Right off the busy intersection of 85th Street and Greenwood Avenue, lies Teachers Lounge (8505 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.706.2880; teachersloungeseattle.com). Owned and staffed by Perryn and Desiree Wright (he’s formerly of Cicchetti and was the original bar manager at Copper Gate, which is where she bartended and made cocktails), the Lounge is in what used to be the Greenwood Academy of Hair. While I think good hair is dandy, a good cocktail menu in this stretch of dives and beer bars scores a higher grade.
The bar is stocked with a strong selection of spirits, displayed on shelves in front of blackboards covered with civics notes and other classroom jottings. But the drink menu from Perryn is definitely advanced placement. There are two cocktail sections, “New, Novel, Original” and “Archetypal, Previous, Prior,” with all drinks priced at $9. In the “New” section are drinks such as the Essay No. 1, featuring blanco tequila, Cocchi Aperitivo Americano, lemon juice, grapefruit bitters and a hint of absinthe. It starts out tangy and citrusy and flows into smoke and spice. The “Archetypal” side of the menu has some well-known names, in addition to some older drinks that should be classics but don’t show up as regularly, such as the original and lovely Corpse Reviver No. 1, with brandy, applejack and sweet vermouth. There’s also a swell beer and wine selection.
Every section of the menu, which is also put together by Perryn and Desiree, starts with a dictionary-style definition. This translates into impressive takes on third-grade favorites such as the “P” B & J (with house-made nut butter and jam, $6, add bacon for $2) and a baloney sandwich (with mortadella, $7). My favorite is the Lunchables, which come in omnivore and veggie versions, and contain fine selections of meats, cheeses, house-made spreads and Grand Central Bakery bread ($9).
The atmosphere mirrors a classroom without being kitschy: shelves packed with reference books and CliffsNotes, science diagrams on the walls, and even an apple for the teacher on the bar. Some booths, tall tables and a few larger tables make this a good stop for groups of eight and cozy couples alike.