At noon on Thursday, January 20, President George W. Bush will utter the following words for the second time: "I, George Bush, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

With a straight face.

And there's not a damn thing you can do about it, except, of course, to get yourself blind, stinking, rusty-butter-knife-surgery-without-anesthetic-in-a-sod-house-on-the-frontier drunk. We're not suggesting that getting loaded is a valid form of political protest--in fact, we hope you attend some of the organized protests--we're just saying that America has been feeling pretty funereal since the election. So let's have a wake, you fuckers! Let's spend this entire weekend drinking, smoking, and fucking ourselves senseless so we don't have to/won't be able to listen to the vultures celebrate their dominion over us. Then, come Monday, we can pull ourselves together and face the next four years of the rest of our lives--a little hung-over, perhaps, but no less resolved in our contempt for the commander in chief.

To help make the weekend of debauchery easy to navigate, we've collected a list of 43 of our favorite bars. Why 43 bars? In honor of George W. Bush, of course, our 43rd president. Bush family members--and there's an endless supply of them--call George W. "43" and George H.W. "41," and perhaps one day they'll be calling Jeb "44," which itself is reason enough to get plastered this weekend. Each bar we've included on this list is the kind of place where reasonable human beings can drown their sorrows in the company of other reasonable human beings. And here's the thing: We want you to visit all 43.

Don't let the bastards get you down. Maybe tomorrow they'll declare war on Hawaii; maybe they'll burn the Constitution; maybe they'll change the name of our country to "the United States of Jesus Christ Is Awesome." But that's tomorrow. Today, we drink.

(P.S. You have all weekend; please don't try to have 43 drinks in one night. And don't drive drunk. Call a taxi. And stay in school…)


KINCORA PUB 518 E Pine St, 325-0436 What better way to escape harsh political reality than to hang with a bunch of musicians all weekend? Drown your sorrows in cigarette smoke and strong cocktails at Kincora--located on a stretch of Pine Street where, should you get 86'd from one bar, you can simply stumble one door down to the next--a casual, rock-centric cesspool of skate punks, indie kids, and the occasional meathead weekend wanderer. Kincora's DJs usually rule, and happy hour is from 4:00-7:00 p.m., except Sundays when it's all freakin' day ($1 Pabst, $3 premium drafts, $2.50 well drinks, and free pool). JENNIFER MAERZ

CRESCENT TAVERN 1413 E Olive Way, 720-8188 This bar is seedy without being sleazy. It's where the old-school gays go when they have given up and don't want to be in some drippy fag bar clocking the aging process to rehashed club music. The clock has stopped here, only the Miss Havishams haunting it are mostly sweet instead of merely delusional. It's a terrific place to lose track of time, forget which regime is fucking things up, and watch someone struggle valiantly and pathetically through karaoke versions of "Under Pressure" or "Rocket Man." NATE LIPPENS

CHAPEL 1600 Melrose Ave, 447-4180 I go to Chapel for two reasons: to overdose on their delicious infused martinis (pomegranate, tamarind, rosemary, pepper; vanilla with lemon is my favorite), and to forget that I'm in Seattle. The vibe--an elegant bar crafted out of columbarium stones harvested from the building's prior incarnation as a mortuary--is strikingly sophisticated for Seattle. It's all too easy, in other words, to sit on the banquette, sip a cocktail, and pretend you're in a city even bigger and bluer than this one. The happy-hour special, $4 martinis from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., only enhances the delusion. AMY JENNIGES

BARÇA 1510 11th Ave, 325-8263 On Election Day 2002, as it became clear that the Democrats were going down in flames (again), I joined several colleagues, including a lachrymose Dan Savage, in a sorrow-drowning session at Barça (the establishment has, among innumerable worthy attributes, the truly excellent quality of being located across the street from The Stranger's offices). It's as good a place as any to obliterate wordly cares--or, alternately, to wallow in them. It's comfortable in a velvety, candlelit, vaguely Spanish way. The bartenders are friendly, the pour is reasonable, the clientele a cross-section of New Seattle liberalism. Four more years? I'll drink (heavily) to that. SANDEEP KAUSHIK

