Entrepreneurial Ballardites fit hip salons, sneaker shops, and hangout spots into spaces that were previously practically invisible—in fact, was Northwest 65th Street even there a year ago? Enter the Dray, a slim slice of high-brow, good-time, globe-trotting beer culture dressed up in unfinished wood and kick-started, on early Saturday mornings and sleepy Wednesday afternoons, for example, by flat-screens tuned to European soccer (er—football) games. Whether your poison’s a cup of strong Stumptown joe, a mug of Bellingham-brewed amber, or a bottle of Belgian ale, you’ll appreciate the mini roll-up windows in front and the equally easy-breezy way the staff banters about barley, hops, and World Cups. Yeah, they’re beer geeks—and jersey-wearing Europhiles—but the vibe is anything but snooty. And yes, the sandwiches are there to satisfy the liquor board, but the grilled sharp cheddar, spiked with plump sweet raisins and served on Macrina’s whole wheat cider bread with a side of black bean and corn salsa, satisfies plenty more.
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