It sounds just like a movie: a former Disney employee and a former mayor team up to run their own theater. That's exactly what Jeff Brein and Sam Granato did in 1988 with Bainbridge Cinemas, where they still spend Friday and Saturday nights tearing tickets and scooping popcorn. Besides Bainbridge Cinemas, their theater collection—Far Away Entertainment —oversees seven other local theaters, including the historic single-screen Lynwood Theatre. Opened in 1936, Bainbridge Island's first talking picture house now specializes in independent features and foreign films in which actors rearrange the English alphabet to make strange new sounds.
Over at the two-screen Admiral Theater, projectionists give newer Hollywood releases a second run, plus host screenings every year for the Seattle International Film Festival. Far Away's five remaining theaters, each with three to five screens, show digital versions of Hollywood's freshest celluloid. Lean back in the Anacortes' reclining seats, or scarf down an all-beef frank at Oak Harbor while taking in a flick or live screening of the Metropolitan Opera.
Where to Sit: The sophisticated boathouse serves upscale seafood and steak, and the more casual café, located on the restaurant's top deck, also plates sandwiches and pasta. But breathtaking views can be found in both locations. For views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, sit at the boathouse's 30-foot bar or the open-air café.
When to Go: Daily happy hour takes place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at both the boathouse and the café, and again at the café from 9 p.m. until closing. Whenever you go, don't worry about parking—it's free, and there's even complimentary valet during peak hours.
The Cocktails: In the boathouse you might order a Honey Bee—gin, St. Germain, honey, bitters, and an edible blossom, whereas the café serves straight up and frozen specialties, like the Lemon Refresher—Limoncello, Cointreau, house sours, and lemonade.
Inviting the town porter to your house every other Tuesday evening for drinks makes your home neither a porterhouse nor even a porter abode. Today’s Groupon will spare you any further awkward conversations about "what's the craziest thing you ever ported." For $15, you get $30 worth of hearty meals and West Coast ales at Porterhouse in West Seattle.
West Seattle Fabric Company's sewing emporium extends to the new Stitch and Sew Studio, which is located down the street from the fabric store. Within this creative haven, guests are encouraged to flex their imagination with the studio's collection of easy-to-use sewing machines and ample work surfaces. In the bright, open studio, instructors teach patrons of all skill levels—during classes, events, and parties—sewing and quilting tips and tricks. From alteration lessons to quilt binding and mending, new Stich and Sew Studio provides clear and simple instruction in a friendly and casual atmosphere. And during open sewing sessions and sewing classes, staff members dispense pro tips as students harness the studio's patterns and tools to whip up pillow shams, dresses, and curtains to shade their stuffed animal cloning lab.
Shoes, clothes, and speed-inducing accessories line the walls at West Seattle Runner, where friendly running enthusiasts help each customer enhance their run. After a fitting, feet stride comfortably in Asics, Saucony, and Mizuno shoes or settle in to the snug hug of new Superfeet insoles. Apparel from Moving Comfort and Oiselle wicks sweat away, and snacks by Clif, Nuun, and GU ensure that athletes have the energy to go on producing more. In addition to peddling their fleet-footed wares, staffers also encourage a robust running community, leading group runs every Wednesday and Sunday.
Beer Junction is a hybrid pub and beer retailer that boasts more than 35 refrigerators full of brews, as well as hard ciders by the bottle or six-pack, growlers to go, beer steins and various other accessories. Beer geeks who find a favorite bottle in the fridges can drink it onsite for a small corkage fee, and a rotating events calendar features guest brewers or themed tastings representing multiple different breweries. Beyond the bottles, Beer Junction sports several taps of locally made craft beer, as well as a few wines by the glass. If you’re hungry, Beer Junction sells munchies like nuts and popcorn, but focuses its expertise on beverages rather than food. Patrons with bigger appetites are encouraged to order in from the handful of local sandwich and pizza joints that deliver or offer nearby pickup, or bring in their own food.