BILL'S OFF BROADWAY 725 E Pine St, 323-7200 Trying to explain why Bill's is a great place to eat, drink, and feel lousy is like trying to locate the source of the Nile. The charm of Bill's is irreducible. The drinks are strong, the servers foxy, the personal pizzas baked with care, but none of these is the answer. Ultimately, it's the sheer unlikeliness of the place that gives it such a rosy glow. A family restaurant in the middle of the most debauched zone of Capitol Hill--not a proper Republican family either, but a family of drunks, queers, and fuck-ups, plus a few respectable types for contrast. See you there. SEAN NELSON

THE ROSEBUD 719 E Pike St, 323-6636 This vaguely fey and truly fancy bar (a languid couch anchors down the dark room and its always lively candle-lit tables) is a perfect place for elitist urbanites to drink and theorize about the fate of the Democratic Party until last call. The drinks are cheap here, which may explain why, despite the room's fancy airs, nights at the Rosebud often devolve into swirling flirtatious goofiness--a perfect antidote to this season's bleak reality. JOSH FEIT

MACHIAVELLI 1215 Pine St, 621-7941 The best thing about the bar in this Italian restaurant is that its spirit, mood, and culture are unmistakably urban. No red state or red town or red street could ever produce a bar like this. The diminishing northern end of downtown is visible through its wide windows, and it's always packed with a variety of well-dressed people. Every time I've visited the establishment there have been two or three beautiful woman (birds of paradise) sitting on high chairs, steadily sipping something strong and translucent, while talking, laughing, and looking out at (or being softly ghosted by) the remaining light of a beautiful sunset. A glass of house wine is only $2.50 and not half bad. CHARLES MUDEDE

MADISON PUB 1315 E Madison St, 325-6537 Madison Pub has gone from being a gay bar/sports bar/dive bar for doleful bearded creepy losers to a gay bar/sports bar/dive bar for a certain kind of person I like to have sex with, i.e., standard-issue 28-year-olds who have brown hair and drink beer, and who come to Madison Pub in search of one thing: gay sex--that dirty, thrilling act that's no longer illegal in this country but that still possibly cost Democrats the presidential election and robbed the free world of its chance to have a competent, forward-thinking leader. Well, we didn't get our leader. But goddamn it, we can still have gay sex. And brown hair. And T-shirts. And darts. And beer. Hot. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

LINDA'S 707 E Pine St, 325-1220 Wounded lefties will find a warm home at Linda's this cold inauguration weekend. There's the jukebox, which is perhaps the best in all of Seattle. There are the pleasant surroundings, and the attractive young clientele. And then there's the patio, which is heated year round, and which, if you concentrate hard enough (or drink long enough), you can imagine is not within the confines of the United States, but rather, somewhere far away where reason can still trump ideology. BRADLEY STEINBACHER

TWILIGHT EXIT 2020 E Madison St, 324-7462 I'm not sure whether or not John Kerry is a fan of Slayer, but I think he would dig the band's oeuvre. Especially now that he's not the president and all. Especially if he heard this one guy in a vintage cap scream "Seasons in the Abyss" while everyone else (me included) screamed along, ("…Let your thoughts drain/as you go INSANE!!!"). Irony and depression are in full abundance on Sunday nights at the Twilight Exit. The place gets packed. The karaoke is loud and sublime. Everyone is in the mood to have a one-night stand with a guy in tight jeans they'll never see again. It's the best bar night in the city. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

DEANO'S CAFE & LOUNGE 2030 E Madison St, 322-7670 Long live Deano's. The Man has been trying to shut down this last of Central District businesses that service the drinking needs of unemployed and working class brothers in the Seattle area. Yes, the police keep a constant eye on the place (which is small, crowded with furniture, and imprisoned by the bleakest of walls), and yes some violence has erupted near the bar. But bad things also happen near bars that service white and hairy bikers. And at least the brothers who drink at Deano's are likely to vote for Democrats, which is certainly not true for white and hairy bikers. CHARLES MUDEDE

STUMBLING MONK 1635 E Olive Way, 860-0916 I discovered this place one night while taking refuge from a downpour and became smitten. Offering a tucked-away little vibe with no goddamn TVs to remind you where you are or why you are there, Stumbling Monk has the atmosphere of some small European bar with plenty of delicious brews. Get something dark and Belgian and, for the duration of your drink, fantasize that you have relocated somewhere wonderful. NATE LIPPENS

