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The Best Bar to . . . Get Some Work Done: Bookstore Bar

This Seattle bar can be a great place to power through emails.
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the July 2011 issue of . Subscribe »

Bookstore Bar | Seattle

Bookstore Bar in Seattle
Photo© Meagan Romney

Sometimes the home office is oppressively quiet, and the hissing roar of espresso machines makes working in a coffee shop a noisy ordeal. In downtown Seattle, one alternative to caffeinated quarters is to make the home-office-away-from-home the Bookstore Bar, in Kimpton's Alexis Hotel.

Known on the whisky circuit for its mighty selection of single malts, the Bookstore Bar also does bang-up business at night. But during the day, it's a placid (but not too quiet) place to set up temporary shop. The bar opens before noon, so there's plenty of time to crank through the to-do list before the after-work crowd amps up the volume. The décor is boozy bookworm, with scotch whisky ephemera and faded hardcovers throughout the room. The high ceiling and tall windows facing First Avenue give the bar ample natural light, even on Seattle's notoriously drizzly days.

The pub tables along the front windows are great for chatting with clients over Northwest microbrews. The book-lined alcove at the back offers a little more comfort and privacy when it's time to barrel through e-mails using the hotel's Wi-Fi (available for a fee, or at no cost with a free membership to Kimpton's InTouch Guest Loyalty Program).

Order a panini from the adjacent Library Bistro (the amiable bar staff will take care of it) and a hoppy IPA from the bar, which will make perusing spreadsheets during lunch a much more pleasant experience. When it's time to shift gears at the end of the day, grab a stool at the bar to sip a honey-hued Speyside malt and spend happy hour networking with the downtown business crowd, whose offices now appear much less fun than yours. 

Order like a regular: Go local with a Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale, brewed a few blocks up the street, or tap into the bar's impressive whisky selection with a drop of smoky Bunnahabhain.
Go: 92 Madison St.; (206) 624-3646;

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