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I recently talked right here about the recent (it’s all so recent!) Seattle magazine tiki article I put together about the wave of tiki drinks up this-a-way, and why folks love them so much. To follow that up, I went and visited a couple (a trio of tiki spots) places mentioned in said article with the fine folks at Evening, which up here shows on King 5. If you missed it (which is fine, really), they hey, check out a taste of the tropics with me!
Hello rummies! I recently was lucky enough to write about top-rate tiki bars in Seattle and Tacoma – at least some of them – for the grass-skirt-shaking Seattle magazine. The tiki movement is back in full swing up here (and, really, most spots), and it was sweet to be able to sip and sip some more island style drinks. But hey, don’t listen to me blather on – go check out the tiki talking right now.
Ralph sat down on the bench to smoke while he waited for Tommy. Two bald middle-aged bartenders entered the locker room from the back and began to change their clothes. Ralph examined their dour faces with the dawning realization that all of the bartenders he had ever known looked exactly like these two. Not that they were all bad, although most of them were, at that, but their expressions were all alike. All faces, like character actors in the movies; expressive eyebrows, small chins, and large liquid eyes. Ralph pictured these two men later working behind the bar, changing their expression to match the mood of each customer at the busy half-price cocktail hour in the Rotunda Lounge. But right now, in repose, their characterless expressions oddly reminded Ralph of the ex-Presidents born in Ohio.
–Charles Willeford, Made in Miami
At least, “Three Seattle Bars for Comfort Drinking” was what the fine folks at Seattle magazine asked me to write about for a recent issue. I wasn’t sure, exactly, which way to take it – then decided to just write about three bars I thought were always ready with good service, good drinks, good food, and individual personalities that set them apart to me, in a way that’s fun. What’d I pick? I’m not telling – you have a read the article! But one hint: the bars are No Anchor, Witness, and No Bones Beach Club. But no hints – go read up on great Seattle bars.
Hey, it’s time for another Cocktail Talk featuring George Simenon’s legendary French detective Maigret, the stoic, large, over-coated, café-visiting crime solver. If you haven’t yet, check out past Maigret Cocktail Talks. This particular one, though, is from the very first of his books, which I was super excited to find in a little bookstore in Edmunds, WA. Sometimes the world lines up in great ways. And sometimes you have to drink an absinthe substitute with guttersnips in a dive bar.
Overall the man fitted a type that Maigret knew well: the migrant low-lifer of Eastern European origin who slept in squalid lodging houses and sometimes in railway stations. A type not often seen outside Paris, but accustomed to travelling in third-class carriages when not riding the footboards or hopping freight trains.
He got proof of his insight a few minutes later. Fécamp doesn’t have any genuine low dives, but behind the harbour there are two or three squalid bars favoured by dockhands and seamen. Ten metres before these places there’s a regular café kept clean and bright. The man in the trench coat walked right past it and straight into the least prepossessing of the bars where he put his elbow on the counter in a way that Maigret saw right through.
It was the straightforwardly vulgar body-language of a guttersnipe. Even if he’d tried, Maigret couldn’t have imitated it. The inspector followed the man into the bar. He’d ordered an absinthe substitute and was just standing there, wordless, with a blank stare on his face. He didn’t register Maigret’s presence, though the inspector was now right next to him.
–George Simenon, Pietr the Latvian