|While the Capitol Hill neighborhood has become arguably the most popular Seattle destination, Belltown still offers plenty of options with no need for driving or an Uber. Dive bars, live music venues, craft cocktails, speakeasies, and and EDM night club are all within walking distance.
The Upstairs is a stone’s throw from our Belltown Court property on 2nd Avenue between Bell and Blanchard. From the horse’s mouth, “Perched quaintly atop a flight of stairs in a century-old building, The Upstairs is a bar with a laid back, speak-easy type atmosphere (hidden) in the middle of Belltown. With an eclectic mix of seating, The Upstairs is a bar that is meant for chill imbibing.” Couple the laidback vibes with an awesome happy hour and you’ve got the perfect location for kickstarting your night on the town, or enjoying a more relaxed night out. Fair warning, there are Spanish tapas provided from Bar Abajo, but a very minimal food menu more suited for snacking. Personal favorites are the Bee’s Knees or the Diablo’s Revenge if you want try try something spicier.
The Crocodile has been a staple on the Seattle music scene for over 25 years. Since 1991 The Crocodile has hosted an eclectic range of artists including Nirvana, The Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam, R.E.M, Tom Morello, Yoko Ono, The Melvins, Talib Kweli, The Head and The Heart, Toro Y Moi, and the list goes on and on. Seattle has a wealth of venues to see live music, but The Crocodile is a great place to see national and international touring musicans in an intimate setting. Get in not too long before doors open, head upstairs, and you can snag the perfect spot between the bar and the railing thats directly above the stage. The Crocodile also has the Back Bar area serving food and drinks 7 days a week.
Showbox at the Market is another spot in Belltown that is perfect for catching a show while in Seattle without catching a cab. The original “Show Box” opened all the way back in 1939, and has been going strong for almost a decade. Duke Ellington, Pearl Jam, The Ramones, Prince, The Roots, Frank Ocean, Muddy Waters, and The Foo Fighters are just a few names who have graced the stage of The Showbox. As long as everyone in your group is at least 21 years old, you can skip the long line before a show. Kern’s Music Shop directly next to The Showbox opens 2 hours before doors open, and gains you priority access into the venue. If you don’t want to deal with the crowd the bar area has tables and chairs that are slightly elevated offering a perfect view of all the action.
Shorty’s is your destination if you are looking for no frills food, strong drinks, arcade games, a juke box, and the quintessential dive bar setting. When I say no frills I’m talking hot dogs and nachos, and drinks that are a bit more clear rather colorful. Located smack dab in the middle of a stretch of new and old Belltown bars on 2nd Ave, Shorty’s is always sure to provide some interesting memories to your Belltown and Seattle adventures.
Bathtub Gin and Co is basically the complete opposite of Shorty’s. If you are looking for something a bit classier than a dive bar, and drinks that take a little longer to be made, Bathtub Gin may be more suitable for you. Bathtub Gin and Co is a speakeasy style bar so you will have to do some searching, but it isn’t to hard to find. Located in the alley between 1st and 2nd Ave, between Blanchard and Bell is a door with a small plaque. Seating is very limited so its better for small groups, and the door man will turn you away if there isn’t space, so getting there early is best. Bathtub Gin has amazing craft cocktails, but remember they will take a little longer than your average drink. You can let the bartender know what types of flavors and booze you like, and they are pretty damn good at turning those flavor profiles into a drink.
Post banner photo credit The Crocodile.