It’s getting stormy—time to retreat to our well-worn drinkin’ holes and find a few new ones to make the dark days bearable. With rich wood, just-right lighting, big windows, and low-key friendly service, the Noble Fir is a promising spot to find oneself on a rainy Ballard evening. It’s a beer-nerd bar (they host beer events regularly) and a hiker bar (there are maps and trail guides to peruse), but even if you’re neither, it’ll cheer you. It’s both a good spot to read alone and a charming prelude to kissing someone. (Noble Fir, 5316 Ballard Ave NW,, 4 pm–midnight, 21+)