It’s a different kind of underground tour, this one with microbrews and mini-golf.
In our happy hour this week, we do an underground tour of Pioneer Square, or more like basement barhopping of our own making. First stop: The Sovereign.
Opened two weeks ago, The Sovereign is an airy basement that seems to channel The Great Gatsby’s era what with its sconce-print walls, tin-ceiling tiles and vintage motifs. The historic space once housed Dexter Horton Bank.
In the corners, eddies of office workers unwind with endless rounds of cocktails. They’re ridiculously cheap ($7-$9), from a riff on the Moscow Mule that tasted like a creamy, spiked green tea to a dessert rum concoction with condensed milk. They’re easy-drinking, just not the ambitious cocktail program you would expect from a bar focused on the Prohibition era.
Noshes are better than expected, given that there’s no full kitchen but instead a couple of flash ovens stacked on top of each other in the back corner. Charcuterie, cheese, smoked sardine butter and other easy-to-prep food are offered as shared snacks. Lamb sausage over an open-faced baguette is the ideal late-night beer sponge, and the deviled eggs topped with sour peppers and salty-porky pancetta (six pieces for $10) — you can pop those in your mouth all night.
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The Sovereign barkeepers were also behind The Forge Lounge, the go-to downtown spot for commuters waiting for the ferry nearby. The industrial-theme Forge is modest but cozy. It has character.
Their follow-up, The Sovereign, isn’t as tightly focused. It’s Art Deco meets Art Nouveau. Its aesthetic is sorta speakeasy-chic but also with a dive-bar vibe. And the lighting is so bright that the tiles stand out and make the bar look more like Union Station.
119 First Ave. S., offers happy hour daily from 3-7 p.m. with $1 off on deviled eggs, specialty cocktails and draft beer; $5 well drinks and $6-$7 house wine (206-257-4655 or sovereignseattle.com).
Down the street, for all your drinking-game or office team-building needs, there’s Flatstick Pub, which has everything from cornhole to a nine-hole mini-golf course, all played with varying degrees of seriousness.
On this night, some dorky co-workers were laser focused as if the Ryder Cup was at stake, while two holes over, a dude was putting with one hand while nursing a porter in the other.
With 19 TVs, 36 taps and a dozen games, this subterranean spot looks like a man cave, which isn’t a stretch considering the two owners are brothers who opened this bar simply because they like watching sports, drinking beer and playing games.
Opened in June, the pub takes up almost the entire block, three times bigger than the 3,000-square-foot Flatstick in Kirkland.
Even with two busy bars to manage, owners Sam and Andy Largent apparently have a lot of time on their hands. They concocted something called “Duffleboard,” a cross between mini-golf and shuffleboard, that’s played with a modified putter. They’re creating other games to add.
Flatstick’s DNA resembles those mega game halls in Bellevue Square, only less sterile and with more of a Seattle sensibility. There are board games, the taps showcase local microbrews, and the place is dog-friendly. Bring Fido during “Yappy Hour” and get a $1 off on your pint (Monday-Saturday from 6-7 p.m. and all day Sunday).
240 Second Ave. S., offers happy hour weekdays 3-6 p.m. with $1.50 off on beer and $3.50 to play mini golf (206-682-0608 or flatstickpub.com).