Pike Place Market – check! Seattle sight-seeing – check! Craft breweries and local wineries – check! Ferry boats – check! Now it’s time to check out Seattle’s infamous bar scene. Specifically, that longed-for time of day, Happy Hour!
2nd Avenue has a diverse cross section of bars in a compact locale. At the Kimpton Hotel’s Penny Royal (2000 2nd Ave) take a journey to Spain with locally distilled gins. Unlike an English G&T, the Spaniards mix herbs, fruits, and citrus peel. At Penny Royal, their version comes in bowl glasses showcasing the aromas and colorful ingredients.
Penny Royal has a pretty scrumptious bar menu and as the night may be a long one a Shaker Burger with Tallegio, caramelised onions, aioli, and fries might entice. Alderwood Smoked Salmon Caeser or Oyster Mignonette Salad are lighter options. Happy hour between 4 – 6pm Monday to Friday rewards you with $8 cocktails, $6 standard spirits, and $5 bottled beers, bubbles, and wine.
At Bathtub Gin (2205 2nd Ave), the prohibition-era bar in a former hotel’s basement boiler room has 50 (yes 50!) local and international Gins to indulge in. They serve wine, beer and cocktails too, but with 13 Washington State distilled gins alone it stands to reason, gin is the hero here. Happy hour from 5 – 7pm helps the pocket but be warned, it’s purely a booze bar; no food, no reservations, no minors and no firearms.
Shorty’s (2222 2nd Ave) do have food on the menu. This Coney Island themed bar with pinball and arcade games serves topped hotdogs and nachos. Open from noon til 2am, Shorty’s is less “sophisticated cocktail bar” and more “crazed gaming arcade”. The 4-8pm happy hour sees great deals on bevvies so spend the afternoon downing frosties and racking up prizes.
Next door at Rocco’s (2228 2nd Ave) it’s pizza and beer. Damn fine pizza and beer in fact. Craft beers on tap cover all the favourites; stouts, porters, Ambers, IPAs, pale ales, and a couple of ciders. You can build your own pizza, order specials by the slice or choose straight from the menu. Chillango: mozzarella, pulled pork, red onion, red cabbage, fresh cilantro (that’s coriander to the rest of us) on a tomatillo and jalapeño sauce base is a winner or try a pear, gorgonzola, rocket, and mozzarella version. Happy hour starts early and goes all day. 12 – 7pm!
The Whiskey Bar (2122 2nd Ave) has allegedly “the most comprehensive whiskey selection in the Seattle area”. The menu separates Scotch by region, then Bourbon, Rye, Tennessee, American, Irish, Canadian, Corn and everything else is listed under “World”. The 2-7pm Happy hour allows plenty of time to get through the selection.
Further afield in Capitol Hill, lock in Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar (1420 12th Ave) for half-price tequila & mezcal shots on Mondays. Tequila is a single variety agave spirit while mezcal is produced from a blend of multiple agaves so take a flight and see which you prefer. Happy hour between 3 and 6pm every day includes an extensive food offer along with cocktails, beer, and wines.
Ba Bar (550 12th Ave) takes you to the streets of Vietnam with pho, bahn mi, spicy salads and roasted meats. Pacific North West ingredients creating an explosion of Vietnamese deliciousness. With 2 happy hours, yes 2! (3-6pm and 10pm – 1:30 am), squeezing Ba Bar into your happy hour crawl just became a lot easier.
Around the corner at The Pine Box (1600 Melrose Ave), Bruce Lee’s 1973 funeral is remembered at this former funeral home. Repurposed shelves previously storing urns from the crematorium make the bar, but the only spirits you’ll find here are behind it. There’s no mistaking this is a brew house with beer used to steam clams and added to kraut with bavarian sausages. The menu is hearty and happy hour is between 3 and 6pm.
If that’s not enough for your happy hour enjoyment then poke your nose into neighbourhood cocktail bar, Suite 410 (410 Stewart St between 4th and 5th). Happy hour is 4-7pm from Tuesday to Friday. Zig Zag (1501 Western Ave on Pike Street Hill Climb) can’t be left out, the dirty martinis are a particular favourite. Happy hour from 5-7pm Monday – Friday.
Do you remember a chance encounter with Will Holland at Zig Zag? He planted the seed for this Happy Hour post and is now Bar Manager at Cuadra No. 32. (2132 1st Ave). Happy hour is all day Tuesday and from 3-7pm every other day so head in there, say hi from paraphernalia.co and give us the skinny in the comments below. Another venue for happy hour: it’s a thing we love….
**paraphernalia.co pays for all their own dining and drinking resulting in unbiased and honest recommendations you can rely on.