Date: Sat Oct 22

Place: Alki Tavern, 1321 Harbor Ave SW

Time: 11:40 pm

Located blissfully far away from the West Seattle waterfront's increasingly upscale cocktail lounges, the Alki Tavern is a family-owned-and-operated, biker-oriented dive with all the requisite quirks: Elvis pinball machines, playing cards stuck to the ceiling, obscenely low prices, and committed regulars warily checking out interlopers such as ourselves. We assimilate soon enough, thanks in part to the friendly father-son team of Gill and Gill McLynne. The elder McLynne is a gruff, gravel-throated fellow who accurately describes his establishment as a "10-cent bar with a million-dollar view," while his son prepares to celebrate his 22nd birthday at midnight. I sip on a glass of cheap-but-decent Chardonnay while he fills me in on the story behind a plaque affixed to the bar that reads, "In Loving Memory of Old Man Donnie, 1929–2001." "He was this old biker guy whose bike had two gas tanks. He kept one of them empty," explains McLynne, "so he could fill it with moonshine. He even had a straw coming from the tank so he could sip on his moonshine. He passed away a few years ago and this was his favorite seat," he says, gesturing reverently to the stool next to me.