SUMMIT TAVERN 601 Summit Ave E, 324-7611 Tucked along lonely Summit Avenue, the Summit Tavern is the most neighborhoody of neighborhood bars. There's pool, TVs (usually tuned to some kind of sport--often a strange one, like rally racing), as well as a worldly assortment of beers. But more importantly, there's a feeling of home that few bars can provide. The Summit is a tiny place, but even when it seems packed beyond capacity it still feels like the perfect size. BRADLEY STEINBACHER


COLLEGE INN PUB 4000 University Way, 547-1335. Subterranean both literally and in spirit, the College Inn, which should really only be called "the pub," is resplendent in old-world (which is to say fake-British) appeal. Beers for every kind of person (snob to yob), competitive pool and darts if you want it, and the best chili in Seattle are a few of the attractions here. Better yet is the propect, better at the pub than any other single place in town, of finding yourself in a profound conversation with a complete stranger you'll never see again. Good times. SEAN NELSON

CHANGES TAVERN 103 N 45th St, 545-8363. As the only gay bar in Wallingford (and the closest gay bar to the University of Washington), Changes Tavern has made a life calling of gathering disparate folks with one thing in common into a harmonious, laid-back whole. Why not spice up Changes' usual mix of karaoke bears, hipster pool sharks, and every type of gay beer-lover with a few mourning Democrats? Add darts, a relaxed patio, and food enough to earn the right to serve hard liquor, and Changes becomes a dream haven for Dems in denial. (Karaoke on Thurs and Sun; pool, darts, and booze all the time.) DAVID SCHMADER

KNARR TAVERN 5633 University Way NE, 525-3323. If what you're really looking for is a chance to get your pansy Democratic ass stomped in by a bunch of no-bullshit leatherneck bikers, may I humbly submit that a knight at the Knarr is the plan for you? Of course, this place on the upper bounds of the U-District isn't particularly violent; it's just got no time for a lot of student bullshit. You go to the Knarr to drink a lot of beer. You drink a lot of beer to forget. The end. SEAN NELSON

PACIFIC INN 3501 Stone Way N, 547-2967 The Pacific Inn has a couple televisions, though I doubt the owners will be eager to soil their perfect little bar with footage of Bush ascending to the throne this weekend. Even if Dubya makes an appearance, however, there's still plenty to distract you from his inane presence. For one thing: the fish 'n' chips, which are the best in all of Seattle. For another: the regulars, who are generally friendly and refreshingly nonprotective of their sweet neighborhood haunt. I've never felt uncomfortable at the Pacific Inn, and that's saying a lot--I'm usually uncomfortable just about everywhere. BRADLEY STEINBACHER

MONKEY PUB 5305 Roosevelt Way NE, 523-6457 I confess that I haven't been to the Monkey in years, not since I gave up on having fun once and for all and settled into life as a pre-codger. But when I was a boy, I had more drunken escapades with friends and strangers here than anywhere else. The Monkey Pub, as its name suggests, is a bastion of unpretentious good times in a weirdly uptight block (Dante's is across the street). They have healthy pitchers, big tables, and excellent garage and indie rock coming through the speakers--and sometimes in person. SEAN NELSON


SAMBAR 425 NW Market St, 781-4883 The inside of this boutique bar is tiny and precious and so unbearably French that you'll find yourself ranting about the impending railway strike and the design plans for Les Halles faster than you can say George W. Bush. The original cocktails are amazing (I recommend anything that's named after a French filmmaker), the cheese plate is unfailingly delicious, and the wine list ain't too shabby either. And if the service is occasionally snotty, well, that's the price you pay for an out-of-country experience. ANNIE WAGNER

TRIANGLE TAVERN 3507 Fremont Place N, 632-0880 During weekend nights this triangle-shaped joint is packed with people in the mid part of their 20s who lend it the geographically appropriate atmosphere somewhere between Fremont and the University District--meaning, it's not entirely hippie and not entirely a college crowd. The food is not bad, and the drinks are priced at a strict average (not expensive; not cheap). You can drink for several hours, and won't be instantly sobered up by the arrival of the bill. CHARLES MUDEDE

HATTIE'S HAT 5231 Ballard Ave NW, 784-0175. Hattie's is just plain friendly and fun, with an efficient and kind bar staff. It's a stone's toss from the Tractor and the Sunset and while there's occasional live music in the back room, on most nights you'll find a collision of diners and drinkers. On this weekend of national mourning, Hattie's is a safe place to drink deeply and eventually mutter to no one in particular, "Jimmy Carter may not have been a good president but that's because he was a good man." And then cry. NATE LIPPENS

