Seattle Mag: The Best Designed Bars in Seattle

Seattle Mag: The Best Designed Bars in Seattle

Credit: Haley Young / Seattle Mag

Seattle Mag: The Best Designed Bars in Seattle

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by A.J. RATHBUN / Seattle Mag

KING5.com

Posted on October 10, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Recently, one of our city’s own bars--the Living Room bar in the W Hotel--was named the “Best Designed Bar in America.” Designed by Skylab Architecture, which said it intended the space to have a “sonic lodge” feel, the W’s Living Room space is pretty, well, space age-y, in a 1970s vision-of-the-future meets the Northwest kind of way. And it worked--floors flow into cushy couches, there are acres of shiny colored walls and pink chandeliers, plus a looming fireplace tower with DJ booth. And while it’s awesome that a local bar was given that honorific at London’s International Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say we have at least the top four best-designed bars, and maybe even the top ten, in the world. Since my design sense is average, I knew I’d need an expert opinion outside of the International Restaurant and Bar Design Awards, and so I reached out to Elizabeth Liu, a fashion- and design-focused friend who likes to have a good drink in exchange for a few ideas. Here are her picks for beautifully designed bars in Seattle.

Bastille (5307 Ballard Ave NW): Liu has worked in the fashion industry for years, and has visited more Seattle bars than I have (which is saying something). About Ballard’s French haven Bastille she says it has a “Parisian bistro feel true to form, with an intimate back bar.” I couldn’t agree more. The décor that owners James Weimann and Deming Maclise brought back from France, including the Parisian street light (from the late 1800s) and lovely clock (from 1950), the pendants over the bar from an early 1900s church in Southern France, as well as a slew of other European and local artifacts, all add to the authentic nature of the spot.

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