Bar Hop: Capitol Hill's The Living Room

An oasis with capital people-watching potential

Category: teaser headlines


The Living Room
Nestled into the downtown slope of Capitol Hill, the Living Room (1355 E Olive Way; 206.708.6021; is a small oasis on cold, wet nights. Local artist Monika Proffitt opened the cozy space last Halloween, complete with couches, an electric fireplace and a tantalizing drinks menu.

The Vibe

Warm lighting and a soulful soundtrack (à la Marvin Gaye) attract couples and Hill dwellers looking for a place to relax after the trudge uphill from jobs downtown. Candles pepper the tables and windowsills, and ceiling fans spread welcomed warmth, from the wood ceiling beams to the chocolate-colored concrete floor. Early visitors are quick to claim the couch and armchair near the glowing electric fireplace in the upstairs loft, but the couches, barstools and tall windows downstairs make perfect perches for people-watching—and catching up on Capitol Hill street fashion as denizens pass by.

The Drinks
From the tasty selection of beer, wine and cocktails, try the Jackie (Aperol, grapefruit juice, St. Germain and champagne; $8) or the traditional Old Manhattan (Maker’s Mark, sweet vermouth, angostura bitters and a cherry; $9). When in doubt, ask for a recommendation—everyone behind the bar here (including John Bishop, formerly of Oddfellows) knows their business.

The Food
The menu of small, simple plates is short but sweet, featuring Spanish olives ($3) and an artisan-cheese plate ($7). These snacks will satisfy without distracting you from your drink.

THE BATHROOMS The single bathroom is minimally decorated in black and maroon, with upended wine crates holding paper towels and a slim mirror above the sink.

Originally published March 2010

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