NFT Radar: Hula Hula

Situated between the d-baggery of Belltown and LQA is a tropical paradise of good clean fun. Well, maybe not clean. But definitely good. Besides offering a fun Polynesian theme (without all that pesky sunshine), Hula Hula is currently the best option in town for weekend karaoke. The book is decent, the rules are fair (newbies get shuffled into the mix whenever possible) and you get to sing in style amongst lights and a disco ball. Like any good karaoke joint, it’s best to get there early because it fills up fast. But that’s OK because you’re gonna want extra time to drink those lethal tubs of tropical booze. Hungry? Their pupus may be a little westernized but they still help to soak up the hooch in a most delicious way. Plus, it’s just fun to say pupus.

106 1st Ave N 98109

X-posted from Not For Tourists

NFT Radar: Temple Billiards

As a general rule, I’d avoid Pioneer Square like the plague on a Friday or Saturday. Or any drinking holiday for that matter. But if you’re looking for a good time on a weeknight, and a good time for you includes shooting a little stick, Temple Billiards has got what you’re looking for. They rent their numerous tables by the hour and weeknights. Weekdays are even cheaper if you don’t have a lot going on in the employment department. Refuel with an above-average pizza or sandwich. Among the usual suspects is the to-die for Lil’ Mama pizza (pepperoncinis, Hungarian pickled peppers and mozzarella). They are big enough to share but you might not want to. Wash it down (as you do) with a pitcher of microbrew. If you want the place to yourself, reserve pool tables for private events or rent the downstairs lounge and utilize the DJ booth. On a weeknight, however, there’s not a lot of competition if you’ve got a large group out for an impromptu gathering or for blowing off steam after a hard day’s work. Go ahead, and imagine your boss’s face on that cue ball. I won’t tell.

126 S Jackson St 98104

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: Noc Noc

If you ever desire to lose an entire Friday to the darkness, I know just the place for you. Happy hour at the goth-themed bar/club starts at 5 pm and offers $1 PBRs and $2 wells. But here’s the killer: If you order a glass of wine ($5), they will upsell you to a bottle and you will take it. Why? An entire bottle is only $8. Throw in a couple of GIANT plates of tater tots or some personal pizzas and you’ve got yourself a party. It’s not unheard of to enter Noc Noc at 5, only to leave four hours later, drunk off your tits and wincing in the still-shining sunlight. It’s a sobering experience, but not sobering enough because try as you may, a night begun at the Noc Noc simply cannot continue past 11. $2 wells, people. But at least you only spent $20. Oh, if you’re so inclined, you can also stay past 9 for the nightly show. They have all manner of gothertainment including DJs, cabaret, burlesque and live music, all with a sinister edge. Allegedly, their burlesque acts really deliver the scary/sexy. Me, I’m in it for the savings.

1516 2nd Ave 98101

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: The People’s Pub

There are lots of reasons to go to the German-themed People’s Pub. There’s the tap beer selection, which is a who’s who of Deutsch brews, but also tosses in some other Euro favorites (like Strongbow cider) for good measure. There are the board games and the high probability of scoring a table on any given night. Happy hour lasts till 7 so you don’t have to leave work early to partake. There’s a late night happy hour too. But personally, I’d go there for the food. The fried pickles are a popular item (I find them a little overwhelming and I’m so over aoli as a concept) as is anything ending in “schnitzel” or “wurst.” I’d recommend the fried tomato sandwich and the bread pudding. But whatever you decide to order, don’t forget to throw in some spatzle. Spatzle is the German’s greatest contribution to side-dishes. This incredible cross between noodles and dumplings can be enjoyed smothered in butter or blanketed with cheese. And it’s also fun to say. It’s pronounced “shpetz-luh.” See? Fun! It’s true the service can be spotty but the pluses definitely outweigh the minuses. Say it with me now. “Shpetz-luh!”

5429 Ballard Ave NW 98107

X-posted from Not For Tourist.

NFT Radar: Nite Lite

It’s a Seattle cliche to love dive bars. So much so that someone called Linda has made a career out of emulating them. But the Nite Lite is a true blue original dive. It’s mostly unencumbered by irony-seekers. Surprising considering its location: a block away from the Moore Theatre. It’s owned and operated by Seattle bartending veterans who understand enjoyable bar experience basics and deliver that and only that. An oasis from Belltown douchbaggery, the beer is cheap, the cocktails are lethal and the game is always on. The staff might seem grumpy at first but they’ll have a smile for you if you flash ’em one first. Same goes for the regulars. Wednesday through Saturday, the doors to the left lead to the poolroom with the classic rock juke box. Every day, the doors to the right lead to the main bar with darts, Christmas lights year-round and the awesome classic country juke box. The bar is cash only but there’s an ATM for your convenience. You won’t need to get much out. $4 buys a pitcher of PBR or double well. Sop up the booze with a bite from their bar menu laden with any greasy delight your heart desires from tacos and burritos to burgers and fries. If you don’t love the Nite Lite, you don’t really like dives.

1926 2nd Ave 98101

X-posted from Not For Tourists.

NFT Radar: the Tin Hat

Simply put: the Tin Hat is a Ballard hipster bar. But it’s not hipster in that annoying, competitive way. It’s hip because it just is, from the front room to the bathrooms. The menus are all printed with retro design covers. There is plenty of velvet art. There are diner-style signs everywhere boasting cheap eats and they mean it too. There’s pinball and a fun movie playing silently on the TV to fill in the rare awkward silence that might crop up (or even to distract you from a conversation… even the most engrossing discussion can be disrupted by the sight of killer dolls or Patrick Bateman’s chainsaw phallus). The music is a mixture of hipster favorites and unpretentious pop. Sometimes spun by a DJ, other times a house playlist, they will play a rare Husker Du track, but are not above tossing a Squeeze song on right after. Everyone can feel welcome here, and the cheap happy hours make it even easier. And no need to put off breaking the seal here. Both the men’s and women’s restrooms are full of visual goodies like pinup girls, old cigarette ads and Tom Selleck in a speedo. It’s square to be hip!

512 NW 65th St 98117

X-posted from Not For Tourists.