Bernard's on Seneca
Description: Bernard's on Seneca occupies the barrel-vaulted basement of the Hotel Seattle. Design residuals from the fern-bar era sludge the interior: dark wood and brass, swirly tapestry florals, mauve-and-emerald palettes. The look is so potently uncool, it somehow flip-turns along the way, doubles in size, and comes right back as brazen radness. (Bowl cuts and rodeo queens cause this same type of magic.)
Bernard's fun facts: It's closed on weekends, and the drinks are always freakishly underpriced ($2.50 wells, $4 calls). A regular says the space might've been an old speakeasy: According to legend, a trapdoor somewhere under the carpet drops to train tracks below. And nobody knows where it came from or what it means, but there's a giant mural depicting a medieval courtyard scene with mythical creatures and flaxen-haired princes draped in embroidery, maybe hoping to smite something.
What's on the menu: A mix of classic diner-style American choices plus German dishes ($7.95 Wiener schnitzel with red cabbage; $6.50 rinderbraten brot with German potato salad).
Happy hours: Mon–Fri 4:30–7 pm.
Happy-hour drink specials: $2 wells, $3 rotating drafts (Salmon Bay, Radeberger, more).
Happy-hour food specials: Free appetizers (!), so why not go apeshit? (Selection changes daily: baked pretzels, onion rings.)