There are a few streets in Seattle that have so many bars so close together that a night of bar hopping simply becomes going next door. Belltown’s Second Ave is such a street. As are certain parts of the Pike/Pine corridor. Capitol Hill’s East Olive Way, particularly the stretch between Melrose Ave and Denny Way, is another such street. Whether you want a good ol’ drinking establishment or a place to contemplate a craft cocktail after work, these two blocks have you covered.
5-7 Monday through Thursday
Now that they’ve expanded their space and Filipino-tinged food options, this semi-speakeasy—you still must ring the doorbell on a residential looking building and should probably make a reservation—is a tad more inviting for the midday set. What’s very inviting is $3 off certain food, like the steak tapa bowl (marinated and seared steak with garlic rice and roasted red peppers) and half off some cocktails. The specials change frequently, but the Apriscotch with Famous Grouse scotch, apricot liqueur, honey, orange bitters, lemon is a frequent favorite.
The Saint’s undergone some renovations lately. The food is gone. The tequila remains. The building is now a sort of retina-piercing pink. And the happy hour menu is cooly straightforward: $6 shot and a beer, $6 margarita, $4 wells, $6 wine, and $2 off house cocktails. But if you’re looking for a bracingly acidic tequila hit, something to severe clearly the divide between day and evening, at this price there are few better than the Saint’s El Santo: Sauza Hornitos Reposado, Cointreau, lemon and lime. Simple and effective.
Montana is about efficiency. Plenty of other joints in this city serve Olympia and shots and blast music and spatter their space in stickers. Yet here a pickleback (whiskey chased by a shot of pickle brine) holds the same head-clearing acidic slash as the Saint’s margarita and does so at $5 and in about five seconds. On a nice day stick around for a $2 Olympia and linger by the big open windows and get a sense of the Hill’s quotidian pulse.
4-7 Daily, all-day Monday, $1 Draft Rainiers on Sunday
Are the deals ground breaking? Not really. Revolver has the sort of standard happy hour you can find all over—$1 off snacks, $2 PBR or Rainier, $5 wells, $6 shot and a beer. But the hours are accessible (all day Monday!) and it generally feels like hanging out in your music-nerd friend’s living room, listening to records, so you might as well stick around. And if you’re one for cheap beer, Rainer pints are $1 all day on Sundays—you know, just like your friend’s place.
Yes, you do want an order of garlic knots for 99 cents. Ditto a “Fancy Beer O’ the Day” for $4. Dino’s is loud. It’s kind of dark even by day. It feels like the best sort of (very clean) dodgy. It’s like a charming riff on a New Jersey pizza joint, but the dose of good natured irony (Longest Bar in Seattle / We Have a Variety of Wines its windows read) belies serious pizzaiolo chops and the good sense that comes with them, like serving Fernet Branca for $4 at happy hour.