING COMPANY
1356 East Olive Way | Capitol Hill

Open: 6-close  daily
Happy Hour: 6-7 daily

Shh! Quiet down, you daddies and dames! Knee High is a speakeasy, so mums the word! The “Stocking Company” is just a front to throw off the fuzz. You don’t need a password to enter this drum, but anyone who’s “on the trolley” will text ahead for reservations. What’s really the bee’s knees is that this joint is only a stroll across the lane from our digs.

What exactly is a “speakeasy” in present day Seattle? For the Knee High, it simply means a classy, cozy restaurant with a prohibition-era feel. Ring the doorbell, and a hostess will greet you and lead you through the curtains to your reserved seat at a table or the bar where you can ogle the vintage pin-up pictures on the wall and snap along to hot jazz and swing. Living next door, we often see groups and couples dolled-up in dapper, Roaring ‘20s swag headed to this establishment.

After a rainy day spent fighting traffic and doing last-minute Christmas chores and shopping, we were in need of a booze break, and wanted to dress up and go somewhere close. We texted a request for two seats at the bar ASAP, got the confirmation response and, within minutes, had ordered our first round of cocktails.

Heads Up Seattle Bar Hoppers HEADS UP  

Knee High’s cocktails are high quality, and are therefore expensive and take some time to make. Our drink orders sat behind several others for at least 10 minutes, each round.

Bottoms Up Seattle Bar Hoppers BOTTOMS UP

In addition to their large, standard cocktail menu, there’s a smaller menu featuring in-season cocktails. From this menu, we ordered the Egg Nog Cocktail (made entirely from scratch!), Love and Violets, Art Rock Phase, and Jack Rose—all of which rivaled any cocktail we’ve ever had!

Restrooms Seattle Bar Hoppers RESTROOMS

In this dinky, triangle-shaped restaurant, there must have been at least one restroom tucked away somewhere. We didn’t have the need to check it out.

IMG_1407Another Round? Seattle Bar HoppersANOTHER ROUND?

The expensive drinks and limited seating will prevent Knee High from becoming another one our regular hangouts. However, the drinks are too tasty, the vibe is too pleasant, and the location is too convenient for us not to swing by, once in a blue moon.

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bar 1 of 2 on 12/23/13: Knee High Stocking Co. | Pie Bar