We answer reader drinking queries.

Share story

Topics of this week’s questions include noise at bars and hangout spots along Rainier Avenue South (Hello, Columbia City!). Another came from a hockey fan who is appalled, just appalled, that we don’t have lots of hockey bars in Seattle. Questions were edited for brevity or clarification.

Q: Bars are so loud these days that we can’t even carry on a conversation over a glass of wine, let alone find a place that has enough seats to accommodate six of me and my friends. Where can we grab an evening drink around downtown during the week?

A: A hidden spot is the Andra Loft and Bar inside the sleek Andra hotel. It’s the least known of the Tom Douglas projects. The modern Scandinavian-themed bar has a fireplace as well as some comfy seats facing Fourth Avenue if you want to people-watch. That would be my first option with a quiet ambience for a large party, but it has a limited food menu and drinks can be pricey.

For something less fancy, walk next door to Assaggio Ristorante during happy hour (3-6 p.m. weekdays), where you can get $5 prosecco and $6 martinis with snacks — $5 meatballs and fried calamari — that are shareable for large parties.

It’s often quiet and uncrowded, since it’s overshadowed by its big-name neighbor, Lola. And the staff is accommodating. Call ahead to reserve a large table during happy hour.

Assaggio Ristorante, 2010 Fourth Ave., 206-441-1399 or assaggioseattle.com

The Ändra Loft and Bar, 2000 Fourth Ave., 206-448-8600 or hotelandra.com (open daily but only from 4 p.m.to 9 p.m.)

Q: My friends and I are planning a Columbia City bar crawl at the end of the month. What are your priority drinking destinations for people who don’t regularly make it to Columbia City?

A: The sexy picks are the new places Super Six and Salted Sea, where during happy hour they feature cool-kid drinks like a $6 daiquiri (Super Six) and a $7 Old Fashioned (Salted Sea). Salted Sea also offers $1 oyster happy hour (3-5 p.m. daily).

But Columbia City Ale House is a standby, and Rookie Sports Bar and Grill with its 14 televisions is a destination to catch a game or presidential debate. I also like Lottie’s Lounge, a mix of lifers and the gentrifying crowd, a microcosm of this ’hood.

But my favorite hangout is a hidden spot, Flying Lion Brewing, tucked in a strip mall next to the dive Hummingbird Saloon. It’s a garage-size brewery, and while the beer needed some tweaking when it opened a year ago, the brews are getting better all the time. It’s a low-key local neighborhood hangout. No hipsters or man buns in sight.

Lottie’s Lounge, 4900 Rainier Ave. S., 206-725-0519 or lottieslounge.com

Flying Lion Brewing, 5041 Rainier Ave. S., 206-659-9912 or flyinglionbrewing.com

Super Six, 3714 S. Hudson St., 206-420-1201 or supersixseattle.com

Salted Sea, 4915 Rainier Ave. S., 206-858-6328 or saltedseaseattle.com

Q: We have a bar for everything, especially for soccer fans, which is why I’m disappointed that there’s no hockey bar here! I’m not talking about a sports bar that shows hockey game but an honest to goodness hockey bar. Is there one?

A: Dude, The Angry Beaver in Greenwood. Lots of Canucks and Blackhawks fans hang out there.

The Angry Beaver, 8412 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-782-6044 or angrybeaverseattle.com