Liberty (Capitol Hill)

517 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112
(206) 323-9898
Website

Liberty’s like 15th Avenue’s living room, but with world-renowned craft cocktails and an insane selection of liquor. There's comfy couches, a few tables with a cushy banquette, coffee during the day, and completely decent sushi at night, plus a secret awesome world behind the mirror by the bathroom. Long live Liberty.
Categories: Bar, Restaurant
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Average Rating:
  • 2.94000/5 Stars.
Reviews/Comments (36) RSS

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36

service with a f#*! you

Went outside to join a friend having a smoke and was accused of walking out on my ONE beer tab, yes one unfinished beer. After returning to the beer and attempting to pay i was ignored... what a slap in the face, never again.
Posted by tastysuds on August 3, 2011 at 5:38 PM · Report this
35

UPDATED REVIEW 2011!!

The drinks and sushi are GREAT at Liberty on 15th Avenue East!
The locals don't want to say too much about this fantastic bar because it will be overcrowded, but it gets 5 stars every time I go. Justin is a TOPNOTCH mixologist! The tea infusion drinks are amazing! SSSHHHH, don't tell anyone!
Posted by bp on April 1, 2011 at 9:08 PM · Report this
34

Great AM, ok PM

This place is great before 4pm. Staff rock and know their coffee. They serve stumptown coffee and are the only place in that general area that sure it.

I can't bother to go into this place in the PM time any longer. The servers are just plain awful. Last time I was there I joined a table of 6 people all big spenders and had to wait with them for 45 minutes before the waitress finally decided to stop talking with the bartender and help us. Even going up to the bartender to try ordering a drink I was told the waitress would be right over. I can understand having to wait for drinks but when there are maybe 10 other people in there this is not acceptable; and is not the first time this has happened.

Fire your staff or at least get some waitresses that half half an idea of what they are doing. Any server who can't handle more then 5 tables needs to go back to her stripper job and get out of the service work.
Posted by wontwait on January 23, 2010 at 4:45 PM · Report this
33

Home is where you find it

I love this place. On occasion it has prompted me to get up and trek down Queen Anne and back up Capitol Hill. I love that if I can’t find a place in the bar, strangers will often make room for me to sit while I read a book and enjoy a delicious cocktail or a whiskey that I have never heard of but have gotten on a bartenders recommendation. It is a neighborhood cocktail bar, inspiring people to come by and say hello at noon while getting a latte, or late at the end of their evening for their night cap. The drinks are great but the welcome is even better.
Posted by Digital on December 23, 2009 at 11:44 AM · Report this
32

Thanks, msully...

...for perfectly illustrating the bullshit attitude the rest of us are sick of. When I walk into a bar, I am not "auditioning" for the "privilege" of being allowed to exchange my money for goods and services. If providing decent customer service (in spite of any smug, self-congratulatory prejudices you may have) is beyond your scope of capabilities, find another way to earn a living. Period.

And btw, no one here has called the quality of the alcohol into question...we just don't like waiting 45 minutes to be served said alcohol in a bar with only three other people in it.
Posted by on15thguy on October 4, 2009 at 8:17 PM · Report this
31
For those of you who complain about the service, do you ever stop to put yourselves in someone else's shoes? Do you ever think how, maybe if you were a bartender or server, and you had the choice -- make a drink for someone who is actually interested in which gin from your absurdly good selection you will use for the next beautifully-crafted cocktail, or make a drink for the asshole who is "twiddling their thumbs" and probably making rude comments ("across the street at bar X they'll make some prefab shit drink in 10 seconds flat") -- maybe you would ignore the thumb twiddler a little longer?

Right, it's not the bartenders here (they're brilliant) -- it's you.

For some of the best drinks in town (and some pretty tasty sushi to boot), go to -- and yes, plan to stay a while at -- Liberty on 15th.
Posted by msully on July 27, 2009 at 1:54 AM · Report this
30

Worst service on 15th

I'm with Sara and the others - I want to love Liberty. But for fucks sake, please don't stand around doing nothing when people right at the bar are twiddling their thumbs over empty glasses. Walk over to Smith and see how they take care of the bar area. PS One extra star for the devastatingly beautiful bespectacled brunette who works there.
Posted by BM on October 11, 2008 at 1:57 PM · Report this
29

Why in God's name...

