Not to brag, but eVenues knows a thing or two about cool spots in Seattle. We've searched and scoured to create a list of unique Seattle gathering & meeting rooms - bookable by the hour or day - for our customers. In the course of the search, we've found a few secret spaces as well. Since you're reading this blog, we know that you're one of the cool kids. So we thought we'd share some of Seattle's best secret spaces just with you (and possibly all your friends on twitter and facebook).
Here they are. Don't tell anyone
Vito's is a bar that originally opened in 1953, and with its seats of studded red leather, its mirrored walls flaked with tacky faux gold, it looks like a place straight out of Goodfellas. It's a place that you'd expect to be coated floor to ceiling with tobacco stains, but since it was recently remodeled after the new smoking laws, Vito's has a bit of surreal cleanliness to it.
Someone had told one of our staff that Vito's had a banquet hall with a stuffed cougar--something our staff member had never noticed was there despite the fact that he had frequented Vito’s several times. His reaction to this was: "What banquet hall doesn't have a stuffed cougar?" He realized, however, that his friend was referring literally to a mountain cat. He went searching for it a week afterwards and this is what he saw:
According to the restaurant's website, the cougar room had served as a boardroom for gangsters and politicians. Now, it's available for birthday parties and similar events. Reservations are required.
Oh, and just so you know, the Cougar's name is Barbara.
Recommended For: "Gangsters and Molls" theme parties, Monopoly tournaments
Not Recommended For: Ailurophobics Anonymous meetings.
Sometimes a place can be so hidden that you'd almost think the owners didn't want it to be found. The Bathtub Gin Company is located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, a part of town which may have more watering holes per block than any other in the city. While most of these bars line the streets in plain sight, spilling their music and drunk and fratty patrons out onto the sidewalks the entrance to Bathtub Gin, in contrast, is hidden in a nearby alley away from the the raucous crowds with nothing to advertise it but a simple stainless steel plaque on a brick wall.
The interior is chill, cool, classy and candelit with a loungy area downstairs and an intimate bar upstairs. We could go on about the place but if the fact that IT IS A HIDDEN BAR IN A DARK ALLEY doesn't have you sold, then why are you reading this?
Recommended For: A quiet night amongst friends
Not Recommended For: Jagermeister Chugging Contests
Another similarly hidden spot is the Knee High Stocking Company. From the outside, Knee High is completely devoid of any flashy signs or neon lights. In fact, it looks like the entrance to an apartment building.
The door is always locked, so you'll need to ring the doorbell in order for the hostess to let you inside. The door opens and a classy lady (technical term) escorts you through the dark velvet curtains into a room that's so-1920, it almost reaches the level of self-parody. There's something about the warm and cozy atmosphere here, however, that melts away the Seattle freeze that some have experienced here, making your night out here almost feel like a private dinner party among old friends.
Recommended For: First dates, A party for out-of-towners
Not recommended For: Raves, Riverdance rehearsals
Photos used with permission from Kenn Wilson of cocktalia.com.
Here's a place that lives up to its name. If you look for it, you can find the name of the establishment etched almost imperceptibly on the one of the black glass doors. You won't know what kind of place it is until you open the door and walk in.
Their cocktails have character (Their "Andy Warhol" is a Manhattan + a Polaroid photo of yourself). The people are friendly and welcoming, and its wonderfully eclectic art collection is one of the best we've seen in the city. In addition to this, the Hideout may be one of the only bars on the planet to have:
Its own quarterly art publication: The Vital 5 Review. Draw a picture and drop it in the submission box. Wait a few months and see if your booze inspired art made the cut.
A vending machine for art: nuff 'said
"Discreet Theater": Actors are paid free booze to come on select nights and add character to the place.
Recommended For: Black turtleneck parties, Drunk pictionary parties
Not Recommended For: Anti-Sarcasm League Meetups
1. The Needle and Thread
Like many of the best "secret" places, the Needle and Thread is anything but secret. In fact, it made GQ's list of top cocktail bars in the country (#25). What's so "secret" about the Needle and Thread, then?
Well, for one thing, the entrance to the Needle and Thread is above another place called Tavern Law, a classy joint with top notch kitchen, plenty of bar space, and inviting leather sofas. It seems like standard stuff, but there is one little oddity: the bank vault door on the wall. There's an antique phone on the wall beside it. Pick it up when it rings and the vault door opens. You then go up the narrow wood staircase (past pictures of some naughty girls), and you'll find yourself in a intimate little room where you're served cocktails based on your mood. It's not to miss.
Recommended For: Super exclusive poker games
Not Recommended For: Hula hoop enthusiast gatherings, firewalking ceremonies, pillow fight tournaments
Photos used with permission from Pete Andrijeski of seattlebars.org
Honorable Mentions/Suggestions From Readers: Was there something on this list that we missed? Please feel free to email our community manager (kenji at evenues dot com) and we'll be sure to put it up!