The Southpaw cocktail at Life on Mars.

In the Sake Night in Canada cocktail, a storm of ingredients—sake, singani brandy, dry curacao, grapefruit juice—coalesces with surprising subtlety. The foam cloud on the cocktail’s surface is conjured not from egg whites but chickpea juice. The drink typifies the bar: light, playful, vegan.

Life on Mars, named after the David Bowie song and run by music industry locals like KEXP DJ John Richards, set down in June, spinning together a faint 1970s vibe with current Pike/Pine chic. Here, beneath retro-futurist light fixtures, house mac tastes closer to coconut curry over noodles than to cheese (still satisfying), and draft Rainiers run $6. While clientele range in age, all would look at place nodding along to Nico. The non-bar seating is largely booths: plush and yellow and vinyl, an upholstered nod to the records on the stereo. During happy hour, you can pull an album from the large collection and pass it to the bartender to spin. One recent evening, Bowie gave way to Lou Reed.

“That’s my album! I’m so happy I got to hear it,” a man said to a bartender.

“Good choice!” she responded, clearly stoked, as they high fived. 

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