...is it so hard to find decent service in this town, and in this neighborhood in particular? Despite the arrogant, cooler-than-thou attitude you will encounter at Liberty, the fact remains that bartending ain't exactly rocket science. There have to be people out there capable of mixing a drink without acting as though you have asked them to donate an organ as opposed to performing their job description. Please, find these people and give them jobs, and let the current crop of hipsters pursue careers as American Apparel models or some damn thing.
Posted by on15thguy on July 26, 2008 at 2:08 AM · Report this
28

Sadly, typical Cap Hill 'tude

I too really wanted to like Liberty, but ye gads, the attitude of the staff...I'd given up trying to eat sushi while actually seated in the place, and had taken to ordering my sushi for carryout just to spare myself the grief. Tonight, however, the person answering the phone managed to be rude enough to make me abandon even this strategy. Save your time and money for Aoki, folks...it's only a few blocks away, but a whole world of difference in terms of courtesy and professionalism.
Posted by Joedout on July 18, 2008 at 7:58 PM · Report this
27

great

great drinks. great sushi. great to have this bar on cap hill.
Posted by girl on July 5, 2008 at 12:53 PM · Report this
26

leave pretty boy at home

I am in same category as everyone who has reviewed this place. I REALLY want to love this place. Partially, because the owner Andrew is just a stand up kinda guy. He knows how to treat his patrons ... and because where else can you get fresh sushi with a great cocktail in a bar setting and not some yuppy sushi place that overcharges for nigiri. HOWEVER, every time I've been to this bar, the bartender who thinks he is sooooo goodlooking ruins it for me every time. I was there on my normal Friday night happy hour time and he took 30 minutes to get a drink to us. He took our order and proceeded to hang out at this table full of girls eating their sushi!!! 20 minutes later he came back to us and asked us again what we ordered!!!?!!! Mind you ... this wasn't the only time he did this ... every time I visit this bar he is working and every time he takes FOREVER b/c he' too busy flirting ... even the couple who sat next to us only ordered beers .... nevertheless took 20 minutes to get them... Andrew ... GET RID OF HIM !!! HE IS RUINING YOUR BUSINESS!!!
Posted by Sara on June 23, 2008 at 9:28 PM · Report this
25 Comment Pulled
24

mochas and mojitos

The mochas in the A.M. are great and the vibe in there for a coffee shop is unique and cool. I once tried a Mojito in the P.M. and have since been spending my money more wisely on beer. The Mojito was embarrassing for a bar that prides itself on scratch drinks. I'll stick with ZigZag for real drinks.
Posted by mochas-and-mojitos on April 2, 2008 at 11:39 AM · Report this
23

Great, If You Like Being Treated Like Dirt

I know that bartenders are human like everyone else, and it's natural to pay a little more attention to a patron who's a personal friend, or a regular. But the other night, at the bar at Liberty, I finished my drink, then sat watching as the bartender fawned all over the stlyish, Blackberry toting Yup sitting next to me, pouring him free samples of some new premium liquors they'd gotten in, discussing upcoming parties, boating outings etc. etc., without ever once turning to me to see if I wanted another drink, the check, or if I was still breathing. I could've cleared my throat theatrically, or waved my hands in the air, but I admit I wanted to see how long this would contine. The answer? Indefinitely. Then two cute young women came in and sat on the other side of me, and the bartender quickly attended to them, managing to look past me without giving me the opportunity to make eye contact. Neat trick. Eventually of course I did have to ask for the check, which was given wordlessly with a blank expression. So the lesson is, if you're not a certifiably hip dude or a cute girl, you'd better enter Liberty with a healthy self image because you're going to be made to feel like a big zero. If you want great drinks, prepared with all fresh ingredients, AND friendly, attentive service, go to Sun Liquor. If you want to be put in your place, then try Liberty.
Posted by Bluepiano on March 8, 2008 at 1:04 PM · Report this
22

horrible sushi

good place to get drinks. a horrible place to get sushi.
Posted by al-fonz on December 29, 2007 at 6:37 PM · Report this
21

From The "highly-selective-to-whom-he-speaks owner"

Correction! I had a nice glass of Blanton's tonight at Sun Liquor, and it turns out that they ARE in fact making scratch and all sorts of other tasty drinks. Yep.
Posted by The "highly-selective-to-whom-he-speaks" on December 28, 2007 at 2:40 AM · Report this
20

From The "highly-selective-to-whom-he-speaks owner" to you.

