I admit that when in search of interesting new bars and restaurants I rarely venture further south than Columbia City. A couple of recent trips beyond CC might just have changed my mind.
First stop on the adventure was the Georgetown Liquor Company, notable for the fact that everything on its menu is or can be served vegan. Yep, everything from the Obi-Won-Ton Plate, to the Picard sandwich, to the Darth Reuben. Are you sensing a theme here? The total nerdiness of the Star Trek/Star Wars naming convention is underscored by the always-on, always-free array of Atari 2600, Nintendo, and Supernintento games, but then somehow the tall stools and vinyl-backed chairs give it the look of a beer-soaked college bar. I suppose the fact that you can’t quite peg this place makes it just a little bit more intriguing.
Stellar Pizza, just down the block from GLC, is colorful and garish in the best hipster sort of way. The pizza is what I would describe as medium thick and the crust is made dairy-free. Though I think that I was feeling particularly carnivorous after vegan-centric GLC, and ordered the fantastic Georgetowner pizza with pepperoni, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, and onions. Yum! They also have great beers on tap including Manny’s, which I think must be a requirement when opening an establishment in this neighborhood given the brewer: Georgetown Brewing Company.
Hudson and its Marginal Way location, though not on the strip of Airport Way I typically associate with Georgetown, is technically part of the ‘hood. It opened fairly recently and has the right gray and black interior, cushy swiveling counter stools, and rough-edged table tops (an interior my friend dubbed “retro industrial”) that lends itself well to a variety of clientele. At the bar on this particular evening were two guys in white tank tops, tattoos, and much-used work boots alongside a fellow in a Hawaiian shirt, earring, and mutton chops. It was a red beer kind of night, perfect alongside the sampling menu of chicken fingers, cheese fries, and pulled pork sandwich.
Our server at Hudson, who was unquestionably one of the most fun in recent memory, recommended that we go to Loretta’s as our next stop that evening. So we headed off to South Park, a first in neighborhoods for me. The front room of the place is floor to ceiling (and floor and ceiling) wood paneling so you feel a bit like you’re walking into a warm cave -- perfect for a drink on the blustery night we were there. The next room is a mix of unmatched kitchen tables and chairs and glossy mountain-filled landscapes, all of which reminds me of my favorite Northern Idaho bars and only encouraged further drinking of red beer. The back patio is the highlight, though, complete with an Airstream trailer, neon beer signs, and the ideal space for what looks like frequent live music.