When I tell people that I'm going to attend a speakeasy, they tend to scoff: After all, hasn't liquor been legal for decades? Well, yes, but as soon as the smoking ban took effect, Seattle quietly began a speakeasy renaissance. Besides smoking in a warm place, there are several vices—pot, gambling, Cuban cigars—that have almost never been on the right side of the law. I've heard of and found reference to at least five clubs that are operating without a license right now—and at least two of these clubs take place where the proprietors live, making them de facto house parties.

In fact, the great thing about speakeasies is that they take the best characteristics of a bar—a competent staff, a public-space feeling—and combine them with the feel of a house party. The music is never too loud at a speakeasy and strangers are more likely to talk to one another, simply because there's less chance of a random idiot finding his way inside. There's a genuine sense of camaraderie and a slight tinge of scofflaw giddiness at play, and people tend to act more responsibly than they would at many of Seattle's more popular—and legal—bars.

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In addition to attending speakeasies this weekend, I was present at the wedding reception for a local musician (and Stranger contributor) and his beautiful bride. It had everything that a wedding party should: The fashionable couple got carried around by a drunken horde of guests to the theme from Rocky, there was an excellent spread of food and liquor, and everyone danced to the Wu-Tang Clan; it must be love. recommended

Want The Stranger to curse the very existence of the Squirrel Nut Zippers at your house party? E-mail the date, place, time, and party details to partycrasher@thestranger.com.