Dear Mr./Ms. Been around the block a time or two: First of all, I'd like to introduce myself to you. My name is Andrew, and I am the "highly-selective-to-whom-he-speaks" and incredibly handsome owner of Liberty. Please let me thank your for your well thought-out review of my bar and allow me to comment a bit on your thought-provoking post. First of all, I am happy that you would compare us with Licorous. Licorous, they unquestionably do a fantastic job so any comparison with them is warmly accepted. I will add though, that of all of the places that you mentioned, Liberty is the only bar as far as I know that uses fresh juice for each and every drink and does not rely upon sugary/syrupy cocktail shortcuts. Perhaps though some of those fine bars have started to do scratch drinks recently just as we have for almost two years now since our inception? I sure hope that they have finally found the value in a cocktail make with scratch ingredients - there really is no substitute in my opinion for juicing a lime/lemon/orange/grapefruit fresh for every drink, that's for sure. In terms of our drinks, they are surely "interesting" as you mentioned, and have recently gotten even more "interesting" with the addition of at least six new original and classic cocktails - each tasty and truly unique. Just wait 'till you taste a Blue Moon or the Buddha's Hand. Yum. Lastly, sorry about the "lacksidasial wait staff". Heads will roll.
Posted by The "highly-selective-to-whom-he-speaks" on December 27, 2007 at 6:29 PM · Report this
19

Ain't worth the drinks

Yes, it has an interesting drink menu. But several other bars on the Hill can match it...including Licorous, Sun Liquor, Bleu and Chez Gaudy. The pushy bartenders (You need to be in on my conversation, really?), lacksidasial wait staff, and highly-selective-to-whom-he-speaks owner all serve to remind you that the Hill is changing...and not for the better.
Posted by Been around the block a time or two on October 24, 2007 at 9:52 PM · Report this
18

So so, if the smoke didn't get in your eyes

The sushi ain’t bad. Really. Liberty is still one of those rare Capitol Hill spots where the sushi-and-drinks schtick works. A good combination cocktail, while a little pricey, does set the tone for the late-night crowd, and the platters of sushi delivered to your table with your friends isn’t bad. A lone complaint, however – most restaraunts in Seattle do love to keep the smokers away from the front windows if they’re going to keep the tilting windows in the front open; not so with Liberty. A decent meal in the nice, comfortable seats up front meant that I and my date were dealing with secondhand smoke drifting in on the cold air. Still, all in all, for the overpriced restaraunts on this particular strip, Liberty’s going to be one of the cheapest (and easiest) places you’ll find.
Posted by zymyrgy on October 16, 2007 at 11:28 PM · Report this
17

good and bad

Nice little place, with a great selection of booze, and knowledgeable bartenders. Great Sushi although it can be slow when busy. Poor service, filthy bathrooms and fruit flies ruin the overall experience.
Posted by Gary on September 14, 2007 at 12:20 AM · Report this
16

Sushi at 1 AM

Look, sometimes you want some sushi at 1 AM. That refridgerated QFC container ain't going to cut it. And you're in no condition to drive. It's a good thing the Liberty's just two blocks away. I've never been when's it was too busy, so I cannot comment on the crowd or service in such a case.
Posted by versa vice on August 30, 2007 at 11:34 AM · Report this
15

I agree with ... everyone

Having patronized Liberty about a half-dozen times now, I've got to agree with just about every review. The positives: Good drinks from what seems to be a knowledgeable bartender staff, plus a decent vibe. Happy hour is well-attended, too. The negatives: Service that can range from flaky to oddly rude (once we were asked by the staff to move from seats in the back to the couch up front, and another time from the front seats to some in the back ... and I thought we we're hot!?!) and an impressive preponderence of early 20s ladies from the Eastside who like to flash each other. At times, Liberty can seem like a weird "Girls Gone Wild" video, without the lecherous dudes.
Posted by The Holy Mountain on August 22, 2007 at 12:18 PM · Report this
14

