Sitting within a lovely apartment building built way back in 1905, Saint John’s Bar and Eatery is a sociable place that serves reliably swell drinks—from shot-and-beer combos to nifty cocktails and wine—and food. And as the sun starts shining more and more (let’s hope it’s that way all through summer) Saint John’s becomes a key happy hour spot, thanks to the magical open-air back patio, where the blue tables sit under a forest canopy unique in the city. It’s a destination you won’t want to miss out on over the next few months.
Running from 2-6 p.m. weekdays, its happy hour drink menu hits all the right summertime notes, too. Start off with the tall Cynar Collins for just $5. If you don’t know it, Cynar’s part of the large and delicious family of herbal-and-bitter Italian digestifs. What sets it apart from its siblings is that artichoke is the essential player within its list of 13 ingredients. In the Collins here, Cynar’s herbal nature underlies the drink’s refreshing qualities—it’ll cool you down without sacrificing flavor. If the sometimes cooler Seattle summer air hits, you can always step up with the Millennium Falcon. It also contains Cynar, which here palls around with warming bourbon, lime, Angostura bitters and ginger beer. There’s lower-priced beer and wine options as well.
Because you shouldn’t solely drink during happy hour, don’t miss Saint John’s food. When looking for a little snack, try the fries—hand cut from Yukon gold potatoes—with a creamy aioli for just $4. Step into the roasted veggie tacos (two for $6) when you’re a bit hungrier. The corn tortillas filled with cabbage, pickled red onions, cilantro, cojita cheese and a zingy chipotle cream will either provide a light early dinner or tide you over until a bigger meal.
But if you want that bigger meal during happy hour, and are carnivorous, try the classily-named Golden Girl sandwich, with roasted chicken, Mama Lil’s peppers and arugula on a Grand Central roll served with fries ($7).
Also, when wandering in the front door, be sure to watch for the bar’s creative and often hilarious sidewalk chalkboard, usually out front. One version recently caused a little stir.