Lottie’s Lounge

Like a thirtysomething with wine on the counter and a beer bong hiding in the dresser, Lottie’s hops between classy and crass with ease—the focaccia cheese bread instead of nachos, cocktails most recently named after literary classics (guess which spirit makes up the Catcher in the Rye)—but there’s still time to make some weird decisions. So bring on the whiskey-and-beer weekday happy hour, the blue and green jello shots on game day. This tightrope walk mirrors increasingly affluent Columbia City within working class Rainier Valley. What you get then is a cheeky little hub, packed on a Saturday night with young couples starting the night, loud tables of weathered friends ending theirs, a lineup shoulder to shoulder at the bar where it would not be uncommon to see a dapper gentleman in a tweed blazer clink glasses with a middle-aged guy in a spiked leather jacket. Just like they’ve been doing for years. 4900 Rainier Ave S, 206-725-0519

Hummingbird Saloon

Backed into an old strip mall on Rainier and flanked by a lively Mexican market and Full Tilt Ice Cream—the bar’s sister business—Hummingbird’s wonderfully suspect location hides a dive born out of a traveling carnival. Come for the arcade games and pristine shuffle-board (a rare feature these days), and stay for the cornish pasty and Hummingbird Nectar, a deceptively boozy pink concoction as playful as the bar itself. 5041 Rainier Ave S, Ste 103, 206-349-1731

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Union Bar

Union Bar

See the tables over in the corner occupied by a jovial family. Next to them a guy nurses a beer with his laptop, while the two 21-year-olds at the window booth alternate between making out and diving into the bowl of white cheddar mac and cheese. This Hillman City joint is as much a community meeting spot as it is a watering hole. 5609 Rainier Ave S, 206-258-4377

The Royal Room

There are music venues that serve alcohol—tiny, perpetually crowded bars pouring vodka sodas into plastic cups. Then there are bars where the band and the cocktail complement one another and should be enjoyed in equal measure. The Royal Room’s calendar is filled with jazz jam bands, local soul, and world music on a stage big enough to hold full-on swing orchestras, but not so big that the couple in back can’t hold a conversation, pausing only to nod along with the rhythm section before ordering another round. theroyalroomseattle.com

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