You can't trip over a junkie on Capitol Hill without falling into a new bar nowadays. (Note to the Powers That Be: At 11:00 p.m. one night last week on a well-traveled stretch of Broadway, I walked by a guy shooting up. Between. His. Toes. Hello? Can we please help these people? Or at least give them some privacy?) There's the imitation-Paris Cafe Metropolitain, the Western-themed Redwood, and the gay- and taco-oriented Purr; the Bad Juju is newly located in the former bar with no name adjoining Neumo's. Moreover, any minute now Licorous (an obsolete word meaning, approximately, "appetizing" or maybe, sort of, "gluttonous") will unpaper its windows down on 12th Avenue next door to its sponsor, Lark; dance-club-for-the-gaysexual Sugar (the naming of which was the subject of much contention on The Stranger's Slog; Fagbar, the favorite, sadly met with rejection) will premiere on Pike Street at 10th Avenue; and an as-yet-unnamed drinking establishment will commence existing directly around the corner on 10th Avenue at Pike Street.
Truly, it is an embarrassment of riches for thirsty hordes of nearly every description—but wait, there's more. Up on Capitol Hill's 15th Avenue (where you are more likely to trip over strollers than junkies), two newish bars—the barbecue-related Kozak's and the 22 doors-themed 22 Doors—have been joined by the very newest bar in Seattle: Liberty.
The advent of Liberty has been the subject of much anticipation and some consternation up on 15th Avenue. For a certain period, the front windows of the space (formerly Trinkets and Treasures, a tiny thrift shop that no one in the history of time ever went into or emerged from) promised coffee, cocktails, sushi, and ice cream, or maybe pizza or liver—some combination that made the taste buds flinch.
As of last Tuesday night, although Liberty was not yet officially open, drinks were for sale, sushi was free, and whatever else it was they were planning to purvey had fallen thankfully by the wayside. A remarkable number of people had materialized, especially for a sleepy street on a sleepy night, and the mood was jubilant. "It's somewhere not to go home to!" said an attendee, as if 15th Avenue were devoid of other viable drinking options altogether. Indeed, Liberty is clearly the place on 15th Avenue and on the Hill in general to get a top-drawer cocktail: All juices are pressed from fresh fruit on demand (and, on Tuesday night, by an assortment of four handsome, personable barmen). The walls are pumpkin colored, the décor is spare and nice-but-not-too-nice, the bar is made from one contiguous slab of red oak, the wine rack is super cool, and the sushi is tasty. The latter won't be free by the time you read this, but neither will one bathroom be still full of construction materials. Upon being asked if he was some sort of neo-patriot, the owner laughed and said the place is just named after a ship.
Liberty, 517 15th Ave E, 323-9898.