The New Scene: A Night of Style
Throw off your sweater, flannel, and fleece jacket Seattle; it's time to embrace the new you; swank, swinging, and sharp.
Published in Seattle magazine, June 1999
An abbreviated guide to Seattle's subdued, hued,
and most styling nightlife
Campagne 86 Pine Street, (206) 728-2800
Seattle's finest French restaurant reserves its secluded patio for dining customers, but if you arrive late and perhaps order a salad with your Campari and soda, you should be able to secure a table in the courtyard.
The Cloud Room 1619 9th Avenue, (206) 682-0100
Nestled atop the 72 year-old Camlin Hotel, The Cloud Room has survived fire, redecoration and, more devastating, moving in and out of fashion. The joint also features a sizable terrace from May to October, with live piano music piped outside.
The Fireside Room 900 Madison Street, (206) 622-6400
Yearning for a traditional setting such as New York City's Oak Room?
Hike up to the elegant Fireside Room, the Sorrento Hotel's 90-year-old circular, wood-paneled cocktail lounge. The spacious room is perfect for intimate conversation. A nontraditional (but very welcome) touch: the air purifier and ionizer offset the smoke.
The Garden Court 411 University Street, (206) 621-7000
The arboretum-like Garden Court at the Four Seasons Olympic Hotel is the perfect place to ignore a cloudy day and imagine yourself in a warmer clime. Drinks come atop real linen napkins, and the bar snacks are served in a silver dish.
The Last Supper Club 124 S. Washington Street, (206) 748-9975
A relatively new addition to Pioneer Square, the Last Supper Club is a decadent but modern (lots of chrome with plush velvet chairs) stage for a variety of entertainments, including house and gothic dance nights. Upstairs features a large stage and respectable dance floor, downstairs has a cozy setting with booths replacing the bar stools and a beautiful, custom painted bartop resembling a pack of tarot cards.
Oliver's 4th and Olive Way, (206) 382-6996
Located within the Mayflower Park Hotel, Oliver's hosts, and usually wins, the annual Martini Classic Challenge. They do pour a mean Martini, but the bar can indulge nearly every mixed-drink fantasy. Our friend Richard, who inadvertently plays stump-the-bartender with his obscure drink requests, found that not only was the waitress able to take his order -- for the champagne-based "French 74" -- without batting an eyelash, she also informed him it's actually called a French 75.
The Pink Door Ristorante
1919 Post Alley, (206) 443-3241
The Pink Door is the kind of place where the waiters will bring you a basket of bread after the kitchen has closed. Although the Italian cuisine is reason enough to stop in, other features are eternally endearing: its semi-secret entrance (an unmarked pink door off Post Alley); its fabulous deck; an overhead trellis coiled with vines and multi-colored lights which are always lit at night.
Tula's Restaurant & Jazz Club 2214 2nd Avenue, (206) 443-4221
Six nights a week Tula's features local performers, such as vocalist Greta Matassa, with the occasional visiting act such as sax player Don Lanphere. Appropriately, Tula's is less formal than Jazz Alley; patrons sit on the stage with the musicians. The warm, down-to-earth ambiance is perhaps best represented by the resident piano: not the usual, gleaming ebony baby grand but a naturally light-brown-stained version resembling a not-too-new guitar.
Baltic Room 1207 Pine Street, (206) 625-4444
Capitol Hill's posh night spot is a remodeled Kid Mohair tight tables and a baby grand on the old dance floor but atmosphere still rules supreme. The Baltic Room features both trendy DJs and weekly live jazz performances, the latter usually more in a camp vein such as the Rat Pack-inspired Monty Banks.
El Gaucho 2505 1st Avenue, (206) 728-1337
When you enter the film noir atmosphere of El Gaucho you'll feel like you're stepping back 50 years (and perhaps into the film Gilda). The dark bar isn't smoky just from cigars, but from the many flaming cuts of meat prepared in the show kitchen. The large, round bar seats at least 20 and it took our ever-obscure friend Richard to find something (Chartreuse liqueur) that the bartender didn't have.
The 700 Club 700 Virginia Street, (206) 343-1255
No, it's not affiliated with the religious group of the same name. The 700 Club is located at 700 Virginia, the no-man's-land between downtown, Belltown, and Capitol Hill. The speakeasy-like club is housed in an old brick building, and barely identifiable until you're in the entryway. Often featuring both live performances (such as San Francisco's Broun Fellinis) and DJs on the same night, you'll find the mix of patrons changing over the course of the evening.
2218 Restaurant and Night Club 2218 1st Avenue, (206) 441-2218
This swank Belltown restaurant and bar is the perfect place to catch a local act like H.B. Radke and the Jet City Swingers. The spare, Art Deco motif is reinforced by the French aperitif posters adorning the walls.