PORTALIS WINE BAR 5310 Ballard Ave, 783-2007 Laid-back and welcoming enough for the wide-eyed novice, sufficiently sophisticated and well-stocked for the experienced pro, Portalis Wine Bar is a perfect place to pretend you live in a more progressive, cultured, intelligent nation. Beyond wine, Portalis serves light food (cheese samplers, soup, and sandwiches), rich coffee, and an array of schmancy imported beer. But go for the wines, a couple dozen of which are available by the glass, served in goblets big enough to stick your head into. DAVID SCHMADER

BALLARD SMOKE SHOP 5439 Ballard Ave NW, 784-6611 The bar staff here alone makes the place; they're a no-nonsense bunch, with a collective truck-stop-waitress aura. The drinks are strong but not as strong as these women. They have seen and done shit that would break you in half, bitch. So if you are feeling morally bankrupt and a little empty, maybe slightly suicidal, head over here and see what survival is really all about from the pros who live and breathe it. NATE LIPPENS

TIN HAT 512 NW 65th St, 782-2770 The Tin Hat is too hip to be just a hole-in-the-wall dive bar, but being hidden up north in a corner of Ballard (my people call it Crown Hill), it certainly isn't hip enough to be a scene staple either. It's noisy and smoky, and alcohol seeps from the walls. The local moped gang used to meet here fairly regularly, and if they still do, your nose will fill with the smell of 2-stroke oil as you approach. There's free pinball Monday nights, and the selection of food is superior to the standard bar fare. MEGAN SELING

OLD PEQULIAR 1722 NW Market St, 782-8886 This inoffensive (if oddly spelled) little bar, sandwiched on a nondescript stretch of Market Street next door to a brand-new Discount Palace, is a blue-state bar decked in red-state bunting. Ballard is, after all, the bluest region of Seattle (the area sent not one but two Kucinich delegates to the Democratic National Convention), and the Old Pequliar is at its epicenter. The bar is your typical generic Irish pub (dark wood, beer signs, truck-hat-wearing regulars) in every way but two: (1) A sprawling pool room, where you can retreat on Tuesday nights if trivia's not your thing and (2) Mexican food and drink specials throughout the week. (Inauguration night will feature $4 margaritas). There's also a welcoming (though tiny) stone fireplace and a centrally located Internet jukebox. ERICA C. BARNETT

SUNSET BOWL 1420 NW Market St, 782-7310 For dark and anonymous, you can't do much better than the smoky, wood-paneled little bar at the Sunset Bowl, where funny old men in pleated high-water pants share space at the bar with pasty goth chicks and rowdy frat boys. Bowling-pin-shaped Budweisers are a mere two bucks, and the jukebox--situated in front of an ancient, nicotine-stained painting of a sunset--is, by bowling-alley-bar standards, surprisingly up-to-date. And once the bar closes you can always kill the inaugural blues by bowling--or drown your blue-state sorrows in 2:00 a.m. eggs and sausage at the all-night Denny's across Market Street. ERICA C. BARNETT

THE SLOOP TAVERN 2830 NW Market St, 779-6110 When talking about the Sloop, there isn't much to note other than the cheap beer (the "Slooper" will get you 33.5 ounces of beer for under four bucks). There isn't a scene of any sort, there isn't a definable class of clientele, there really isn't much to it at all, in fact, but that's a good thing. A great thing, even. With a lack of hipness comes a lack of attitude. They have a couple of TVs, a few pool tables, booths and tables, and some typical bar food served by friendly bar staff. Simple. Wonderfully simple. MEGAN SELING

TRACTOR TAVERN 5213 Ballard Ave NW, 789-3599 Aside from being alt-country central and a fine place to see live shows, the Tractor Tavern is a good place to drink. It's a good shot-and-a-beer place with a damn good soundtrack. With its wood lodge/barn interior and a smattering of stools there is the chance to perch, have a friendly and distracting conversation, and listen to country music made by some very blue folks in some very red states. NATE LIPPENS


