4210 SW Admiral Way, 420-4718
Description: An imposing and nearly windowless West Seattle dive with a nautical theme that's fun and understated instead of kitschy and annoying.
What's missing: Pirate imagery—which is good, because that fad is so played out it makes all sane people want to die.
Namesake happenings: Although the ocean floor is host to around three million shipwrecks, the best story belongs to the whale ship Essex, which sank in 1820 after an enraged sperm whale deliberately rammed into it, twice. After the sinking, the marooned survivors designated which man would be killed and eaten, and who would be his killer, by drawing straws. (This selection ritual was probably miserable, yet secretly thrilling.)
Don't let that happen to you: Here are four actual shipwreck-deterring sea superstitions and two made-up ones. When you're on the boat: don't cut your fingernails, don't whistle, don't let a mop fall overboard, don't keep any corpses aboard, don't check out your own ass in a mirror, don't pass out in a puddle of chili.
What else: There's a nice beer menu ($4.50 pints of a rotating selection, which may include Two Beers Pumpkin Spice and Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout).
Happy hours: Daily 3–6 pm.
Happy-hour drink specials: Fifty cents off domestic drafts (Rolling Rock, Budweiser).