At Lightbar, patrons leave behind worries and workday stresses to unwind with electronica and dub music and adult beverages made with top-shelf spirits. A far cry from the raucous atmosphere of a nightclub or the crowds of costumed mascots at sports bars, Lightbar prides itself as a "listening lounge," a relaxing, yet enticing venue full of eclectic music each night from a rotating set of DJs, and delicious drinks. Guests nestle into tented booths to nibble on crostini topped with artichoke dip and pork rillette, or belly up to the bar for a glass of wine or masterfully crafted cocktail.
Each step of Ryan Sharp?s winemaking process embodies the small-batch ethos. Within the Eastside headquarters of ENSO Winery?Wine Press Northwest?s 2013 Oregon Winery to Watch?he mixes several winemaking techniques, yielding complex flavors inside miniature fermentation bins. He mashes grapes in miniature crush equipment and ferments whites and ros?s in steel-jacketed tanks no larger than a fully grown mannequin. He sources grapes only from the West Coast, giving himself a framework for his experiments with varietals such as pinot gris, pinot noir, zinfandel, and counoise. As part of his craft-oriented operation, he never makes more than 100 cases at a time of the wines from his ever-evolving roster.
At ENSO's Urban Winery & Tasting Lounge, rustic wooden chairs gather under bare light bulbs and tin lampshades, surrounding a tasting bar crafted from old wooden timbers. Guides stationed at the bar pour tastes of ENSO- and Resonate-label wines, explaining how to decipher each wine's flavor notes. These wines?along with two rotating draft beers and libations crafted by 10 other local urban wineries?complement plates of marbled artisan salamis cured by Olympic Provisions, blocks of raw and aged cheeses from Steve?s Cheese Bar, and sweet and savory pies from Pacific Pie Co.
Wayne Oppenheimer, the man behind WineUpTV.com—a website dedicated to educating others about wine—has made the transition from the web to the world with WineUp on Williams. His wine bar and shop has taken over the building that once housed the famed Cleo-Lillian Social Club, a staple in the black community for decades.
Inside the cozy 30-seat space, visitors sip wines and beers from across the globe, including many that change weekly, while noshing on paninis, cheeses, and other small bites. WineUp even has a chilled cellar with 80 wine lockers where customers can store and age their own wines, instead of simply burying bottles in the backyard.
Named Best Homebrew Store by Northwest Brewing News readers five times, FH Steinbart Co. has been outfitting aspiring homebrewers since 1918. A hops-hardened staff runs the oldest homebrew supply store in the country, connecting amateurs and experts with the raw ingredients and equipment to make smooth elixirs. Starter kits can spark a first attempt at fermentation, and resident draft experts can also help transform your fridge into a kegerator. FH Steinbart's extensive brewing classes teach students how ingredients affect the final product and let them witness the rare mating dance between hops and yeast as well as the stumbling walk of shame that follows.
Grand Central Bowling Lounge's 12 lanes provide bowlers with all the entertainment they could ask for, but the bowling alley doesn't stop there. Grand Central is also outfitted with couches, HD projection screens, and computerized systems that keep track of scores so players don't have to. After a hard-fought game, take a breather at the bar and restaurant, where you can order up a burger and cocktail while catching the day's joust on TV. And don't forget to head upstairs before leaving; the second floor is stocked with classic arcade games, including pinball machines; Fruit Ninja; Batman driving games; four-way Pac-man; beer pong; Big Buck Hunter; Guitar Hero; ESPN Snowmobiling Multicade Classic Games; Dirty Drivin'; Skeeball; Pop-a-shot; air hockey; billiards; shuffleboard; and Operation Ghost.
The Maiden offers escape from the rigors of the everyday with its sultry dining space punctuated by intimate candle lighting and the delicious aromas of fresh fare. Ornate glass lamps hang from golden chains overhead, bathing vermillion walls in the subtle glows of turquoise and saffron while diners peruse a menu of multi-sized delicacies. Small-plate tapas amuse the mouth with offerings of grilled asparagus with shaved manchego cheese and seasoned bread crumbs ($6) alongside favorites such as costillas, a helping of pork ribs marinated in a sherry-barbecue sauce ($9). Grab several small plates to share with friends for a leisurely night of nibbles, sips, and good conversation. If a lifetime as the only child precludes sharing, The Maiden serves up larger plates such as robust bowls of seafood paella with clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, and mahi ($17), and mama-bear medium plates like the ceviche with homemade tortilla chips ($9).