LAVA LOUNGE 2226 Second Ave, 441-5660 On weekend nights you may as well have moved to Bellevue, but during the days, when you want to hole up somewhere dark and comfy, the Lava is one great Belltown dive. You've got your shuffleboard, your pinball, your Megatouch, and your booze--bottles and bottles of booze. During happy hour (3:00-7:00 p.m., all day Sundays) micros are $3.50, imports are $3, and well drinks are $3. JENNIFER MAERZ

SEE SOUND LOUNGE 115 Blanchard St, 374-3733 This ultrachic Belltown space's white walls and clean sightlines have a calming effect and are ideally suited for minimal electronica. On weekend nights, though, house DJs whip you into hormonal overdrive, inspiring thoughts more about bush than Bush. The packed crowd of 25-45-year-olds is moneyed and on the make. Recline on cushy velvet and leather sofas and sample a menu as trendy and upscale as the decòr. The bartenders serve anything your bitter, liberal heart desires. Breathe deeply the smoke-free air and enjoy the frottage while bracing yourself for four more miserable years. DAVE SEGAL

RENDEZVOUS 2322 Second Ave, 441-5823 Unhip and unconcerned, Rendezvous exudes faded elegance. The mostly white patrons--bohos, rockers, and casuals, both youthful and saggy-faced--seem friendly, unpretentious, and unlikely to be raging conservative asshats. You can throw back $3 bottles of Newcastle Nut Brown Ale and Black Butte Porter or go crazy with a $7 vodka-cucumber concoction that'll make you forget your citizenry. Food ranges from familiar grilled sandwiches and burgers to slightly more ambitious bar fare (like portobello-and-provolone burgers and pork loin). The adjoining Jewel Box Theater offers varied, unconventional entertainment. Eccentricity's quite welcome here, but the Rendezvous ain't snooty about it. DAVE SEGAL

13 COINS 125 Boren Ave N, 682-2513 I know this place isn't for everyone. I once brought some out-of-town friends here for a late-night meal and they literally laughed at the spendy menu. But if you get it, you really get it. The high-backed booths, the clandestine May-December affairs between middle-aged businessmen and Aurora hoochies, the heavy cream sauce--13 Coins has it all, including, not for nothing, a very well-appointed lounge in the back, complete with jazz piano, suave service, and the kind of atmosphere where loud political discussion would simply be uncouth… probably because from the looks of it, everyone in the place thinks it's still 1971. SEAN NELSON


MARCUS' MARTINI HEAVEN 88 Yesler Way, 624-3323 Liberals can expect a horrendous emotional shelling on inauguration day, and as any soldier will tell you, when the shelling starts, you find a hole. Marcus' Martini Heaven is such a hole. Located deep beneath the surface of the city (as in, down a steep flight of steps), it's a perfect place to hide and cover your head while Bush is being sworn in for his second disastrous term. Don't think of it as a bar; think of it as a bunker, one filled not with sand and corpses, but with booze and beautiful people. BRADLEY STEINBACHER

NOC NOC 1516 Second Ave, 223-1333 On that lousy election night, after the fog of hope had dissipated and the city was wrapped in silent grief, the only rebellious action I could muster was to retreat to Noc Noc and get smashed on vanilla Stoli and sevens. The bartenders were sullen and the DJ was pissed--I remember him playing the Violent Femmes at top volume. I didn't feel any better, but at least I was temporarily safe from the numb and dangerous masses. The bouncers are expert at filtering out Republicans and other assholes, the big booths are comfy, and the beer is cold and cheap. AMY KATE HORN

ALIBI ROOM 85 Pike St (in Post Alley), 623-3180 The Alibi Room doesn't have TVs, and this alone should be enough to recommend it for inauguration-weekend drinking (what you can't see can't hurt you--at least while you're drinking in a friendly bar). But the Alibi offers much more than just head-in-the-sand comfort. For one thing: stiff drinks. For two things: stiff drinks and good food. And then there's the view, which kicks aside such tired sights as Puget Sound and the Olympics, and instead focuses on the beauty of buildings. Remember all our Urban Archipelago blather? The Alibi Room is city drinking at its best. BRADLEY STEINBACHER

CENTRAL SALOON 207 First Ave S, 622-0209 People like to talk a lot of shit about Pioneer Square, but depending on your needs, it can be just the place to blend into a large crowd of debauched revelers and bask in the anonymity of communal drunkenness. And if you're down there, the Central can be a pretty sweet surprise. Large, wooden, and venerable, the room retains a fresh sense of modern cultural history (yes, Nirvana did play there) that just might take you back to a time when reason and liberalism reigned. Plus, you know, joint cover… SEAN NELSON