Sushi's in my 'hood

Never knew there were haters of Liberty or patrons of said establishment. Miz James, I would suggest that if you don’t like Liberty, take your Teutonic features back down to the, as your purport, the Hungarian Hotties at Palermo and eat a pizza instead. You mock male patrons and insinuate they are date rapists whilst you lust after the pizza deliver boy in your review of Polermo saying you would “grab him, drag him inside.” You mock girls at Liberty too. Miz,you say "Hot" more than P.H. Talk about takes one to know one. Now, can I get to my review? Yes, there is a wait for sushi, but Liberty is about more than fast food. More as in impeccable drinks made by unpretentious barkeeps for patrons that do appreciate crafted cocktails. One bartender has even taken the time to explain to me how to make some of the drinks(never muddle only fresh squeezed juice) which shows he cares.. and thats all I want is care. Try their French 75. They also have Armanac brandy which most nice French restaurants don’t even have. Once your sushi does arrive, it is as good as many Japanese places if you stick with the rolls. Plus, its even better at 2am. I do admit the service on the floor could use more improvement, but if you give her a nice little wave she'll be over. The space is great, couches are great, and located across from Sonic Boom.
Posted by Starboy on August 14, 2007 at 9:29 PM · Report this
13

Voted my favorite place to take a date rapist.

I wanna like Liberty. I wanna like it SO hard. It's literally a stone's throw from my boy's place, but...Christ! An hour and a half wait for a fricken California roll? (That is not an exaggeration. Though they kept me drunk and didn't make me pay for it when it finally came, I'll give 'em that.) *** There's great art (currently sporting Ellen Forney's "Big Fuckin' Hands" series) and it's just the right amount of dim to flatter my Germanic features. Plus the bartenders are so sly with their understated I-wanna-git-in-your-pants vibe, PLUS Liberty has one of my two current favorite cocktails: The Ranier Rose. Sexy. But the slow service. And worse. Oh so much worse, my friends, is the peak hours crowd. The women migrate here from the land of the open throat. "Uh mah gah! She did nuh pay $700 for that Pruduh bahg! Uh just bought uhnline fuh $950 plus shippuhng! Fuuh-ack!" And the boys? Gaze at one too long and you can clearly see his evening's progression, standing in front of the mirror just before he leaves for the night, brand new perfectly crinkled urban tramp "I just wear this when I don't care how I look" stripey dress shirt avec scratchy screenprinted roses on it, gel in hand, repeating to his reflection, "I am not a frat rat, I am not a frat rat..." Gently, ever so gently he gels up and moves toward the door.
Posted by Miz James on August 10, 2007 at 8:23 PM · Report this
12

Wow! Fantastic espresso

Liberty has had great drinks and sushi from the start...and as if that wasn't enough, now they are open in the mornings making the best espresso in town! Stumptown Coffee, free wi-fi and always great music in the background, really nice barista's too.
Posted by Michael on July 25, 2007 at 1:20 PM · Report this
11

yeah but

Terrible, shameful service, but if I want fancy cocktails, I don't go anywhere else. You can't argue with the fact that their drinks are fantastic and ass-kicking. They also usually have great art, which doesn't hurt. And the tree outside is pretty.
Posted by kasa on July 25, 2007 at 9:56 AM · Report this
10

Unique place in Seattle

Where else can you get sushi at one in the morning? Liberty has some really interesting and exotic menu items, both with their sushi and their cocktails. I found it easy to meet people here. Overall a nice addition to 15th Ave.
Posted by ziggyinseattle on July 24, 2007 at 10:58 AM · Report this
9

Oh Alaska Roll

I have been going to Liberty since it opened last year. Sure the service can be slightly irregular, (as it can be at ALL bars mind you), but the food and drinks are enough to keep me coming back. Andrew is a great guy who values his customers and does what he can to make sure that we all enjoy ourselves. The bartenders are very good at what they do, and the sushi is the best I have found in the city. If you haven't yet, try their Alaska Roll. And pair it with a French 76 why don't ya.
Posted by D. A. S. on July 24, 2007 at 6:40 AM · Report this
8

Absolutely Ridiculous....

Of all the bad reviews out there....I wonder how many of those people know of a bar that has perfect service and comfy armchairs for every patron. Please. My friend Andrew and I took to this being our favorite place to hang out if the rest of the Seattle night life is a bit much to take on. It's a small bar, so you really only need one server, and for the number of people demanding of instantaneous refills of their drinks she does the best she can. I must admit I have had my share of bad service from the servers that have come and gone, but the one thing I always know to be true. The owner Andrew is always happy to see whoever walks through the door whether he knows them or not. He's also very good about ensuring that you have the best time you can in the crowded building. My fav bartender Rob, knows his drinks, you can trust that he will make something unique and classy. I don't know of many bars in belltown or the like that fresh squeeze all their mix ingredients, or play music that I actually like. Considering it has survived longer than the 4 bars to occupy the space that I knew as Kozaks once, and the crowds are much bigger than 22 doors down the street. There must be alot of people who love this joint and choose it for their local watering hole.
Posted by Stephanie on July 24, 2007 at 6:21 AM · Report this
7

