FOR ANYONE WHO wonders why a city magazine would repeatedly publish Best of the City features or top doctors lists, it’s because cities don’t sit still. Restaurants open and close, doctors start new practices or retire. The first time we put Best Bars on the cover in 2007, our thirsty staff imbibed all over town, at taverns and dives, hotel lounges, wine bars, and pubs. The fancy cocktail trend then was limited to a handful of watering holes and if anyone mentioned the word speakeasy they were referring to Prohibition. In early 2009, with the economy in a tailspin, the high-end cocktail scene was exploding, so we wrote all about specialty drinks. Thrift-minded customers were forgoing spendy multicourse dinners, but it was still okay to splurge on a Corpse Reviver. This time around, the story lives in the neighborhoods.
Last Saturday night after seeing the dinner cabaret at the Century Ballroom my friends and I decided to go for a drink. On the way out we passed a long line of salsa dancers waiting to get into the ballroom and, on the street, another long line outside Molly Moon’s ice cream; and all up and down Pine Street the sidewalks were teeming. We threaded our way through the crowds and, around the corner on 12th, Tavern Law was too packed to get into, Barrio was bustling, and at the Local Vine, we got the last available table. Pike/Pine has been a coming neighborhood for several years, but it’s crazy there these days. And exciting. (But if Capitol Hill’s not your cup of Long Island iced tea, we mapped nine more neighborhood bar crawls at seattlemet.com/barcrawls.)
That same urban energy also fuels our climate of tech entrepreneurship and attracts people to South Lake Union, now the home of Amazon, biotech entities—and of course new bars where everyone goes after long days at work. Our story this month " This Product Will Change Your Life " shows how SLU is the natural home for a startup incubator like TechStars, which provides seed money, shared office space, and access to mentors and potential investors to fledgling companies like Giant Thinkwell—just try to resist getting hooked on the idea of its Raising Uncle Jesse game.
Whether we’re talking bars or businesses, a critical mass of people and ideas ensures that our urban neighborhoods sparkle with vitality and creativity. The whole thing makes for one heady cocktail.
Editor in Chief