OWL 'N' THISTLE 808 Post Alley, 621-7777 Let's try, for one moment, to be honest, and confess that an Irish pub is often the most pleasing place to get smashed. More to the point, it's also the best opportunity for ogling, or better yet fondling, attractive people of Irish descent while pretending that you're still young enough to indulge your lifelong fantasy of running away to Dublin to join the Pogues. Whatever the case, "Republican" means something very different on the Emerald Isle than it does in the filthy whorehouse known as American politics, which is reason enough to strap on the pennywhistle and patronize this superlegit Irish joint. SEAN NELSON


MECCA CAFE 526 Queen Anne Ave N, 285-9728 In the best of times, the Mecca draws a dark-humored, hard-living crowd; during inauguration week, expect the Titanic, adrift on a sea of booze. This narrow, noisy, smoky, beloved dive delivers the best one-two punch in town: strong drinks at reasonable prices for the night before and great greasy breakfasts for the morning after. Plus, the Dem-heavy rocker crowd is sure to be spiked with at least one blitzed, lefty-hating crank, perhaps bearing a prosthetic leg, so--free theater! DAVID SCHMADER

MIRABEAU ROOM 529 Queen Anne Ave N, 217-2800 Ever since local music mogul Dave Meinert transformed the former Sorry Charlie's from a smoky, low-ceilinged dive into a chichi '70s-retro lounge a year ago, the Mirabeau's vinyl-padded, gold-embossed Lower Queen Anne swank has served as a welcome contrast to the generic jazz bars up the hill. In recent months, the Mirabeau has become the place for Seattle's Democratic Party faithful to carouse and commiserate; last December, Meinert hosted a wildly successful fundraiser at the club for local politician Dow Constantine, with similar events planned for later this year. Inauguration night coincides with free R&B and hiphop night, with $3 well drinks until 2:00 a.m. And the mac and cheese, although a bit spendy at $8, is the epitome of comfort food. ERICA C. BARNETT

SAPPHIRE KITCHEN AND BAR 1625 Queen Anne Ave N, 281-1931 Lit dimly, with moody walls and here-and-there Mediterranean ornaments and arrangements, Sapphire is a scene for the happening. Now that "Arab" and "terrorist" are virtually synonymous in America's popular imagination, it's nice to have places about the city that, like the Sapphire, remind us of the luxurious side of the Middle East--its deep colors, spicy smells, and smoky passions. Before the suicide bomber it was the belly dancer who filled our dreams of the land that fills the pages of A Thousand and One Nights. CHARLES MUDEDE


NEW LUCK TOY CAFE 4718 California Ave SW, 937-0105 The bar at New Luck Toy has heavy, carved artwork and crumbling booths, and on weekend nights, karaoke. On a recent night, I found myself there among women with fried hair and game husbands, some sweatered homosexuals, and a drunk woman in her late 30s who announced it was her birthday and then fell. The karaoke host sang a rendition of Erykah Badu's "Bag Lady" that easily trumped Badu's original, and then, as if directly addressing the Democrats in the room, she said, "That song goes out to anyone carrying baggage tonight. And I'm not talking about Samsonite." CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

NINE-POUND HAMMER 6009 Airport Way S, 762-3373 This dusky Georgetown institution is studded with kitsch, but objects that would look tired in other contexts are somehow ennobled by the mammoth proportions of the space and the dirty velvet drapes that insulate the patio doors in winter. The Hammer features plenty of pool tables, a very long bar, and free roasted peanuts in their shells. There are always friendly dogs roaming the floors, and if you sit on the low-slung couch, you're sure to attract a canine friend that'll put those annoying presidential terriers to shame. (Up yours, Miss Beazley!) ANNIE WAGNER

WEST 5 4539 California Ave SW, 935-1966 A low-key, nonsmoking lounge on West Seattle's main drag, West 5 sports a polished atmosphere and a menu that runs heavily toward home-cooking standards. (The super-rich mac and cheese, served piping hot from the oven, is hardly unusual, but it's very satisfying.) It's the perfect place to perch on a stool and pick fights with suspected Republicans, or just hide out from all the partisan misery across the bridge. ANNIE WAGNER