Seattle native John Nugent has just taken over the cocktail program at Re:public (429 Westlake Ave N, 467-5300) in the hopes of spreading the fun within Seattle's bar community. His brand-new menu features several local bartenders' favorite shot and beer pairings, like the "Chris Elford"—Victory Prima Pilsner and Amaro Montenegro, in honor of the Canon barkeep. Nugent created the named pairing list in an effort to unite the cocktail scene across Seattle in an accessible way; they're the favorites of "people who I've known or worked with, or who have influenced me." The new offerings include something for everyone, from the "bridge-and-tunnel" crowd that packs the South Lake Union bar on weekends to the industry crowd that gathers on slower nights.
On his own time, Nugent favors his home neighborhood of Pioneer Square, especially Damn the Weather (116 First Ave S, 946-1283). "I like it when you let the room do the talking, add some nice lighting, and let the food and the hospitality do the rest." Food until 1 a.m. is another perk at Damn the Weather; Nugent often gets the Caesar salad sandwich. As for his own favorite alcohol indulgence? "I'll say it over and over again: My guilty pleasure is a Jäger bomb." He even has a section on his Re:public menu for fun shots in the same vein, and says, "We're doing shot packs, so groups can come in and order a round of shots, and we can let them know it's okay to get silly."