After all that shopping, you’re sure to want some snacks, and a drink.
Wasn’t Amazon’s arrival supposed to be Armageddon to Black Friday? And yet, lines are still long. Parking feels like a treasure hunt. And gift-wrappers are still ornery by 5.
If all that makes it harder to get into the spirit of Christmas shopping, then maybe some spirits will ease the stress. Need a bar stool while your significant other shops? Or maybe a nosh to replenish you on this marathon shopping spree? We’ve got you covered. Below are bars to hit in downtown Seattle and Bellevue, all open on Black Friday.
Best place to people-watch: The view from Oliver’s Lounge’s window is Hallmark-esque — the 12-story Christmas tree across the street and the passers-by holding Macy’s shopping bags and strolling by the wreaths and Christmas lights. When it snows, there’s no better Christmas view than from this historic hotel bar.
Mayflower Park Hotel, 405 Olive Way, Seattle (206-623-8700 or mayflowerpark.com/olivers-lounge)
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Best mall bar in downtown Seattle: Located on the third floor of Pacific Place, the Sixth Avenue Wine Seller has a 30-seat back bar that’s always quiet amid all the chaos at the mall.
600 Pine St., Seattle (206-621-2669 or on Facebook)
Best mall bar in Bellevue: Nordstrom in Bellevue Square has a cocktail bar with mescal and everything. The Habitant sits on the second floor in the women’s department, though you’re just as likely to find guys nursing beers to kill time while their partners shop.
100 Bellevue Square, Bellevue (425-455-5800 or shop.nordstrom.com/st/nordstrom-bellevue-square)
Best bar to get away from the mayhem in Bellevue: Many bar restaurants in downtown Bellevue will be standing-room only. Walk a few blocks or drive to Lot. No. 3. (Find free parking at the Bellevue Tower parking garage for customers.) This forgotten gem boasts one of the best craft-cocktail and whiskey selections on the Eastside.
460 106th Ave. N.E., Bellevue (425-440-0025 or lotno3.com)
Best kept secret: Bernard’s on Seneca is old-school Seattle, a dive that’s an anachronism among all the sleek high-rises and techie haunts. It’s where the lifers hang out. Look for the oak door that leads to this medieval-like subterranean space with a Bayeux-esque tapestry.
315 Seneca St., Seattle (206-623-5110 or bernardsonseneca.com)
Swanky hangout: Fairmont Olympic Hotel and the Four Seasons Hotel are obvious. Be more original. Take your in-laws or turn your shopping excursion into date night at The Polar Bar, lesser known but as grand as the other two hotel bars. Located inside the Arctic Club Hotel on the second-floor lobby, it’s an homage to the old Gentlemen’s club. (Note: Don’t confuse this with the Juno bar and restaurant on the bottom floor.)
700 Third Ave., Seattle (thearcticclubseattle.com)
Local hangout: Downtown apartment dwellers and office workers hole up at The Diller Room, which has a stellar whiskey list. Try the Japanese whiskey that the bartender aged himself in a sherry cask. Booze is priced a few bucks cheaper than what other downtown restaurants charge.
1224 First Ave., Seattle (206-467-4042 or dillerroom.com)
Best bar food: RN74 will likely be everyone’s first choice. You’ll figure that out as soon as you walk into this standing-room-only bar. If you don’t want to deal with the mayhem, walk south to the Bookstore Bar & Cafe, where chef Eric Rivera, the former culinary director at Chicago’s acclaimed Alinea, heads the kitchen and offers bar bites such as the Japanese pancake with salmon roe and its signature cheeseburger. Or hit Miller’s Guild for its carnivorous happy hour.
RN74, 1433 Fourth Ave., Seattle (206-456-7474 or michaelmina.net)
Bookstore Bar & Cafe, 1007 First Ave., Seattle (206-624-3646 or bookstorebar.com)
Miller’s Guild, 612 Stewart St., Seattle (206-443-3663 or millersguild.com)