There are plenty of things you can do after work tonight. Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the event or bar of your choice. Watch Thursday Night Football—the 49ers are facing off against the Raiders. Go get your head-bob on—both Lil B and Drake are in town tonight. (I’d recommend the former, as you’re purposely paying to see Migos co-headline with the latter. Ick.)
But, before you do any of that, might I suggest dropping into Drunk Dial Congress? Admission is free at this Ladybar pop-up event, and for taking just a moment to call or write your local congressperson about whatever issue is driving you to drink, they’ll give you a (free) shot. They’ll also provide a list of addresses, phone numbers, and scripts, so you don’t really have to think hard about it at all… And you can hang around and keep drinking—there’s a cash bar and themed drinks if that one shot isn’t doing enough for you.
Ladybar came about while co-founder Keavy Landreth was running her other watering hole in Brooklyn, Butter & Scotch: “It was a silly nickname that we called our bar because we were run entirely by women in a neighborhood that was made up of ‘dude bars’ (our nickname for most of the other bars),” she explained in an email interview. “We discovered that the more unapologetically femme we were, the happier we and our clientele were, and the better we did in sales.”
She went on to describe Seattle’s Ladybar as an “intersectional feminist cocktail bar,” which, she says, means “being inclusive, promoting, and creating a safe environment for those that don't often get represented in cocktail culture. Throwing parties that benefit sex workers, hiring and promoting women-identifying individuals, making sure our bar is the type of place where women drinking alone not only feel comfortable but celebrated, supplying tampons for employees, making sure bartenders are trained to see and respond to sexual harassment amongst guests... the list goes on and on. And it’s going to be fun… really fucking fun.”
The Drunk Dial Congress event will kick off a series of monthly Ladybar pop-ups at the Cloud Room, with a different theme and female-identifying bartender at each event. On this night, it happens to be a friend, former neighbor, and one of the coolest women I know: Giselle Nizar. She’s also an outspoken activist who hooked up with Ladybar by way of a Seattle-based feminist bar group online, and in addition to bartending Drunk Dial Congress, she helped find a few Riot Grrrl DJs to spin tunes, and came up with three cocktails inspired by “lost feminine history." She offered a breakdown for each:
Poured for Dr. Ford—Gin, champagne, kumquat/tarragon shrub (“Celebrating survivors bravery and heroism, believing them, and defying toxic rape and masculine culture. Education is key.”)
Burning Down the House of Reps—Reposado tequila, elderflower, lime juice, grapefruit, soda, firewater bitters, chili salt rim (“Calling to action for people to recognize the swing vote in the House, because we only need 23 seats, paying attention to Washington’s 8th and 3rd districts for Kim Schrier and Carolyn Long. I say burn down those Republican seats.”)
Hello Grrls—bourbon, cinnamon ginger apple shrub, Madagascar vanilla, candied orange (“Basically a punch with a fountain, and a play on two concepts... Harriot Daley, original switchboard operator hired in 1898 to answer calls to Congress, and her paving the way for the US army to hire women switchboard operators known colloquially as the ‘Hello Girls’ during WWI. Also, a tribute to the Riot Grrl movement after the punk backlash that followed the lackadaisical manner in which the American people viewed Anita Hill’s testimony. Ring a bell? Shit.”)
The event happens from 5 to 10 pm at the Cloud Room. There will be buttons created by Giselle (Did I mention she’s also a kick-ass visual artist?), with proceeds from button sales to benefit King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (and $1 from the sale of every cocktail donated to Planned Parenthood), and there will be handmade postcards for writing your congressperson, donated by local artist Tara Kraft and based on the sign she painted for the 2017 Women's March on Washington, DC.
Congress won't be in session tonight, but this will be a chance to fill your local congressperson's voicemail and literal mailboxes, so get your ass down there tonight. Then go do whatever else you already have planned. Thank me later.