A nice addition

Liberty is a nice addition to 15th Ave. The more late night food options up there the better, and their Sushi gets the job done (I think it's available until like midnight). There's also Stumptown Coffee in the daytime, plus wifi too. Not a bad place to have a beverage and do a little work (especially in the daylight hours). I know I have. I'm not a big fancy cocktails guy. But they seem to have a lot of that and it looks pretty good. The beer and whiskey I've had there has served me well. I'd have to agree with the comments about the window benches. Those seats look nice, but they aren't very comfortable, especially if you sit there for any amount of time. I find myself sliding forward on them. I wonder if they wouldn't be more comfortable if they were just regular old wood (maybe with some pillows on them or something). Notwithstanding that, the space itself is cozy, as is the rest of the seating. For the most part, I've also found the staff to be friendly (certainly no more attitude than you'd find at any other Capitol Hill bar with even half an once of hipsterness to it). Honestly, I don't see why people feel the need to hate on this place. It's nice that we're getting some variety up on 15th, and Liberty makes a great contribution to that. Don't let the haters keep you from checking out this place for yourself.
Posted by jaco blond on July 24, 2007 at 2:30 AM · Report this
6

Oh, come now!

Some of the comments here seem to be on the side of overreaching. Not only does Liberty have one of the best liquor lists in Seattle, but they have bartenders that actually know how to use that liquor. I mean, fresh juice for your drinks made to order? How can one go wrong? Yes, the sushi can take a while on busy nights, but.....c'est la vie. That's a sad fact, 'eh, when you want good sushi until 2am? Try it before you listen to all of the reviews here. Trust your own opinion. Oh, that guy that complains about the noise? You live on Capitol Hill, man. I find it humorous that you can complain while never even stepping a foot in the place. This bar didn't win 'Best Neighborhood Bar on Capitol Hill' for being jerks.
Posted by MeLikee on July 23, 2007 at 7:45 PM · Report this
5

Awful Service!!!

I was horrified by the bad service at this bar. The staff, with the exception of 1 bartender were extremely rude. We sat down at a table (it is all first come first serve) to be told that one of the waitresses was "holding" that table for some friends. Then, one of the bartenders was VERY unpleasant when we ordered a drink that required fresh mint...which was on their menu. The drinks are good and so is the sushi. But I would never come back here.
Posted by stella12345 on July 23, 2007 at 10:33 AM · Report this
4

best spicy tuna roll ever!

Last night at Liberty, five of us snuggled at an uncomfortable window seat while giving playful attitude to the bartender. Once his cocktail server arrived, a table large enough for the lot of us opened up and the sweet waitress attended to us. We all ordered sushi, which took the sole chef quite a while, but I will say, the man knows his sushi. Best Spicy Tuna I've ever eaten! Other couch hogging customers were more irritating than the friendly staff with attitude, and we all loved the Ellen Forney hand exhibit. My only real complaint is that we were never given happy hour prices despite the early hour of our arrival. But I'd drink there again saving room for a spicy tuna roll.
Posted by Bloody Marie on July 21, 2007 at 4:54 PM · Report this
3

Still On The Fence

The seating in this place isn't the most comfortable (don't sit on the leather couches in the hot summer, especially if wearing a skirt) but the drink selection is good and the happy hour pricing is sweet. The sushi is surprisingly good but the service isn't spectacular.
Posted by Ms. Sizzle on July 17, 2007 at 3:20 PM · Report this
2

Unbelievably bad service.

I've been here three times. Each time the lone server has all but ignored her tables in favor of flirting with the bartender. When she finally realizes she's on the clock she slowly saunters over as if her tables are their for *her* instead of the other way around. I can't tell you how badly this place needs some help. Oh, and the booths against the windows are like sitting in the back of a cop car.
Posted by Ryan on July 16, 2007 at 6:26 PM · Report this
1

mmmmmm...samiches

great whiskey selection, cool drink menu, and yummy sushi. try the samich, it's awesome! Other than that, the booth seats are a little uncomfortable and it can take a little bit of time to get your sushi if they're busy.
Posted by ilovethehill on June 25, 2007 at 2:50 PM · Report this

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