1312 Fifth Ave, 652-0521
Description: A posh cocktail lounge in downtown Seattle.
What's inside: Occasional guest bartenders (imported from such distant lands as Germany, New York, and Oregon), local architectural relics (the intricate ceiling above the entrance once decorated the foyer of the 5th Avenue Theatre next door), a quirky layout (a small side bar overlooks the street, and a swanky/minimalist lounge hovers at the top of a gorgeous glass stairwell with chartreuse steps).
Vessel stairwell etiquette: Always keep a tight grip on your beverages—both the landing and one step have been shattered by falling beer bottles, but remain functional thanks to three layers of glass capable of withstanding thousands of pounds. Also, avoid playing Stair Trap Attack, a game from my youth in which a player is stuffed headfirst in a sleeping bag then hurled down the stairs. Your screams will panic the other patrons.
Happy hours: Mon–Fri 4–6 pm.
Happy-hour drink specials: $3 Stella Artois, $5 wells, $5 wine (McWilliams Shiraz, Louis Bouillot Blanc de Blancs), $6 select cocktails (the Richmond Gimlet features gin, lime juice, simple syrup, and mint), $9 house cocktails.
Happy-hour food specials: A short list of small plates, which includes $5 miniburgers (with bacon, spicy mayonnaise, and blue cheese) and $3 warmed olives.