The Capitol Hill Block Party, Friday to Sunday, will fill your ears, but not your stomach. Block Party tickets aren’t cheap, so happy-hour prices hold extra appeal. Whether you’re a mainstream hipster, hippie hipster, college kid or music-festival-stereotype defier, there are plenty of places on the hill to get happy.
Is a classic, boisterous dive bar your thing? Cha Cha Lounge is exactly what you’d expect, except with more flowers on the ceiling. It’s a hipsterized Día de los Muertos (minus the mariachi music) with whimsical décor and, of course, a photo booth. Upstairs is a standard dive bar; downstairs is a dance floor and flower-covered ceiling. The lounge also will be hosting some of the musical acts as part of the Block Party. Open 4 p.m.-2 a.m. daily. Happy hour: 4-8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and all day Sunday-Monday. Drinks: House specials from $4.50-$6. $3.50 well drinks. Food: $2.95 mini cheese quesadillas and snack-size organic bean burritos. 1013 E. Pike St., 206-322-0703.
Looking for a classic pub with a mild hipster twist? Capitol Cider, which opened in February, specializes in hard cider but also offers beer, wine, spirits and classic cocktails in addition to pub food — and a good selection of it is gluten-free. If none of the 30 ciders on tap meets your fancy, there are 100 or so in bottles. When available, I recommend the Teiton cherry, Teiton apricot and Anthem pear ciders. Upstairs features more of a dining area, while downstairs sports two shuffleboard tables and a variety of classic board games. Open daily, 4 p.m.-2 a.m.; food until midnight. Happy hour: 4-6 p.m. Drinks: Selection of $4 cider and beer. Additional Block Party weekend happy-hour specials range from $4 shots to $5 Manhattans. Food: $3 fries and $6 fish and chips in addition to regular happy-hour menu. 818 E. Pike St., 206-397-3564.
Is it a casual hole-in-the-wall sandwich bar you’re after? HoneyHole Sandwiches is a friendly, airy, gourmet-sandwich-and-drinks shop. Many of the products are locally sourced and the beers Washington-brewed. When I went, the deeply-tanned bartender had classic surfer-boy hair, which no doubt contributed to the laid-back feel. Open daily 11 a.m.-2 a.m., food until midnight Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Happy hour: daily 5-7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-2 a.m. $4 pints, $4.50 wells and daily special. 703 E. Pike St., 206-709-1399.
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Wishing for the unlikely circus-meets-dive vibe? Unicorn is just about as hipster-kitsch as it gets. The neon, stripes and animal print would be overwhelming if it weren’t so dimly lit. Glittery, papier-mâché animal heads are mounted on every which wall. It’s like a bar/carnival hybrid, a “barnival.” Pinball and video games are available every day from 4 p.m.-close at Narwhal, the downstairs arcade. Open weekdays noon-2 a.m. and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday; food until 1 a.m. Happy hour: Opening-6 p.m. Drinks range from $2 Rolling Rocks to $5 Jägermeisters. $3.50 wells. Food ranges from $2 corn dogs to $5 blue-cheese fries with bacon oil and sea salt. And they have Jell-O shots. 1118 E. Pike St., 206-325-6492.
Hannah Leone: 206-464-2299 or email@example.com