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Here is a happy hour with a nod to old-money Seattle and the men’s-only club of yesteryear. It hearkens back to when the deal-makers gathered in smoke-filled rooms long before Prohibition, talking vaudeville and the Klondike gold rush.

The Polar Bar is inside the Arctic Club Hotel, and the bar space replicates that gentlemen’s club that relocated to this building in 1917. It’s at Third Avenue and Cherry Street, far enough from the shopping district to keep you from running into any patrons toting Nordstrom or Macy’s bags.

It’s your quiet getaway during this holiday madness.

There is a brick fireplace and an old billiards table, absinthe flowing behind the bar and a bartender named Viktor in a white tux. Cozy up to the glass bar, where there is a smoky Manhattan with your name on it. Big Band music and old jazz hum in the background.

The happy-hour food will look familiar to anyone who has eaten at Juno, the hotel restaurant. That popular cheeseburger ($13) is no longer offered at happy-hour price, but all is not lost. Here are your new go-tos: buttery shrimp redolent with pimento and garlic, a touch of Spain; crispy wings glazed in a raspberry sauce to tame the heat.

Skip the greasy croquettes and the sliders drowning in barbecue sauce.

The couches are so comfy, you may slouch and stare at the fireplace all night. Don’t get too comfortable. There are things to see, hand-carved details to take in. That marble staircase by the lobby? Take it one flight up to the grand Northern Lights Dome Room, with its vaulted Tiffany stained-glass ceiling, one of the must-see architectural details downtown.

The Details

The Polar Bar, 700 Third Ave., inside the Arctic Club Hotel at the second-floor lobby. The Polar Bar and Juno both offer the same happy-hour menu, 3-6 p.m. weekdays with half-off on bar snacks, $6 wine and a $5 cocktail of the day.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or

On Twitter @tanvinhseattle