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Shots and Skee-Ball with Rocco's Leroy Thomas

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Leroy Thomas's enormous personality refuses to be ignored at Rocco's (2228 Second Ave, 448-2625)—with the energy of a circus performer and the volume of a 6-year-old on Christmas morning, his enthusiasm is infectious. A pizzeria might not be the place you'd expect to find elements of cocktail geekdom like $5 barrel-aged shots of Angostura bitters (very popular with bartenders, and Leroy promises that the liquor mellows out considerably), but it's apparently a match made in heaven. The secretary of the Washington State Bartenders Guild, he is particularly proud of his build-your-own-cocktail selection, featuring house-made shrubs with soda and expertly paired base spirits—persimmon with dry curaçao, for example. "It's something that I've personally put together every single time. It's so fun to watch how excited people get because it seems so fancy." And when Mr. Thomas is done entertaining behind the bar, he moseys to the Rabbit Hole (2222 Second Ave, 956-4653).

"I will drink wherever's closest to where I'm standing, as long as they're serving shots. As a staff, we do frequent the Rabbit Hole quite a bit. They have those giant TVs and Skee-Ball and frickles... fried pickles." When asked if Mr. Thomas is any good at Skee-Ball, he cackles a maniacal "Noooooo!"—though he plays anyway. His usual order is a shot of Fernet Branca (Rabbit Hole sports a bottle chandelier devoted to the popular amaro) with beer. He spent the Super Bowl at the Rabbit Hole, too. "Everyone was excited and guzzling Skittles, and it was just one of those moments when you feel like you're home." recommended

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